“I bet you’d like to have a girl.”
I hear that a lot. Boy-moms hear that a lot. (I assume girl-moms hear the opposite, as if being a parent to only one gender is somehow not completely fulfilling, which is ludicrous, of course.
) Strangely, at the centre of the comments that I usually hear, there is an even more superficial sentiment: “I bet you wish you had someone you could dress up in all those precious little girl-clothes.”
So, let me set the record straight. I have boys. I don’t feel like I am missing out. That statement stands, even when I’m in the clothing aisle.
I admit that I fear having a girl would make me feel even more inadequate as a mother because she wouldn’t be fashionable enough. When my oldest was a baby, I used to love dressing him up to look like a dapper little man, but as he grew and started to move and play and get messy, I stopped worrying about fashion and focused on function. My children want to be kids and I am proud to dress them in clothes that let them be kids. They can move freely in their clothes. They can get messy in their clothes. They wear jeans to daycare and church and Saturdays at home, unless they are really lucky when they get to wear “cozy pants”. (Don’t lie. Cozy-pant day is everyone’s favourite day). They have khakis and button-ups from grandparents and they wear them on particularly fancy days, though they will still be standing in Spiderman sneakers.
I get away with my kid-approved clothing choice because I raise boys. Society grants my sons a little more leeway to be rough around the edges. So no. I don’t miss the anxiety that comes with an expectation to raise fashionable daughters that I would undoubtedly feel.
Still, I am constantly calculating my children’s clothing collection. My four-year-old is officially at that age where he has outgrown the baby-shower clothes. With each growth spurt, I need to buy him a whole new wardrobe. That doesn’t even mention how quickly he goes through the clothes that do fit him. Especially jeans. Don’t even get me started on jeans. I find a new jean knee-hole every second week. Meanwhile, my son refuses to wear jeans with hole in them (can you blame him with this winter that we’re having?). We are officially in the habit of taking monthly trips to a second-hand store because we simply cannot afford the voracity at which my son ruins his jeans.
My youngest son is starting to grow into those previously wrecked clothes that his big brother used to wear, so we’re getting to the point where he is going to start needing a new wardrobe at every growth spurt too.
Children are expensive!
And still, despite buying new clothes every second week, I keep focusing on function over fashion. I find clothes that my kids will get excited to put on so that each morning isn’t a fight. I find clothes that will (hopefully) hold up to the rough and tumble attitude of my first-born and the try-to-keep-up attitude of my second. Jeans beget more jeans which beget more t-shirts and hoodies. But sometimes, just sometimes, I miss dressing my boys in dapper little outfits. Because we boy-moms have a secret: Dressing up little boys is actually really fun too.
Walmart recently invited me to purchase a spring outfit for at least one of my kids with a budget of $50 from the George Kids collection. Walmart knows that kids can be tough on clothes (tell me about it) so they emphasize stocking their shelves with quality apparel. They stand by their product so much that the George Kids Quality Guarantee means that if a child wears out a piece of clothing before he outgrows it, they’ll replace it (original receipt required).
My son literally wears out every pair of jeans he has before he outgrows them so this is a quality guarantee that I can get behind! You can be sure that I went straight to the big wall display of boy-jeans and I got Cameron a pair for $10. And I confess that after I got the function, I went for the fashion. Spring does mean Easter and I can’t wait for my little ones to head off to church in their little Easter ties. (Their first ties ever!). (The shirt and tie for Cameron was $14 and the suit for Gavin was $20).
Please tell me I’m not the only mother who has existential crises about my function vs fashion choices. Please tell me I’m not the only Mom sending her kid to daycare and church in kid-approved clothes that aren’t catwalk ready. Please tell me that it is okay for kids to be kids (which means holes in jeans and dirt on shirts).
Walmart sent me a $50 gift card to complete the #GeorgeKids challenge.