Thirteen-year-old Jillian Hartsock's "exhausted mom" Halloween costume features yoga pants, a top knot, Uggs, and of course a cup from Starbucks. 

By Maressa Brown
October 30, 2018

October 30, 2018

The definition of "scary" is relative. To some people, it means ghouls, goblins, ghosts, the usual fodder for Halloween costumes. For others, it could be feeling like a totally sleep-deprived mama. And a 13-year-old from New Mexico named Jillian Schnerch recently nailed that spooky look with an "exhausted mom" costume. Photos of the look, taken by her mom and professional photographer Lindsay Hartsock, are going crazy viral, because the get-up is all too real.  

"Jillian sees me trying to manage our big, active family, and also our profession, plus helps a lot, so she knows exactly what it's like to be a tired mommy—and sister—and she thought it would be be a perfect costume for her," Hartsock, a mom of nine, tells

The costume she came up with fires on all cylinders. It was complete with yoga pants, a messy top knot hairstyle, dark circles under her eyes, a venti Starbucks cup, a burp cloth, pacifier clip, diaper hanging off the pacifier clip, visible nursing pad, baby wipes, wine, black leggings, Uggs, and a toddler clinging to her leg. Yup—nailed it.

It's no wonder the reaction has been so overwhelmingly positive. In just a matter of days, the photos of the costume have wracked up over 8K comments and more than 61K shares. "So many moms are saying that it makes them feel normal and not alone to see other moms look and feel the same way sometimes," Hartsock says. "The funniest comments are the ones from Moms saying that they don't even have to dress up for Halloween because they look like this everyday! Or asking how we got into their kitchen and took a picture of them."

Her daughter has adored the response. In fact, she "now she wants to do a whole set of these and all different situations as a 'tired mom' because she had so much fun," the photographer says.

At the crux of this successful photo shoot was a sweet bond between mother and daughter, judging from the way Hartsock raves about her fourth child. "Jillian is wonderful!" she says. "She is super sweet and a little mommy. She is so friendly, loving and caring. She is also super creative and really put a lot of thought and effort into this. She is our biggest helper and loves her eight siblings so much, but they also tire her out. So, she could relate perfectly. Growing up in a big family, she has seen the blood sweat and tears that go into raising kids!"

Seeing the reality of parenthood not only inspired the costume but the teen's determination to make the photo shoot realistic. "I told her to smile in one and she said, 'I'm happy, but I'm a tired mom, so I have to keep this look so I don't break character!'" Hartsock explains. "I think that's what it comes down to: Being a mom is so much work, but it has these little rewarding moments during the day that make it all worth it."

Given the viral reaction, plenty of moms would agree. And surely, they'd also be down for that rewarding venti Americano!


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