Raising five girls, I am learning a lot about myself and about females in general. I guess that it is making me more aware, and I have to admit- I don't like what I see. My 6yo fancy girl who loved tutus and regularly wore THIS over-the-top ensemble to school now wears the same activewear outfit that I bought for gym days as soon as it is washed. She wore it Monday and she is wearing it again today (Wednesday). Gym class is tomorrow. If she was outgrowing the phase, it would be one thing, but I asked her about it and she said, "No one at school dresses fancy." She just wants to fit in.
It made me sad to think of her giving up her sense of style just to blend in with the crowd, but my response to her wearing the same outfit yet again was to worry about what people might think about my parenting. I am no better.
What I am realizing is that girls so often want to fit in, to be accepted by their peers. Their peers can be mean.
Some never outgrow it and adult women can get caught up in tearing others down to build themselves up or measuring themselves against others' social media displays of perfection.
I think maybe it is harder for mothers. The stakes are high and it can feel like you have no idea what you are doing. The stages, the challenges, the solutions are constantly changing. And we all make so many mistakes. It is hard to tell if you are doing it "right" and no one even agrees on that definition. We look around and compare, looking for validation in some way. This is where it can get ugly.
We all have different priorities when it comes to running our homes. We also have different challenges and different blessings. Yet, we never see the whole picture in anyone else's story...
Keeping up on the laundry in this house is H A R D. There are at least 10 socks in each load of laundry that don't have mates. I do at least 3 big loads of laundry every day, not including towels or bedding. If you come to my house and the sock basket is overflowing and the furniture is covered in folded and unfolded laundry, please don't judge me.
I like to sew but I hate to do mending. I messed up when I hemmed my bathroom curtains and have left them hanging lopsided for months. It just isn't a priority for me to fix them anytime soon, so please don't judge me.
My desk was clean a few days ago but it is the prime spot in the house for everyone to dump random things. It is clean again now because I couldn't find my media card reader to transfer these pictures. (I actually found that under the dining room table.) Lots of people live here and make messes, including myself, so please don't judge me.
Every now and then I try to get the kids to make their beds, but it I have learned to choose my battles. That one is not usually worth fighting before 7am. Things might have looked great when I took pics for the blog (HERE) but their beautiful bedroom is normally a mess. My children's training is still a work in progress, so please don't judge me.
I haven't finished my fall decorating yet. I was not feeling so great and I have been busy with other priorities. The kids stuffed some weeds in my milk can and there is a soccer ball where I plan on putting a pumpkin. Use your imagination. I am not a fabulous home decorator, even if I am crafty in some ways, so please don't judge me.
Please don't think that I am some crafty genius who does homemade everything and has an amazingly decorated house. Also, when you see my shortcomings, please don't judge me for having different priorities and struggles than you do.
Kindness and grace for myself and for others is something that I want to focus on more intentionally and try to instill in my daughters. I can tell you from experience that people at school barely notice what your kid is wearing. I am still going to hide that outfit because I am sick of seeing it and want her to get some wear out of her other clothes but I want to be mindful of reinforcing the concept of petty, social judgement.