Just Let Them Be Kids

Just let them be kids…

That’s what my dear husband told me the other day…after I had a bit of an outrage…

I was standing in the kitchen window looking out at the children playing outside since it was a nice spring day. Lea runs by and I notice her shorts are covered in mud…shorts that we just bought new 3 days ago. I’ve been reading blogs and articles about minimizing kids clothes, doing this whole trendy “capsule” wardrobe thingy. We took off school this week so that we could focus on organizing, and getting our brains together (note to self: never make such lofty goals). I successfully purged all of the kids clothing…saving their favorites and ones that are not ripped and stained. We went shopping to fill in the gaps where they needed a couple of extra items. I was feeling good. Ahh so much control.

Back to mud scene. Oh I forgot to mention that we created a intentionally very specific “MUD CLOTHES” pile and put them in a specific spot they could access when playing. Today was also Alex’s birthday…so the girls decided they wanted to dress up for Daddy’s birthday. Deck out in their brand new clothes. Fine. Dandy. Hey, I’m so nice you can even play outside in them! Just don’t.get.in.the.mud.

Mmmmhmmm. My face when Lea runs past the window covered in mud. “Oh no she didn’t. Mmmm, girrrrrllll. Hallelujah.” Elly next, white leggings turned poop brown, giggling and running around. Cai with a saggy diaper from sitting in puddles. Mercy. Then began my tirade of “why’s”.

I don’t even understand my own emotion. I was so mad. Okay I was hot. Thank goodness there was dishes to take my anger out on (yes, I am an angry cleaner…) Why the devil couldn’t they have just put on their mud clothes. LIKE WE TALKED ABOUT. Yo.


Sigh. Okay, so I’m like WHY does this make me so mad. Why does it matter so much. Probably because I see these pictures of these kids all dressed up in their cute little curated capsule wardrobe and I feel slighted. I just want to be able to take the kids places and not have them all looking like hoodlums. Brown butt hoodlums. Not that I look entirely much better with crusty boogies on my shirt, pants that are way too big, Ms Frizzle hair and some hot pink lipstick. Man, I gotta stop looking at those blogs.

Meanwhile, my husband is sitting at the table playing some computer game listening to this conversation I am having out-loud with myself. Finally, I sit down. I start my why tirades all over again, this time expecting him to answer. And he does. I have a list of 1, 000 reasons why rolling around in the mud in your-brand-new-clothes-that-mommy-just-bought-with-her-hard-earned-money is not a fantastic idea. Not to mention I single handedly braved the clothing store with all 4 children to buy said clothing. So I think it’s fair I have a say. He says:

Just let them be kids.

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

Someday they will grow up and have nice clothes. Someday they will grow up and think that rolling in the mud is gross. But for now, this is their joy. They are not thinking about how mad mom will be. Let them play. Just let them be kids. Let this be their memory. 

And so, I let go. I grabbed the camera and decided that, well, at least it will make a decent blog post. A real life story of a superbly control freak mama, who let her kids roll in the mud in their brand new clothes. Hallelujah. There’s still a part of me that doesn’t particularly like this situation. I’m gonna have to keep practicing deep breathing and letting go. In the meantime, we might have another conversation about our mud clothes pile and our nice clothes pile. And I’m buying the Costco sized Oxyclean.

So next time you see my kids, with stained and dingy clothes. Please remind me to let them be kids and that its not about me.

Oh, and remind my husband to install an outdoor shower for me.

Mud On Friends. But really, I prefer flower picking days.


3 Replies to “Just Let Them Be Kids”

  1. This is one of the best blogs I have ever read!! Know just how you feel –I had to finally let your Dad, (Marc) just be himself when he was young–dirt, torn pants and all. Life with the wee ones is short–love it all! (Grandma who has been through a few melt downs herself).

  2. Love this! Great post! Your transparency and realness are so lovely. So blessed to call you friend. ❤ Lets go play in the mud!

  3. I loved this! Thank you for sharing. Erica, although my children are older…..you took the words right out of my mouth. This is SO me!!! It migh not be mud…but believe me….there’s a lot of “mud” moments with our children. HOWEVER, I do have two dogs….they will find a way to find the mud puddles! 🙁 !!!! Grrr…. The moment I hear, they are ONLY kids or ONLY dogs…..I want to arm bar Mark!

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