We went shopping…and now I am THAT mom!

*warning: This discusses bra shopping with one of my girls. I wanted to give you a head’s up in case this would embarrass or upset you.

shopping errand list

OpenClips / Pixabay

On a normal Saturday we stay at home, have a lazy morning, and spend a bunch of time together as a family. I do some chores and we catch up on the things from the week. Our weeks have been so busy that we needed to run some errands Saturday instead. Everybody loaded up in the truck and we started our 45 minute trip into the city.

When we run errands in town we try to do a lot of them to minimize trips. We had a stop at Walmart to do a return, a stop at boot store for The Husband, and a stop at the fabric store for buttons and thread. All normal quick stops.

Then the fun began. We went to Target.

Miss Crafty and I headed off to do a little clothes shopping while The Inventor hauled The Husband off to the toy department to spend some long saved birthday money.

I’ve hinted at it before. I’ve lost 45 pounds since last summer and haven’t bought any new clothes. I’m swimming here. I had a deal with The Husband. When he found a new job, I could pick up a few things. I like to shop sales and don’t like paying full price for clothes so I know this is going to be a long adventure.

Last week I got myself 3 new shirts but pants are another issue. I’m the perfect height, too short for regular pants, too tall for petite clothes. Capri pants look like shrunken jeans. It is an adventure. I hate clothes shopping sometimes.

I entered the dreaded pants department. It seems like every pair there is ‘skinny’. Have you looked at my mom thighs recently? Skinny they are not. And the shorts? I’m not going to start in on the butt cleavage creating shorts. We’re women who respect ourselves, we should be dressing as such. It is so hard when all you can buy at the store is too tight, too low, too short and shows way more than the average human should see.

many styles of pants and jeans when shopping

Romi / Pixabay

So I generally have a choice: buy pants that are too big around the waist to get them over my thighs or boot cut pants that are too long and 5 miles wide at the ankles. If I had hardwood floors, I’d buy the boot cut pants and use them as dusters. After lots of searching, I managed to find one pair of pants and one pair of capris. At least it is a start.

Miss Crafty’s turn.

I’ve heard about moms bra shopping with their daughters before. I’ve read about their struggles to keep their young girls young and not turn them into sex objects. I didn’t have the experience to go with the knowledge until Saturday.

Miss Crafty is developing a sense of modesty. She’s growing and maturing–all normal. She’s going to camp this summer and asked if she could have a bra. Not that she needs one yet, but she would feel more comfortable if she changed in front of others without exposing herself. I didn’t hesitate and happily agreed.

Did I say I’ve dreaded this day?

It was my turn to be shocked, disgusted and appalled.

I wanted to get her something that looked like a bra instead of the sport’s bra model. I picked one up for her to try on that was meant for young girls–no developed cups but it looked like a bra. We walked to the end of the isle to grab a sports bra for comparason and I stopped dead in my tracks.

This ‘bra’ was padded!

We’re talking a bra designed for a flat chested child. It is in the children’s section so it isn’t even like it is designed for a small woman…nope! Upon further investigation, every single bra in the child’s section of that store was padded with the exception of a few sports bras.

Are you kidding me?!?!

I’ve read the outrage and I knew this day was coming but I thought some of it was overblown internet hype. I figured I could find one bra in the store that would be appropriate for my daughter. I wanted to encourage her sense of modesty and instead I’m stuck standing in the middle of the store shocked and sad.

We expect teenagers to be modest. People whine and complain about the clothes they are wearing, how much skin they are showing or what it looks like. But it isn’t because they are rebelling or even because they love the style and have to have it. There is no choice when they go clothes shopping. I have to hunt to find decent pants for myself. I search long and hard to find some that fit me right. I don’t expect teenagers out shopping for fun with their friends to say ‘no’ to everything they try on.

I think there is more to it than this though. I look at the children’s department and honestly it isn’t much different. I have a very hard time finding pants for Miss Crafty that fit her right. Her shirts are too short so when she sits down she has a back gap sometimes. Her shorts are either too tight, too short or fall off her because we went up a size.

Nemo / Pixabay

And then you hit the bra department and they sell padded bras that would fit a 7 year old. It is treated like it is normal. It isn’t like there is one padded bra in a sea of normal ones…they are all that way!

I know there are stores that sell other styles of clothing. They are specialty boutiques or higher end stores. I cannot afford to shop at these places. If I spend more on clothing something else has to sacrifice. That is the reality that families who live month to month face. Dress our children in modest clothing or have money for other necessities.

I know that there are some styles that are more modest, but what about the girl who likes to dress up? I shouldn’t expect Miss Crafty to wear T-Shirts all the time. That doesn’t address the pants issue either. Miss Crafty loves her dresses, skirts and pretty shirts. She likes to be girly….and girly should not mean she has to sacrifice modesty over style.

As for bras, I am impressed and encouraged at what Yellowberry is doing. I love it. One girl saw her sister was having this same struggle and decided to do something about it. She made her own bras. Modest, fun, stylish but without the pads and wires. They were what a girl is supposed to wear. But reality check: $30-43 for one bra for a child who will outgrow it within a year is not in the budget considering I would need to buy more than one.

I’m stuck. Those of us who live month to month are stuck. I’m not asking for a hand out or government assistance. I’m not complaining and saying that ‘they’–whoever they is–should fix my social economic status so I can afford to buy whatever I want.

I’m happy and content with where we live.

I’m not happy with the situation though. We should not be teaching our children that they have to look like developed adults. We should not even be having this conversation. But we do, again, and again, and again.

I’m just another mom who has taken the step into reality. The reality that I want my daughter to be modest and feel good about the clothes she is wearing. I want to encourage her to be the woman she is gravitating toward.

But it is so hard when there are so few options.

I don’t know where I’m going from here. I don’t know what I will do with this. I know there are many before me who have walked this path, been as upset as I am right now, and there are many to follow. The complaints of moms all over the world echo daily. Yet you walk into the store and nothing is different, nothing changes, everything is the same.

And we buy what they are selling because it feels like there is no other affordable option.

I just don’t know.

~Crystal

 

In today’s grass:

Standing in contentment in green grass

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I had an amazing Mother’s Day yesterday. The girls spent all week making me gifts and cards. I love the homemade stuff.
  • The Inventor finally spent some money she has been saving on something that she would want. She is a Tom Boy and sometimes has problems feeling comfortable doing what she wants instead of trying to fit in with other girls. I was thrilled when she bought a nerf style bow and arrow. She has been playing with it constantly.
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