Let me just start by saying I am not a parenting expert. What we do/don’t do with our girls is just what feels right for us as parents-it doesn’t make it right or wrong, or what you do/don’t do right or wrong either. So now that that little disclaimer is out of the way….
Before I was a parent, I would see children that were dressed in crazy, mismatched outfits and scoff- “my kids will never look like that!” Or I would see the most adorable little girl or boy in an even more adorable outfit and think “THAT is how my someday children will look and dress!” Nothing but the best and most stylish for my not-even-conceived-yet children!
“they’re both animal print so they match, Mommy”
“these socks have to be worn this high, Mommy”
Here we are. Ella, who is almost 10 and would be content wearing leggings and a t-shirt every day and Charlotte, 5, who just marches to her own style beat.
The early years with the girls, particularly Charlotte were easy when it came to dressing them. But when Charlotte was old enough to start having an opinion about what she wears, I really tried to fight it.
“No, Charlotte! That doesn’t match!”
“Absolutely not! You cannot wear a lace tank top with sweatpants.”
“No, you may not wear two different shoes!”
Like most parents, I think it comes natural for us to push back when our children are voicing their opinions or testing the limits. After all, we are the parents and we know what is best for our children, don’t we? But the thing is, what I have learned over the years of letting Charlotte style and dress herself-that is basically the one thing in her life she has control over. And she likes it. Loves it, even. I just adore seeing how confident she is in her choices. If only we could all be confident like Charlotte!
These clear, dress up high heels got a ton of where!
What you can’t see is the watch she has around her left ankle
The era of the two different shoes.
It didn’t take long for me to give myself a little slap in the face to calm down and stop pushing. Can I just say how much smoother the mornings go when I am not fighting with her to not wear head to toe stripes, or two different shoes?
What else shifted for us as parents, for me as a Mommy? My priorities. I used to be concerned that I would be judged as a parent on how my kids looked. Now I just care that they (my girls) are happy, I didn’t lose my shit while they were getting ready and that they are fully clothed. So Charlotte has two different shoes on?!?! She has some sort of shoe on both of her feet. I call that a win.
I like to call this look her “Tourist Mom” look. I think it’s the combo of ridiculous sunglasses and hat. Also, two different colored shoes.
“But they’re both striped, Mommy.”
I will say it’s not that I don’t care, or I am giving in (ok maybe I am giving in a little). Like I said, as a 5 year old, you aren’t given the opportunity often to take control of anything, so I like the fact that she takes ownership of her outfits. It also helps encourage her independence. As much as I always want her to need me for everything the rest of her life, it is so sweet to see that she can pick her outfit out and get dressed all by herself. Charlotte clearly has her own sense of style-giving her free reign helps her develop her own style. That’s something I hope she carries with her as she gets older!
Again with the shoes! And she wore this outfit out and about allllll day long!
She even went through a phase where she wore these goggles all the time. Like out in public all the time.
So next time you see a Mom or Dad out with their little one wearing a full on Batman costume, or two different shoes, or swimming goggles, lay off the judging, and give that parent a high five. Why? Because they most likely didn’t lose their shit while everyone was getting ready that morning and maybe gave their child ownership in what they were wearing! I personally love when I see kids in outrageous outfits!
I mean, is it really the end of the world if you let your daughter wear her Halloween costume to Target?
Now excuse me while I help Charlotte pick out her outfit for Wacky Wednesday (which is basically every day for Charlotte)!