In my younger years I used to wonder why some moms let their kids look so sloppy or wear shirts with dumb characters on them. My pre-mom days were filled with lovely judgments of this nature.
Luckily, birthing tiny people quickly gave me the slap in the face I needed to realize that you can’t control children like robots.
I think most moms can agree that there is something so special and adorable about baby clothes. Babies have some kind of magical power that can turn an outfit like overalls into something cute. But as kids get older and start getting opinions about what they want to wear, things get a little weird.
You might find your toddler mixing and matching their shirts, shorts, and socks into combinations that are…interesting. At first there is a strong urge to fix this, and we do. I’ve found that “fixing” their outfits gets more difficult as time goes on, especially as life gets busier and other kids and responsibilities require your attention. And I also begin to wonder if I should “fix” them.
So clothes have really become a lot less important to me. Sure, I still want my kids to look relatively clean and put-together, but my standards are quite low.
I really don’t care if they pick out ugly shirts at the store. If it makes them happy and it’s easier to get them dressed (and even better, get themselves dressed), then I’m on board. If I notice a hideous color combination as we are getting ready to head out the door, I pretend I don’t notice and just feel grateful they aren’t still naked. When I see crocs with socks…I shudder on the inside, but swallow my pride and soldier on as I tell them to hurry up and get in the car because we are already late.
Some people might look at me and my kids and think, “What a train wreck!” But what they don’t know is…well, we are. I’m doing the best I can to make it each day and if I worried about every single outfit matching perfectly, I’d need to be locked in a padded cell.
Of course there are times and places where I make an extra effort to make sure they are dressed appropriately, and I do try to guide them and teach them how to put things together nicely.
But for the most part…
I really, honestly, just don’t care.
If dressing your kids nicely is high on your priority list and you enjoy it, then great! But don’t feel sorry for my kids. They are well loved, have a roof over their head, and food in their bellies. Let’s put this in perspective here…it’s just clothing! We don’t need to be getting upset about this…whether it’s about our own kids, or others. Kids certainly don’t care about what others think in the same way that we do, and that is an attribute that we can learn from. Let your freak flag fly!
What is the craziest thing your child has wanted to wear in public?