It's true. I don't.
Hubster was raised to impress people. Put you best foot forward with clean, pressed clothes, daily bathing, immaculate hair... I can't say that I was raised too differently, but my Mom stopped dressing me at the age of 5. If I pulled out a wrinkled shirt out of my drawer, because I had shoved them in there while putting my laundry away, then a wrinkled shirt I wore. No one took it off me and insisted it get pressed.
Hubster told me last night that he thinks I go out of my way to do things differently than other people just to prove I don't care. I really don't care enough to do that. I asked for specifics. He asked if I really thought it was okay for our 4 year old daughter to go out of the house without her hair being brushed. I absolutely do think it's okay. We're not talking about heading off to school or to church, we're talking about running out to play with the neighbor kids or running to the grocery store. I know some people would never dream of taking their kids out of the house without having them in pristine condition, and that's okay for them, I would rather focus on their character than their outside appearance.
Maybe it was in my upbringing. I remember, as a kid, having an 8 o'clock bed time. During the school year it was no biggie, but during the Summer when it was still daylight and all the neighbors were outside playing, it was excruciating. The first chance I had to make decisions on my own I did it. I made my own decisions, refused to let others influence my opinions and was hard pressed to be persuaded to change my mind. That's not to say that I made choices lightly. I (almost) always weigh all the different scenarios and consequences of my choices. Sometimes I make mistakes, we all do. I brush myself off, learn from my mistakes, and make some changes.
Everybody has heard their parents say "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" Actually, Mom, on a vacation you allowed me to go on with one of the neighbor families that's exactly what I did. Except I wasn't the follower. I found a bridge over water, making it perfect for jumping, and encouraged my friends to do it with me. I jumped first.
My house is unorganized and messy. I'll have time to fix that when both kids are in school full time. I stopped apologizing for it a long time ago. Firstly, because it made me sound stupid if you visited more than once (since it was still messy the second time) and secondly, I don't believe it defines me as a person. It says nothing about my inside character, the love I have for my family and friends or the desire I have to help others in all situations. It's just a messy house.
Basically my point is this. Life is too short to live it for other people. We all have to make our own choices. Ones we can be comfortable and proud of. If we do things to please others we can never fully please ourselves. I'm not saying we should set out to not please others, we should just worry first about ourselves. How the actions will make us feel. I should be able to walk out of the house with messy hair and no make up and know I am still a good person. I am respectful, considerate and kind, and if others are too shallow to look beyond my outside appearance than shame on them.
We judge by nature, but I think we should judge people by their character and how being around them makes us feel not by how they dress, how much money they have or how clean their house is.
That's me, and that's what I'm trying my hardest to teach my children.