Mom from Vancouver argued that kids often outgrow their clothes and are messier, so it made little sense to buy them expensive clothing.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 6, 2021. It has since been updated.
Everyone has their own parenting style, but when 26-year-old Caitlin Fladager of Vancouver said she prefers to have her kids wear cheaper clothes, it sparked controversy. People accused her of being a bad Mom and heavily criticized her for wearing expensive clothes while buying her kids considerably cheaper clothes. She wasn't having of it and defended her choices, arguing that kids cause more wear and tear on their clothes and that they didn't really care that much about the clothes they wore, as much as they did about being happy and engaged. “Your kids only wear clothes from Walmart, while you get dressed up a lot. Not a good look for you as a mom,” wrote a person on her Facebook page.
Fladager, who often shares parenting and life advice, said kids cause more wear and tear on their clothes and hence it was preferable to buy clothes that they could easily change out of or discard. The mother of two countered the condescending advice, writing: “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. I am not tripping and ripping holes in brand-new clothes.”
She then spoke about her dress code, pointing out the difference. “I am not changing my mind daily about what color I have randomly decided I don’t want to wear ever again. I am not a kid,” wrote Fladager, before adding, "I buy them cheaper clothes because I refuse to be the mom who yells at them for spilling a drop of ice cream on a brand new shirt.” She pointed out how important it was for children to be allowed to be themselves. "I strive to be the mom who sees them spill, and says “oh no big deal!” 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.
Fladager is no stranger to controversy, having opened up about smoking weed while being a mom. Recreational and medicinal marijuana use is legal in Vancouver and she posted an image of her wearing a sweatshirt that read: "First, I smoke weed, then I do things." After the image caused an uproar, she defended herself, writing, “Yes, I have smoked before when my kids are awake. No, that doesn’t make me a bad parent. I remember the first time I wore this sweater out in public. I was at the mall, surrounded by tank tops that said ‘I’m a wine mom’ and ‘nothing gets done until my wine glass is empty.’" Fladager argued smoking weed should be just as acceptable, reported The Sun. “It has helped me immensely with being a more patient mother, it has helped me gain the weight I needed to, and it has helped my insomniac self, get some well-needed sleep at night,” said the Mom-of-two, before signing off, “Sincerely, a pretty kick-ass mom who smokes a lot of weed.”
Even when it comes to clothes, she has her own parenting style and added that nothing was more important than her kids being happy. "So yes, my kids mainly live in Walmart clothes. And they love it. They love being able to spill, get dirty, and outgrow clothes in a day with me not caring. The dirt, the smiles, and the ice cream make me way more happier than a photo of them dressed in clothes they hate, that they will outgrow in a week," she wrote, posting a picture of her kids eating ice cream.
The 26-year-old has also received support from other moms for her decision. Jennifer Bohnett Morse wrote, "Don't let anyone tell you that is wrong!!! I buy quality pieces of clothing, some I have had for 20 years! But I buy my three children's clothes on clearance, or I actually shop at thrift stores for that reason! The first time they wear it there is a stain or they outgrow it in a month! You are a smart Momma." Some added that there was nothing wrong with wearing 'Walmart clothes' as some people were trying to make it out to be. "Walmart clothes are pretty cute too! Kids don’t care how expensive something is as long as it has a picture on it! Whatever makes them and you happy and hell at least they have new clothes! Or clothes period! The audacity of some people!" wrote Faith Cunningham.