A Parent’s Job

Sunday, Hubby and I were driving home from the mall with the kids and in the back, The Princess and Stepson were singing the theme to WonderPets and Pumpkin was pulling her socks off in her carseat and kicking and babbling, and Hubby and I kept looking at each other and laughing. “When did this become our life?” I asked him. He said, “I know, we’ve got the minivan, WonderPets, and the baby…”

We started talking about this girl I’d seen while shopping at the mall (Hubby was marooned at the playland with the kids). She had to have been maybe eight years old, wearing an extremely cropped t-shirt with a short denim jacket (which wasn’t zipped or buttoned closed). Her skirt was short and she wore it with tights and some sort of shoes with a heel. She wasn’t even ten years old and dressing like a hooker already! I said to Hubby (paraphrasing a quote that I’ve seen a bit of recently), “It’s a parent’s job to keep your daughter off the pole!” Here is this girl wearing an outfit that would NOT have passed muster with me on so many levels – and on all of the cases, her parents (who she was apparently WITH at the mall) let them slide. Okay, if you’re NOT opposed to your daughter dressing beyond her years, why aren’t you opposed to her dressing in styles that don’t fit (skirt too tight, too short – top too short, etc)? If you’re not opposed to her dressing in ill-fitting clothes, why wouldn’t you be opposed to her dressing like it’s 70 degrees out, when it’s maybe 40 degrees? On so many levels, these parents had an opportunity… no, a responsibility… to tell this girl, “That outfit is NOT something you are leaving the house in,” and they chose not to.

I guess I can be a judgemental mommy when I want to as well.

Hubby told me, “Our girls are going to have it rough, because I already know that none of that kind of stuff is going to fly with me.”

We talked about music – how are we going to feel when/if The Princess starts listening to some hardcore music with profanity? Hubby and I were unsure – a) because we remember doing that as kids (As he reminded me, “Do you remember ‘2 Live Crew’?”), and b) because we still do listen to music with profanity on occasion. Hubby said, “I know it will bother me.” I felt that it would depend on the context of the language – I won’t like music that is degrading to women or violent. It’s amazing to think how different it can be when it’s our own kids…

They are only 3 (The Princess will be 4 in exactly two months!) and 8 months, and already, to think of the effects our day to day actions have on the people they are becoming and will become. Scary and promising all at the same time. There is a huge opportunity to do great things when you are raising a child – but terrifyingly enough, there’s also that fear of making mistakes.

I don’t look forward to dating and clothing wars, but I’m hoping that all the years I have leading in to that, Hubby and I can do our best to instill our values and help our girls develop character that will make their teen years easier for all of us. And of course, keep these girls off the pole.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Hubby and you have a better than average chance of guiding your girls in the right direction for two reasons:

    1. You already are talking about it
    2. You are going into it TOGETHER

  2. Farm Wife says

    Makes you wonder who bought that poor thing the clothes in the first place. We wonder where it comes from…Have you walked down the toy aisle lately? One word: Bratz! The sexualization of our children…OK, I’m climbing down off my soap box.

    Our life is Wonder Pets, Veggie Tales, and Backyardigans. When did it come to this?

  3. I avoid the toy aisle if at all possible. I have to say, if The Princess sticks to Dora, Backyardigans and WonderPets, I won’t mind it ONE BIT!!!

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