The other day Tiny One, Tiny Two and I were strolling through Target trying to find some bright colors for their wardrobe. (Side note: Tiny One and Tiny Two are what I lovingly nicknamed my children for all things Internet-land.)
We were checking out these really cute dresses my daughter found in the newborn section, and of course they were frilly and adorable to the max.
Trying to tell her they did not come in her size was like telling an adult they could not have their morning cup of coffee—she was not comprehending what I was saying.
She was just wrapping her head around the concept that we would have to put them back and walk away when another pregnant woman and her mother came up to us.
They were out shopping to get the woman’s mind off of the fact she was exactly 40 weeks pregnant.
I really do have to just take a moment to hop up on my soapbox for two seconds to say that I hate the term “overdue.” I will not use it. You are not overdue—you are pregnant. You are not a ticking time bomb—you are letting your baby develop.
The average pregnancy for a first time mom is roughly 40 weeks 5 days. I say roughly because every woman’s monthly cycle is different. So the 40 week “due date” is nothing but an odd guesstimation.
So I applaud this woman for getting out of the house and doing something fun on her guess date instead of sitting and watching the clock. Walk that baby out! I am impressed.
End rant. Back to the story.
I must be doing something right
So, this woman—who was over the moon about the extra, over the top girly dresses as well—told my four year old daughter how beautiful she is with her curly blond hair and little pink bow.
To which my daughter replied, “Thank you. I think my hair is pretty too; but do you know what makes me beautiful? My heart.”
Guys, I died.
Right there in the kids’ section of Target my years of praising actions over results, and character over looks had taken root in this little girl and I was seeing it first hand.
I cried. I was also 26 weeks pregnant at the time and everything was making me cry but that was an extra special moment for me.
It was definitely one of those moments that validates everything I had been doing as a mom. I may be exhausted, aching, and a little fried but by gum I was making a difference in my children’s lives!
The woman and her mom let out a little chuckle. She turned to me and said, “Well I’ll have to remember that treasure when my little one appears. What an amazing idea.”
Actions over results
In our house we make a conscious effort to always acknowledge the act of doing something rather than if you were successful or not.
For example, we love to tell our children that we love how tenacious they are rather than clapping when they finally build the alligator exactly like the picture. It may have taken them an hour to do it and the alligator may have an extra leg and no tail, but darn if they didn’t try their hardest and they didn’t give up.
I am sure proud of their effort and I will celebrate that.
I mean, my daughter this past fall only just started running around the soccer field kicking the ball. Homegirl can do it but up until this point she was way more interested in the passing butterflies than she was about competing for ball time.
For this very competitive mother of hers it was painful to sit and watch.
But she would do what she could and I am so proud of her for doing her absolute best even when it’s just staying on the field. At three years old I am not too concerned with her performing like Mia Hamm.
Because clothes don’t make a person
It is also important to note that my daughter is the kind of girl who adores wearing dresses and matching bows. I have to use every method in my Mommy Toolkit to get that girl into a pair of sweats on the weekend. She is always ready for the occasion. Even if the occasion is helping to clean the house.
She also believes that dresses are for anything—even rolling around in the mud. She just plain loves dresses.
Does she look beyond adorable? Absolutely! But I will always tell her that she looks pretty when she twirls around and asks me, “How do I look, Mama?”
When she comforts her brother by getting him an ice pack after he’s bonked his head? That is when I tell her she’s beautiful.
Clothes do not make a person. Their actions do.
It is my job to raise my children to be good people. It is my job to make sure they do not leave my house self-serving and oblivious to the rest of the world.
It does not matter what you look like. What matters is if you are kind. It matters if you raise people up. It matters if you view others as important.
What matters is your heart.
I am all for the daily dresses. She feels most like herself when she can twirl around and curtsey like a princess. So go for it kid. No one said you can’t look good while you help your mom dust the furniture or roll down a grassy hill.
You do you
If dressing up to take on the world helps you find your groove to be a heart-led person—Wear. It.
If wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt are more your style—Wear. It.
Be you. Look like you. Whatever that version may be. Your heart doesn’t wear clothes. It wears emotion and that is what counts in this world. And that is what I will continue to teach my kids.