I have always tried to stay on top of fashion as I’ve gone through life, however, this is not so much the case since becoming a mom of 3 children all under the age of 6 years old.  And, if your first question is, “do you know how this happened?” my answer is yes, but it is not exactly what we had planned for.  I’ve just had to come to terms with the fact that not only do I not fit into a size 5 dress anymore, I don’t have many occasions to dress up in anything fancy.  What I have done, is tried to keep my children in a little bit better style than me, and it does cost a less, and one of my favorite items has been the baby plaid shoes.

I guess I should preface some of this by saying that my focus in life is not all about style and fashion just because it was something that I used to be able to do before having a family; my husband and children are truly the center of my life, but I don’t feel like I should give up having some flair and appreciating a good family photo when the opportunity strikes! 

My family is made up of my husband and I, who have been happily married for 7 years, our oldest daughter, Brooklyn; the middle child, our son Evan; and the baby girl to round things out, Aspen.  (Yes, we know all of their names end in N’s, and yes, that was intentional.)  We can’t even tell you right now if this is the whole of our family, because anything is possible.  But, for now, I can tell you that chaos is the name of the game, and if there is any way that I can keep us organized and get through the day, I will try it. 

What I have found is that when I’m at home and have no plans to go out to complete errands or meet people, many of the clothes and shoes that my kids wear are not gender specific, such as a lot of tans, blacks, reds, etc., which allows me to just box up the clothes that are too small for the current child and pull them out down the road for the next child.  I do have a few outfits that are just for the girls or just for Evan, but simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to just making sure that they aren’t running around the house naked. 

If it were up to a couple of them (not naming names), naked is the preferred dress of the day, which can make it interesting when potty training, but I’ve worked hard to at least make sure they will wear a t-shirt and shorts for warmer months and onesies with sweatpants or tights in the cooler months. 

The struggle really comes when wearing shoes: Evan absolutely loves having shoes on, and prefers them to socks or booties.  Brooklyn only wanted socks or shoes when the floor was cold or when we left the house in cold months.  Aspen is just crawling right now, so it is socks, if she hasn’t soaked them by trying to eat her toes.  But, this is part of the reason that I have stuck with the baby plaid shoes for the two older in the respect that both boys and girls can wear them, they are somewhat fashionable (or I will try to personally make them fashionable in my circle of friends), and they go with many types of colors and outfits so I don’t have to think too hard about mixing and matching everything.

I’ve appreciated the fact that many moms are willing to do clothes swaps, too.  Sometimes I look at an outfit that is now on Aspen and have wanted to go out and get her something brand new.  One of the moms in our group was feeling the same way and so we traded a handful of items and I feel like I’ve had new life breathed into our dressing routines.  I would highly suggest this for anyone that can and wants to do this, even if all you can work with are older items; there are lots of families that are financially struggling, so any kind of help is always appreciated. 

When it comes to helping to keep things simplified, organized and straightforward, I try my best to do smaller loads of laundry so that I don’t feel overwhelmed with a huge pile sitting on my bed waiting to be folded.  (Or, I find it easier to remember whose clothes belong to whom because of all the hand-me-downs that have made their way through the laundry over the years.)  I’ve been known to mindlessly put Evan’s clothes into Brooklyn’s pile because that is who I was used to giving it to just a year or so earlier.  I guess I have mommy brain, which is more like oatmeal and I’m lucky I haven’t lost my head, only because it is still attached!

Honestly, fashion, baby plaid shoes, and organization are not at the top of my list of daily have-to-have things, but when things work out right, and the baby gets a nap, I can sometimes get in things like organization, and dress my babies in more than a white tank top and too-big shorts!