I have 3 girls…3 very different, feisty, opinionated little girls! When my oldest (who is 5) was just 18 months old, my husband and I fought with her on what to wear to Christmas morning mass. She did not want to wear the dress I bought her, she wanted to wear her Christmas PJs. I seriously could not believe that I was fighting with a toddler about her outfit. I knew this day would come, but I thought it would be closer to when she entered middle school….not at 18 months old. I gave up and let her wear her PJs. She was a hit at mass. Everyone loved that we let her wear her PJs. And I realized at that moment…it’s ok to let them wear what they want. (as long as it is appropriate!!!)
They are only little once!
This past summer I took the girls to the food store and received several looks and smiles. My 2 oldest girls were wearing their princess dress up. It was early in the morning, they were having a great time playing dress up and I needed to run to the store. I went into their room and said “Ok girls, we have to run out for a minute” They were so upset, they wanted to stay and play. So before they could start complaining I said “But you can wear your dress up”. Their faces LIT up! They ran to the door and got their sandals on. They were so excited to show off their dresses. I smiled too, I loved seeing them so happy. And I took that moment in and felt happiness. They are not going to be little forever. I want to look back at these moments and remember their innocence and joy.
They will respect their clothes
When my girls started picking out their own outfits, I started to realize they started respecting their clothes a little more. They would worry about getting a stain on their shirt. Or upset if they got a hole in their pants. When you let them pick out their own clothes…they can OWN the outfit and will have more respect for it. I am not saying the occasional grass stain won’t make it’s way to your laundry room…but the numbers will decrease!
Teach them matching
My 5 year old can put together a really nice looking outfit. Everything matches nicely and looks like it goes together. This was not the case when she was 3. She would wear a dark pink shirt and light pink pants. “Look mom it matches, I have on pink and pink”. I would point out colors in the shirt and explain that she should try and match those colors to the pants. It took some time, but now she does a great job!
You will look like the best mom ever!
I used to have this fear that if my kids left the house in crazy missed matched outfits that people would judge my parenting. That some how this would make me a bad mom. Then I realized the complete opposite. Letting them wear what they want (NOT inappropriate) makes me an awesome mom. When I am waiting at pick up and my daughter comes running over with her outfits on (even the crazy ones) the other moms tell me “She looks so cute. Great outfit”.
In the end….it’s just clothes. As long as they are clean and not full of holes, you are doing a great job! Plus some of the craziest outfits will make for some of the best pictures for when they get older!