Years ago, I tried really hard to be a good mom. My children wore freshly ironed dresses to church each Sunday, along with their pristine white tights and shiny black shoes. I was never going to take sloppy, ill kempt children out in public. They could get dirty playing in the backyard, but in the real world, we would be presentable. My house HAD to be spotless if guests were over too. That was 5 children ago and my attitude has changed. The house should be picked up periodically throughout the day, but I don't stress if my dining room floor isn't washed each day and the dust bunnies are accumulating under our beds. Don't get me wrong, my house isn't a disgrace, but we have a lot of people doing a lot of activities all day long and everything isn't put away as quickly as it should.
The girls don't all wear dresses to church any longer either. The girls who like to wear dresses, wear them to church each week. The other females wear dress slacks, dress shoes, and nice shirts or sweaters. The boys wear dress slacks and dress shirts or sweaters. They are NOT allowed to wear jeans to church. Btw, I'm not judging what other families wear to church. It doesn't bother me if people come in jeans, I'm just glad that they are worshiping. I'd just like my children to dress in a way that reflects that church is a special place, where we wear clothing that is "special".
Wednesday, Joe and I had choir practice immediately before the Advent service. I left choir practice 15 minutes early, so that I could run home and pick up the other children to attend then service. Katie was asked to get the kids dressed in "matching, clean, clothing" and to have them ready when I pulled in the driveway.
I pulled into the drive and honked the horn. No one came out of the house. After grabbing the keys from the ignition, I ran into the house and saw the children. Joe and Steve were wearing jeans and blue sweaters. Katie was wearing jeans and a black hoodie. Paige had on a too short purple knit skirt, black leggings that reached just below her knee, a lavender sweatshirt, brown socks, and pink glitter tennis shoes. Allie was standing in the middle of the family room complaining that she couldn't find her shoes. She was wearing kelly green knit slacks that have pictures of nursery rhyme characters on them (I keep throwing these slacks out, but they are mysteriously returned to their room each time), a pink leopard print tank top, and one grey sock.
We had 5 minutes to get to the church before the service began, so I shouted for everyone else to get in the van while I found shoes for Allie. We raced up the stairs and I located two dirty white socks (unclean white socks were better than only one sock) and a long black sweater. The black sweater hid the tank top and calmed down the loud slacks. Her hair was ratty and needed to be washed.
We ended up missing the first stanza of the first hymn, but did get to attend church that evening. Unfortunately, my reputation as the organized mom with all those well-dressed children is in tatters. Everyone in attendance now knows that some of my children wear ill-fitting, unmatched clothing. I don't even care. Some day I may even let them see the back seats of my van with the mounds of discarded papers, socks, and crushed fast food cups.