For me it was shaving my legs.
I can’t remember how old I was, but I do remember pulling on my overall shorts (hello ’70s), looking down and thinking.
Ever impatient, I decided it was quite literally “time,” grabbed scissors (?) and attempted to trim off my leg hair.
When this didn’t provide the results I sought, I found my mom, I informed her it was time and she helped me shave them.
We did it together.
(time saver: I now do only the art-free leg)
Shaving has been a conversation among mom-friends for years.
How should we respond when they ask? How can we dissuade them from starting young?
This conversation I was prepared for.
A few weeks ago, the Child approached me as I dressed and she announced she was ready for a bra.
I was taken aback and assumed she wanted to be (as she still phrases it) just like Big Mama.
(Big Mama in pre-Mama days)
You mean you want to play with one of my bras? I asked.
She shook her head vigorously. No, I feel like I need a bra when I have my shirts on.
I paused, shook my own head to clear it of the image I’d been clinging to of her around age four, and saw she had a point.
Lets grab one of those camisole-things you have and see how that looks, I suggested.
Again she shook her head.
I feel like I need a kind of a bra.
In that moment I knew, whether I thought she needed it or not, it was time.
I do a lot of work around girls and body confidence.
I’d promised myself I’d do whatever it took to help her remain steadfast in her self-esteem.
If this commitment meant purchasing a bra before *I* was ready—so be it.
We arrived at Target and she steered me toward the sports bra section.
This kind of thing, she clarified.
We examined. We browsed. We giggled more than a little. And, as we did, we bumped into another mother/daughter duo from school.
It quickly became apparent the girl wanted to buy a bra and her mother had told her no.
It also quickly became apparent the Child and I were on a bra-buying excursion.
(we looked like this…only BRA’ier)
We said hello. We continued to browse. After a few moments the mother pulled me aside and whispered:
You know, you really owe it to other mothers not to buy her a bra yet.
Owe it to other mothers.
This phrase made my brow furrow and yet, in some arenas, I agreeded with her.
I do think I owe it to other mothers not to let my child wear make-up to school when she’s inappropriately young.
I do owe it to other mothers to not invite their kids over and serve them alcohol when they’re underage.
I own nothing to other mothers when it comes to ensuring my child feels comfortable in her own skin.
Actually I don’t owe other mothers anything. This one is between me & my girl.
I did offer the other mother a way to explain to her daughter *why* I was willing to purchase mine a bra, but for the most part I left it at the above.
(the good ole ShePutMyBraOnTheDoodle days)
I believe in the village.
Sometimes this villager needs to say: screw the rest of the village.
We, as moms, must do what fits with our parenting style or mama-mission statement.
We, as moms, must buck adult peer pressure and always do what is a fit for our family.
I don’t think we owe other mothers a thing.
worn only once. and that’s OK, too.
If you have a child…if you know a child…what do you think?
- What do we “owe” other parents when making choices about how to parent our children?
Carla note: We’ve talked about whether or not we should blog about our children. I asked the Child if I might share this story before I wrote it, read to her after writing, and she OK’d this post.