Why I Dress My Best….And Expect The Same From My Kids

You may remember this post where I talked about wearing clothes that were still casual (think cotton) but were just a little nicer than shorts. I was surprised that others took notice. At work, I tend to wear dresses. To me, they’re actually more comfortable than pants are (I’m hippy), but they truly do take things up a notch.

The past several times that I’ve gone to WalMart, I’ve done so right after work. I’m there in my mid-high heels and my dress. Nothing super special. For about five times in a row now I’ve been complimented by strangers on looking nice. Usually by the end of the day, my makeup is a blur, and my hair isn’t the way I had it in the morning. They’re not necessarily inferring “pretty.” They were simply saying the appreciated that I wasn’t there with wet hair and shorts with “juicy” written across.

Our culture has become increasingly casual – to the point where someone in a simple cotton dress is noticed. Can I tell you my secret? I have about seven dresses. That’s all I wear to work. It keeps my closet cleaner. I prefer a minimalistic approach to living. I have two pair of earrings that I wear regularly. I also have a necklace that goes with about four of my dresses. I’m no Kate Middleton. I just do what works for me, but I truly do not think stepping up how we dress is any extra effort at all. As I explained in the first post where I talked about attire, putting on a skirt is really no extra effort than shorts. I’m not turning cartwheels, so I’m not worried about anything in that arena. My top is still a cotton top. It’s still very simple.

I do feel, though, right or wrong, we make an impression on others by how we look. I try to dress my best and for what’s appropriate, and I expect the same for my family. I want my kids to understand that taking a little time on our appearance isn’t vain. It is actually showing respect for ourselves and respect for others.

Thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Why I Blog on More Than Etiquette

I’ve head some recent emails actually thanking me for blogging on topics other than etiquette. They said they had liked my blog but were hesitant to visit at first because they were afraid it wouldn’t apply to their life.

I get it. I truly do. I was hesitant to even start a blog, but I’m so thankful I did. I had “started” blogs on and off for years. I never had much follow through. Just ideas. I didn’t know how to make etiquette applicable to a large group of people. I still don’t feel like I’m there, but I try each day to remember that etiquette IS about more than forks and knives. It’s about kindness. It’s about respect for others. It’s also about respect for oneself, which is why I’m working on a mini series on dressing well. 🙂 We are allowed to respect ourselves.

Because, to me, tradition and etiquette go together, I love writing about traditions in my blog. Etiquette is so regional that traditions play a big part in why etiquette in one area may not be the etiquette for another.

I am very grateful to you, the readers, for being so willing to read on more than just etiquette. There are plenty of etiquette blogs out there that tell you what to do. Many, though, fail on the why. So if you weren’t raised with etiquette or with a certain protocol, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain – neither of which feeling makes you feel comfortable actually using the etiquette the sites describe. This is the area I try to differ on. I want people to know why white after Labor Day is considered a fashion faux pas. I want people to understand how they portray themselves to others will make or break them in the business world. This is important to me. Thank you for letting me be different from the rest.

Teaching Kindness In An Entitled World

I’ve thought long and hard about how/when I wanted to write this post. I was hesitant because some people erroneously think of etiquette as stuffy and for the elite, despite my constant protests. Etiquette is about respect. It’s about respect for oneself and respect for others.

As a momma, I’ve struggled so much with how to teach this to my kids when the world teaches them differently. Yes, I know that at the end of the day, I’m largely responsible for what they learn. I know that Garrett and I are setting the example for the man and woman they will ultimately become. I also know that every day, outside influences are encroaching on my babies in a negative way.

What do I do about it?

  • First and foremost, I pray. I could spend hours on this one point, but I won’t. Suffice it to say I pray for them, and I pray for their future spouses. I pray for their teachers and for their friends.
  • I also have reasonable expectations. My kiddos recently attended Vacation Bible School at our church. They were getting food in line one evening, and one of the ladies serving said they were the first kids to say thank you to them. ***I am not saying this to toot my momma horn because I know good and well there are many things I fail at daily.*** My kids are no different than any of the others kids there. As I worked with the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade girls, I started understanding so much more that many of their parents don’t have expectations for them. They aren’t expected to say thank you. They aren’t expected to clean up after themselves. When we don’t have expectations, we are truly setting up our kids for failure.

I recently read a blog post about disappointment stemming from the difference between expectations and reality. The post continued to say that not having expectations is not the answer, and I was so glad to see that explained in the post. We should have expectations. Reasonable ones. I don’t have expectations for my three and five year olds to make dinner for the family. I do expect them to use their napkin and to help set the table, as well as say thank you.

  • I reinforce that not knowing all parts of etiquette is acceptable. Not being kind is not acceptable. “We cannot control other people, but we can control our reactions to them.” We’ve all heard this cliche over and over, but it still holds truth. I want my kids to know that controlling their anger is expected. This does not mean they have to become a doormat. It means I will expect them to never be the bully. I expect them to have grace for others.

It’s never easy to teach kindness when the world seems to become more entitled every day. It’s not easy when kids see others getting something without working for it. It is, however, immensely worth it when you know you’re doing what you can to raise humans who will positively contribute to society instead of always demanding from it.

Good night. This momma is tired. 🙂 Thank you for reading!