Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mismatched flip-flops

The other day, my mom said something to me that made me think.  We were talking about how my 3-year old Maddie had dressed herself for preschool. she chose her outfit, shoes, hair-do, even wanted to wear a hat. And I just let her pick and choose whatever. My mom responded with, "I'm glad you're that way. I wasn't that way when I was your age. I was neurotic and you guys always had to look perfect."  

It made me think. My mom is an amazing mom. She would do anything for her children. There are some things that she was more relaxed with than me. And some things that she was more strict with. There are so many different things that my kids will be faced with and are faced with in this world right now than when I was young. So many temptations. So many choices they HAVE TO BE PREPARED to make.

So, do I care what my kids wear? Do I care that their hair looks like it hasn't been combed in a couple days, let alone WASHED??!!? (It's usually at least been combed, hopefully, maybe. sometimes. But don't ask about hair washing... ;) Do I care that 95% of the time they leave the house with mismatched flip-flops? Do I care about the looks that I get when the older generation SEE the mismatched flip-flops?? The other day I was at a fast food joint having lunch with the kiddos and a woman came up to me, and asked me, "Do you know she has on two different flip-flops?" To which I responded, "Yes, I pick my battles." And with the look I got from her, you would have thought my 3-year old daughter had stolen something!   I care that my kids have clean clothes. And I care that my kids are clean. Most of the time when people see her flip-flops, they just smile and I say, "yep, that's just her!" 

So, anyway got me thinking. I care more about what comes out of my children's mouths and more about how they feel about themselves than if they have matching clothes on. I care more about them learning to choose and have an opinion than them having matching clothes. I'm pretty sure they might look homeless half the time, haha! I'd rather battle them with getting good grades and developing talents than making sure they get their hair combed exactly right every single time we leave the house. 

I would rather leave the house peacefully than MAKE my kids wear matching flip-flops. So, there you have it. We wear mismatched clothes/flip-flops/bows/and hopefully comb our hair once a day. But we're happy. And we have fun. So I'll take the cute mismatched everything if it means I can see my kids so happy when they come out of their room after dressing themselves. Or skip out to the car because they got their shoes on the right feet. I'll take their smiling faces before fighting about silly, to me, little details. Any day. To me, it's a choice they made that didn't matter. Exercising their right to choose. Learning to choose. This is one way I choose to teach this. Works for us.


Ashley Rae said...

Yes, yes, yes. I love everything about this. You are such a great mom. xoxo

Melanie said...

I just saw this post, and I love it! As you probably know with my kids, we are just happy to have anything on their feet when they enter a public place. I mess up on the picking battles thing a lot, but I'm working on it!