It is official, it is SUMMER!
My kids finished the school year and are the years really are flying by fast. Thanks to great teachers they did well in school. My daughter came home with one particular award that brought tears to my eyes, the class Fashionista award.
Yes, I am mother to a budding fashionista. I both proud and terrified. Proud because she picks out all of her own clothes and outfits. I pick my battles and that battle is way to bloody for my taste. Terrified because this means her teen years will be crippled with outfit perfection stress. Hopefully she will continue to remain true to herself. As long as my kids are clean, (and that is harder than it sounds with a 7-year-old boy), I really prefer to let them express themselves through their own style choices, provided my daughter doesn’t attempt to wear cutoffs that resemble bikini bottoms or shirts that say things like “I know what boys like.” Right now she is obsessed with wearing oversize bows in her hair and I am cool with that, but fully aware that she could be over it all by next week.
How do we keep our kids feeling free to express themselves instead of worrying about what others’ think of them? I feel like we start out that way, young, open minded, full of creativity. And then something shifts. We start to compare ourselves to others by wishing we could be taller, shorter, blonder, curlier. We start to shrink in our own minds, pushing our own thoughts and opinions into the far back of our childhood. We look to others for what we hope is inspiration but can turn to jealousy and feelings of low self esteem. I don’t know why that happens but I know I will try hard to stop it with my daughter. But the fact is that is easier said than done. I only started to feel comfortable in looking different than everyone else in my 30s. I wish I could figure out what shifted back but I really don’t know. Maybe the security of those around me? Knowing that I was surrounded by a family who loved me even when I have no makeup and sleep in t-shirts that have holes in them? I think it is more than that. I think the shift is in my own attitude.
When I was younger and insecure it was because I was busy worrying I was being judged. And the ugly truth is that I was busy judging others. That is so awful to say but sadly I know it is true. I think it took getting older and going through more life experiences for me to gain some perspective. Years ago I would have looked down on the disheveled looking woman wearing her pajamas into Target. Well guess what, there have been times that I have been that woman. Your whole family is sick, you are stressed out and sleepless and you have five minutes to run to Target to grab some more tissues.
I watch the shows on Disney and Nick with my kids. Nothing has changed. There is still the popular and cool kids and the dorky nerd kids. I don’t want my kids to be the mean kids and I don’t want them to be picked on either. I’d love for this to go away but if we look around there are the same cliques among us now as grown ups. And trust me all groups can be mean. I have heard people judge other women for being too made up or overdressed. The same woman who judges another woman for wearing clothes from consignment stores is also being judged by others for spending too much money on designer clothes. The truth is that our appearance IS important, but not because of what it shows to others. It is important because of how it makes US feel on the INSIDE. The woman who came overly dressed up for the casual kids’ soccer game? Maybe her mother is sick in the hospital and putting on some makeup and a nice outfit made her feel better. When we start to dress for ourselves and wear what we want we are able to more accurately match our outside to our insides. Don’t be afraid. If someone’s not going to like you the right outfit won’t change that. The best way to stop judging others is to stop judging yourself.
Cleaning out my clients’ closets is so much more than just organization. It’s a clean out of their past in order to better organize their future. When you let go of the sizes that are too small you let go of that part of you that says you are not good enough the way you are. When you let go of that thought you can let in the appreciation for who you are RIGHT NOW. This is a big part of the reason that people hire me to help them instead of trying to tackling it themselves. I promise you that I will be there to hold your hand every step of the way and in the immortal words of Elsa from Frozen “Let it go.” By the way if you listen to the lyrics for this song they are really good, and it’s a good sign that it is loved by so many young girls.
*Insider Tip – Defend your friend.
The next time you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself try to stop. Ask yourself if you would let someone talk to your sister or your best friend that way? If you would defend them then you should start defending yourself. Stop the negative. Be nice to yourself.
Thanks for reading! I am going to take some time to try to not go crazy while my kids cry that they are bored. If you see me feeding my kids froyo for dinner and looking zoned out while wearing sweatpants please know that I am doing the best I can. 🙂