Wednesday, August 3, 2016

To the Mom of the Boy Wearing Mismatched Pajamas at the Library, I'm Not Judging You

When I took my kids to the play area in the children's room of the library today, I saw you.

Actually, I noticed your son first.

I was pretending to eat a hamburger my preschooler served me from the play kitchen and watching my toddler grill plastic scoops of ice cream in the barbecue when your boy walked in.

He picked up a rubber stegosaurus and started to play, wearing a bright orange pajama top and a pair of blue pajama pants festooned with rockets.

Did I mention that the orange top was from a pair of Halloween pajamas, covered in pictures of the fake vampire teeth kids wear?

Or that both the pants and the top were long-sleeved, and it's currently 80-degree weather in August?

Or that the top was backwards?

Possibly you noticed me and a few of the other moms in the library staring, and I want you to know that we weren't judging you.

We were thanking you.

Thank you for not being afraid to go out in public when your child didn't look like he was doing a photo shoot for a Children's Place catalogue.

Thank you for letting us know we're not the only ones who don't always have it all together. 

We're not the only ones who've arrived at their kids' dentist's office, out of breath and barely on time, only to find out the appointment is actually tomorrow.

Or gone on a day trip without double-checking the diaper bag, and had to improvise by scooping out a poopy diaper and lining it with paper towels from the restroom at the science museum.

Or taken our preschoolers to a sibling's parent-teacher conference wearing a T-shirt and shorts, snow boots, about 100 Mardi Gras necklaces, and a handkerchief tied across one shoulder like a sash.

Or mingled at a family-friendly business function after a child's diaper leaked all over our laps.

Thank you for reminding us that we all need to choose our battles, and that some days you just need to get out of the house even if it means getting some raised eyebrows because your kid only wants to wear off-season pajamas that are mismatched and backwards.

Thank you, because that was us yesterday, and it probably will be us tomorrow.

If I stared at your son this morning, it was only because he made me feel normal. He reminded me that being a mom is hard, and we're all doing a pretty good job at it, anyway.

To the Mom of the Boy Wearing Mismatched Pajamas at the Library, I'm Not Judging You -- Sometimes, we don't have it all together. It's okay, Mama.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

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24 comments:

  1. YES.
    I had a friend (with kids) over today, and I didn't even brush my hair (let alone the floor under the table, which is covered in at least three days' worth of crumbs). I think I'm going to consider it a public service ;-)

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    1. Please do that! It IS a public service.

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  2. Hi Jenny. I read your blog everyday...have for about a year but never commented before. I have two grown boys (ok...men) ages 24 and 21 so these "dress yourself" years are well and truly behind me (I mean they DO dress themselves now, of course, but manage to do so in an appropriate manner). But I well remember when my first son was an infant and I saw a little boy dressed in bathing trunks, cowboy boots, and a pj top at a grocery store...and, naturally, sort of sniffed and told myself "NEVER" will that be my child. Until about 3 years later when I was grocery shopping with my 3 year old who was adorned in bathing trunks, cowboy boots, and a pj top. I though he was adorable...

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    1. It happens whether you think it will or not... thanks for commenting and I'm so glad you came out of the woodwork to say hello!

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  3. This is awesome. Like you said, sometimes you just need to get out of the house even if you don't have everything all together. A couple weeks into life with Peter, we needed to do grocery shopping. He was asleep, so I jumped at the chance to go on a trip baby-free. And in my hurry and flurry to exit the house while he was still sleeping peacefully, I didn't think about the fact that my clothes were covered in spit-up and my hair looked like a disaster. But we do what we have to! :)

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    1. I don't think I've gone anywhere without someone's snot/spit up smeared all over my shoulder since 2004...

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  4. This is great! My older kids are getting to where they are embarrassed by how I let the younger siblings go out in public. It's fun.

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  5. I wish there was some sort of password or secret sign to let other mom's know that we understand and aren't judging when we see them.

    Maybe like the ASL sign for M as a fist bump? That way you just do your secret mom sign in the store when you walk by a mom with a toddler having a tantrum. Solidarity.

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    1. This first bump should definitely be a thing

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    2. Can I just say this is the best idea? I would love to just fist bump a mama walking by who is doing an awesome job weathering all the ups and downs of motherhood and still standing.

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  6. I really loved the kindness in this post. Thanks for pumping the Internet with great stuff!

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  7. I love this. My kid shows up to daycare regularly wearing the shirt he slept in. I don't tell them and half the time he's still got it on when I pick him up. He might stink, but we didn't have a war over getting dressed. I love this.

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    1. Who's to know the difference, really?

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  8. I love this! Smart mom. She picked her battles and lived to survive another day! Kudos to pajama boy mom and all the other moms who roll just with it every day :)

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  9. This is an awesome post! I let my kids wear odd things too...some days are not worth the trouble. So I always smile when I see other kids in different attire. I want to tell the mother "Hey..I've been there too."

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  10. Alicia has the right idea on the "M" fist bump!! Let's do it!!
    Now that I have grands, the "battles" are almost all lost before they start! I'm just too tired to be a 12 hr a day nanny!! If they don't stink, be happy people!!
    thanks, Jenny!! All moms and moms again everywhere thank you!!

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  11. Umm its August. What do you mean off season? it's BASICALLY Halloween! ;)

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    1. I think we'll be seeing Halloween stuff in the stores very soon; I remember getting surprised by a plastic skeleton yelling "Boo" last year while I was shopping for my kids' school supplies!

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  12. I absolutely LOVE this post! I've made so many of these minor mistakes and felt so much shame for it. it was rough being a single mother barely getting any sleep, and it was easy to forget to grab the diaper bag because I was in a hurry to make an appointment on time. I felt like I was judged big time due to that.

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  13. This is wonderful! Thank you also for sharing this, because it helps us moms feel more normal. It's about picking those battles.

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  14. TRUTH! Every word. I have four girls under nine- often rocking princess gowns and all sorts of other non traditional attire. My oldest wore a hooded towel on her head for a whole year when she was hot and heavy into a Rapunzel stage. She called it her hair. We got some very interesting looks at the Supermarket.

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