Wednesday, August 3, 2016

To the Mom of the Boy Wearing Mismatched Pajamas at the Library

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 when your boy walked in.

All he did was skip in, pick up up a rubber stegosaurus, and start to play. He probably wouldn't have attracted my attention at all, except for the outfit he was rocking.

I noticed his shirt first, probably because it was the top half of a pair of Halloween pajamas: bright orange and covered with pictures of plastic vampire teeth.

Not only did the Halloween top not match the bottom he was wearing (blue pajama pants festooned with rockets,) it is also August.

And the top was backwards.

It's possible that you noticed me and a few of the other library moms staring, and I want you to know something important: 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 catalog.

Thank you for letting the world see your actual life, instead of just your Instagram feed.

You mean I'm not the only one who doesn't have it all together?

Who's arrived at the kids' dentist's office out of breath and barely on time, only to find out the appointment is actually tomorrow?

Who's forgotten the diaper bag and improvised by scooping out a poopy diaper and lining it with paper towels from the restroom at the science museum?

Who's had no choice but to put on a smile and mingle at a family-friendly business function after a child's diaper leaked all over my lap? (Actually, that one may be just me.)

Either way, thank you for the reminder to choose our battles.

Some days, we just need to get out of the house, even if it means raised eyebrows because your kid wants to wear off-season pajamas and put them on all by himself or die trying.

Today, my children happen to be clean, dressed, and reasonably put together, but don't jump to conclusions. I was you yesterday, and I probably will be you tomorrow.

If I stared at your son this morning, it was only because he made me feel normal.

And the next time my children and I go out looking (or acting) like hot messes, I'll try to remember your little boy and consider it a public service.

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:

Michelle said...

Love this so much!

Catherine said...

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 ;-)

Anonymous said...

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...

AnneMarie said...

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! :)

Crystal Foose said...

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.

Alicia said...

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.

Chaun said...

This first bump should definitely be a thing

Chaun said...

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

Anna said...

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.

Jennifer Humphries said...

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 :)

AiringMyLaundry said...

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."

PurpleSlob InRecovery said...

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!!

Budget Splurge Beauty said...

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

Jenny Evans said...

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!

Jenny Evans said...

Please do that! It IS a public service.

Jenny Evans said...

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!

Jenny Evans said...

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

Jenny Evans said...

And then there's that...

Jenny Evans said...

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.

Jenny Evans said...

Who's to know the difference, really?

Sharing Life's Moments said...

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.

Becky said...

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

kristin mccarthy said...

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.

Sarah Frazer said...

Love this so much! AMEN!