The ONE Thing I Let Go of For Easier Mornings

The start of school can bring some stressful mornings. The rush to get out of the house in time is a constant battle for many families. I realized last year that letting go of control over one particular area really helped things run smoother in our household.

A lot of moms secretly (or blatantly) have a little extra rush of excitement when they find out they are having or just had a girl. The thought of dressing up your own personal baby doll in all those pink frilly dresses and adorable matching sets flood your brain. After all, little girl clothes are just soooo cute – and plentiful! For the first 2 years or so, you have total control of their wardrobe and how they are presented to the world.

And then, they develop an opinion of their own.

Of course, this comes from their developing personalities which is a wonderful thing and what makes parenting so great after all, but it also brings with it some battles for sure.  When they are younger they are still pretty heavily influenced by your opinion and it is relatively easy to steer them in the direction you want them to go. As they get older, and more opinionated, it gets harder.

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We have an early start elementary school so our alarms go off at an hour no kindergartner should have to experience and through her first year we would get into arguments over what she would wear to school at least once a week. Compound that with extremely limited time before having to run out to the bus and you get lots of added stress in our household.

We tried choosing clothes the night before but she would always change her mind in the morning and once she has it in her head, there is very little I can do to rationalize with her, especially in our stressful time constraints.  She put together some truly crazy outfits (in my opinion). She loves a frilly tutu, refuses to wear anything that fits ‘loose’ on her and has no regard for pattern mixing. She will wear jeggings and knee high boots in July and sleeveless princess dresses in January.

Catching fireflies requires leg warmers, fancy gloves, and a big bow.
Catching fireflies requires leg warmers, fancy gloves, and a big bow.

I finally realized one day that it really is just my opinion that some of the things she chooses don’t look good. I realized that for her, how she dressed was already a big part of her self-expression. Who am I to judge her? She is a very creative girl and that is highly reflected in her fashion choices; this was something I should be celebrating instead of stifling.

So I let go of control over her clothes. I let her decide what she wants to wear. What she wants her friends to see her in. What she feels comfortable in to spend the day learning. And it has made a huge difference in our mornings. Of course, I am still her mother and it is part of my job to teach her skills like putting together a respectable outfit, but now a gentle suggestion that maybe a solid shirt would go better with those zebra leggings and polka dot skirt instead of a floral print has replaced the yelling and insisting she change before she leaves the house. Sometimes I even see her consider my advice then she disappears into her room to (quickly) change.

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Now the only time I force her to adjust her clothing is if it is ridiculously inappropriate for the weather.  While I still secretly shake my head at many of her choices, the bottom line is the way she dresses to express herself gives her confidence and that is much more important than me forcing my conservative style on her. Plus the comments we get from older women when we are out are always good for brightening my day – clearly they get it, there is no taming my wild child.  Besides, I now have a younger son who doesn’t give me much push back on clothing choices (yet) and boy clothes are waaaay cuter than I realized.


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