Today, Cambri wanted to go to the store in her princess dress. Any other time I would’ve probably said no.
It has always been important to me that my kids look put together. That doesn’t always mean they’re dressed to the nines, but they at least match, have on shoes, and are wearing a bow that coordinates with their outfits. Nine times out of ten, I care more about what they look like going out than myself. Part of it is because kids are just fun to dress, especially little girls, of which I have two.
The other part, and probably the more important part in my head, is I feel like people are judging me as a parent based off how put together my child looks.
Isn’t that crazy?! I can honestly say that I have never looked at a child in mismatched clothes and thought, “Wow their mom must not care about them.” NEVER! So why do I care what someone else thinks of me based on how my child appears?
Now, when I see kids mismatched in a department store, I think how cool their mom must be that she can let go of some of her own control, give their child the power, and let them dress themselves. Just think of the confidence booster that gives that child! I would say it’s inspiring.
I’ve never been one to be able to give up control. I like things being a certain way and I like to appear as though I have it all together (even though most days that couldn’t be farther from the truth). So today, when Cambri begged to go to the store in her princess dress, my insides were like, “But I already have an adorable outfit picked out!,” and “What will everyone think when you walk into the store in a poofy, fluffy, purple, and pink Rapunzel dress?”
But I challenged myself.
I took a minute and thought about it. In her princess dress she feels like the most beautiful girl in the world, she feels ten feet tall, and powerful! Isn’t that what I’m always trying to teach her anyway? That you’re beautiful no matter what. You’re strong and smart, funny and kind, everything Rapunzel is. So why wouldn’t I want her to have the feeling of being unstoppable?
So I said yes.
She was so excited to walk into the store in that gown. It wasn’t the easiest thing for me. Admittedly, I was still nervous what people were thinking as their eyes were drawn to us. But seeing the smile on her face as kind people “oooed and ahhhed” over a princess in the store made it 100% worth it. Her face lit up when people asked her who she was and told her how beautiful she was. I don’t know about you, but if I walked into TJ Maxx and tons of people told me I looked beautiful, I would probably be on cloud nine, and I’m twenty-something. Just imagine how she felt as three year old.
Everyone else has probably forgotten about the princess in the store by now, but I guarantee you, Cambri (and her mama) won’t ever forget that feeling. Now, I’m not going to say I’m never going to pick out her outfits again, and she can go as a princess everywhere she wants, but every once in a while, I may do just that.
So, if you’re like me and struggle to give up control, I challenge you to try it. Try it on something you know won’t be earth shattering. Try it on something you know will make your kiddo smile. Just try.
Also, can I just say a huge thank you to everyone that made her feel like a REAL princess. Today, you were my heroes. If you’re reading this and you don’t have a princess dress (or superhero outfit) wearing child, but you see one out and about, ask them for their autograph, talk to them, smile and wave. You’re a part of making that child feel like a million bucks. And where you may forget about it on your way home, that kiddo will remember it forever.
All my love,