Character tees and dirty feet

Yesterday I came across the feed of a woman on Instagram that made my jaw drop.  It’s probably one of the prettiest feeds I’ve ever seen, and her kids (as many as I have) were dressed in the most beautiful muted-colored linen clothes, complete with Birkenstocks and straw hats.  My immediate reaction was, “I wish my kids dressed like that!” and then it was, “I bet they never eat hot dogs.”

My kids wear sweats and character tees, and they usually walk around with dirty feet because they refuse to wear shoes outside.  I consider it a win when the outfit they’ve chosen for the day slightly matches and they’ve changed their underwear and brushed their teeth.  They destroy clothing faster than I can replace it, making the amount of hand-me-downs dwindle each season.  And they’re awesome for all of it, maybe minus the destroying clothing part.

I guess I could buy only a certain type of fancier, albeit simple clothing for my boys and they would be forced to wear it, but I honestly probably couldn’t afford it anyway.  Give me all the $7 tees from Target, please! Not to mention, it’s just not who my kids are, so what purpose would seeing them walk down the stairs in that clothing I admired so much serve? Zero. They like what they like, and who am I to tell them they’re wrong?  I can’t mold them into who I want them to be, nor do I want to because I love them just the way they are.  Although, I wouldn’t be too upset if Henry happened to lose his favorite pair of Star Wars shorts.  Just saying.

I’m in NO way insinuating that this woman forces her children to wear this type of clothing because I’m 100% certain that everything in her life is just beautiful.  Plain and simple.  This is just an example of how seeing the beauty in other people’s lives can make you question the beauty in your own. And why?  I have plenty of beauty in my life, and while it may be different from someone else’s beauty, isn’t that what makes it even more beautiful (on a personal level, of course)?  Times like this I want to just delete the whole damn app because the never feeling good enough part of it is a completely unhealthy result of scrolling.  At the same time, though, that icky feeling can also be a reality check slap across the face for me to get out of the rabbit hole of scrolling and look around and appreciate what I have.  Every inch of ugly character tee and dirty toe of it.


12 thoughts on “Character tees and dirty feet

  1. I have three boys (and a lone girl due in October). We live way in the country. I pretty much only buy thrift store stuff for them, because that way I don’t get mad when they get a hole in a brand new shirt or wear out their third pair of jeans in a week. Which they do. My sons’ feet in the summer are permanently dirty to the point that even after a bath there are just .. . I don’t know. Dirt stains that just get in their calloused feet and don’t come out until winter. Our pediatrician calls it Summer Feet and seems to consider it a sign of a fun summer. I consider it a good day if they don’t step in sheep poop.

    All this to say, you are not alone. πŸ™‚

  2. Yes to all of this! Although – that’s what your feed is to me, but more inspirational than unattainable. I think it’s the way that you own it! You make the simple, everyday things beautiful.

  3. Such a refreshing post! Your boys are adorable! It’s hard not to feel less than when you see kids beautifully dressed in only all neutral colors or in French vintage pieces or the very trendiest minimalist designs, etc. I’m in awe of it, and so mystified at the same time. So many questions! Like, are the photos staged where the kids appear to only own these clothes but they also have “regular” clothes too? Or do they only own these types of clothes and how does that work? Cost alone, wowza. Do you refuse clothing gifts from family and friends unless they fit this very particular esthetic? In order to curate your life to the letter, I’m just super curious how people handle the gifts of others, or things kids see in the store and ask for, or when they want to dress like their friends.. are the kids on board with the parents’ esthetic up to a certain age and then it gets tricky? My kids preferred to be nude when at home the majority of the time, and lived in pajamas for years too and it would have been hugely inauthentic in our family for them to be dressed in cute outfits with matching bonnets, much as that would have been super sweet too. I really love that everyone does it their own way. I just feel like I’m missing the inside scoop on how others pull off these curated lifestyles. I’m sure it’s second nature, and fits their budget and knowledge of where to obtain good design, etc.. I think I’d become too stressed out trying to dress my kids perfectly so I know it’s not for us.. (but I’ll add I’m totally trying my best to coordinate and find the cute stuff out there too where my resources allow). I think my strength is more interior design than family styling, lol. Thanks for your honesty, Sarah!

  4. What a great post!! I keep reading posts about investing into “quality clothes” (expensive/trendy) for your kids, and while that might work for some families it doesn’t work for my family. Maybe my kids play harder then others, but I can’t imaging sending my girls to school in a $50 dress..within a week the dress would be stained with glue, markers and who knows what else.

  5. Totally agree here. I often think my feed is too thoughtless with random snaps with random filters. Kids in A mixture of hand me downs, hunting clothes, no clothes and pretty clothes. But hey thats me! Scatterbrained! I think its good to let kids choose what they like. Even if it’s shorts in the middle of our winter. We are from new Zealand so we hardly wear shoes!

  6. Oh man, I feel this way a lot on instagram but I’m also a new SAHM and enjoy that online community. Sometimes I feel this way when I see your photos but I know you’ve got your crappy days and please tell me, toddler burn out days, etcetcetc and you even admit to this when it looks like you have it all. Thanks for being open about it. 😊

  7. This really resonated with me. I have a happy life, but certainly get caught up in comparing and then feeling less-than at times. Your words are a great reminder. πŸ™‚

  8. Haha, yeah… I love a beautiful Instagram feed as much as the next gal, but sometimes those photos make me laugh. Cause you know what’s really going on outside the frame… πŸ˜‚ I have four kids too, the oldest three are boys, they destroy everything, won’t keep their clothes or shoes on, and insist on carrying plastic swords with them everywhere they go. Maybe I’ll ask them if they want to trade in their swords for a wooden sheep figurine and see what they say. Bahaha!

  9. Oh I love this post!! I do enjoy looking at those “perfect” Instagram posts for fun, but that is absolutely not the reality I live in and honestly I wouldn’t want it to be. My kids are also in the character shirts and dirty feet club and it’s so, so beautiful.

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