I am really excited for today’s guest post by fellow blogger Kate over at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time? In my continuing series, “Comparing Notes,” I share stories from other bloggers who are raising both boys and girls and who can highlight the differences they observe when raising both genders. As an all-boy mom, I for one am intrigued and amused by these insights. Kate says she notices lots of differences between her sons and her daughter. Here’s Kate’s point-of-view on their fashion choices…
One Sunday morning as I was getting my, then, two year old daughter ready for church I found myself fretting over what outfit to put on her. Before we had our daughter I let my two sons go out in almost anything. Their fashion looked something like this:
Green camouflaged pants with brown and yellow horizontal striped shirt: Little Stud Muffin.
Red Lightning McQueen Shirt with yellow and green Green Bay Packers pants: GQ.
Bright orange t-shirt, brown sweat pants with holey knees, mismatched socks, and blue Crocs: Church Outfit.
They mostly dressed themselves and that was one less thing I had to worry about. I was proud of that.
Before we adopted our daughter a woman said to me, “Oh, wait until you have a little girl, you’ll be at Hannah Andersson all the time.” I smiled and nodded, having no idea who or what Hannah Andersson was, but thinking that it must be some high-priced girl’s clothing store. Inside I thought, Whatever. You don’t even know me. I’m cheap frugal and all my clothes come from Goodwill. I will not be at Hannah Whatever all the time.
Another time, I heard a mom lamenting over the pressure to buy her six-year old Ugg-brand boots. I gave her a sympathetic tongue-click, followed by a compassionate, “That’s just awful. You poor thing.” But inside I screamed at her, Are you kidding me?! She’s six! Go to Payless!
Fast forward a few years to me standing over my daughter’s dresser that Sunday morning with all the drawers pulled out, whining to myself, “I can’t find anything that matches. I can’t take her out of the house in clothes that don’t match.” And yet at the same time I was content to send my sons off in “holey” clothes that looked like they were pulled straight out of the hamper.
So, I ask myself, why is it so different for girls than boys, and why does how I dress my boys (or how they dress themselves) not matter to me? Is it because girls are supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice, while boys are puppy dog tails…or snails or whatever? Are boys assumed to be “rough and tumble”, so when they have holes in their pants we just say “boys will be boys”?
Looking back, I realize that I had made it my daughter’s job to represent my ego. I was too concerned with what other moms thought. My children represented me. My daughter represented my fashion sense (or lack thereof), which is particularly ironic considering I rarely left (or leave) my house without donning my Momiform: t-shirt, hoodie, and sweatpants – or jeans if I feel like dressing up.
I’m slowly learning that it’s only when I focus on what really matters that this will change: not worrying what others think, letting my daughter and sons be children, and lowering – like really lowering – my expectations. Then maybe I will feel the same way about my daughter’s and my son’s fashion: it won’t matter.
I don’t know if I’ve fully arrived at this yet, but I’m getting there.
Kate Hall is a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom of her three children, all adopted from China. She started her blog Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine with My Morning Quiet Time? six years ago as a way to keep family updated on their adoptions. In 2011 it morphed into an avenue for her to share her love of writing, particularly humor.