Blogger Caitlin Fladager was put in the unexpected position of having to defend her choice to clothe her children in items from Walmart, and she stepped up to the task.
Like many influencers, a number of Fladager’s photos on social media show her dressed up in nice clothes. Apparently, some people took issue with this when contrasted with her young children, who are often pictured wearing shorts and t-shirts, commenting that it’s “not a good look for…a mom.”
So Fladager took to Facebook to address the nosy criticisms.
“Yes, my kids clothes mostly come from Walmart, while I buy myself clothes from other stores. You know why?” she asked. “Because I am not constantly outgrowing them, like my kids are. I am not constantly spilling food and dirt all over my brand new clothes. I am not outside running around in the dirt for hours on end.”
She clarified that she wants to encourage her children to get messy and play and not prioritize keeping their clothes clean over having childhood adventures — nor does she want to “be the mom who yells at them for spilling a drop of ice cream on a brand new shirt.”
“I strive to be the mom who sees them playing in the dirt, not caring that they are ruining a brand new outfit. I strive to be the mom who teaches them there is more to life than having nice, expensive clothes,” she wrote.
It’s unclear why anyone would expect young children to dress in pricy clothes simply because their parents do, and commenters on Fladager’s post agreed.
“I’ve never seen the point in spending a fortune on clothes for kids who will wear them for a couple months and then either trash or outgrow them,” wrote Heather Hillier. “To me it always felt like more of a status symbol for the parents than anything else.”
“9/10 times my kids will CHOOSE to wear the Walmart clothes anyway… They want to wear their favorite character or the shirt with the silly saying and the cotton shorts with the stretchy waist band,” added Katie Martin.
Besides, while there may be an ongoing conversation about whether shopping at Walmart is ethically responsible for those who can afford to make the choice, it isn’t as if there’s anything intrinsically damaging about putting children in affordable clothing options.
“Whatever makes them and you happy and hell at least they have new clothes!” said Faith Cunningham. “The audacity of some people!”
Or as one commenter wrote, addressing the initial criticism of Fladager’s parenting: “Ugh. Who cares?”