OK, so my daughter is almost 3 but has only a little tiny bit of hair, and it's very curly. We've never cut it and it's still too short to comfortably put up in a pony tail or anything. She often wears a headband but sometimes just takes it off. Honestly I think her half-curls are cute and don't make an effort to really do much with it.
So today I drop her off at her first ever day at daycare. She enjoyed it which was the main thing. But when I pick her up, she has a bow in her hair - they somehow put it up. It did look rather cute and I didn't really think anything of it, until the teacher pointed out to me they put her hair up. OK, thanks. (She had a headband on when we left the house but I guess she took it off at some point.) I didn't think much of it but then another couple of teacher type people also commented on it until I realized they were maybe hinting? They're like "we brushed her hair for her." Yes, I noticed, how nice. And then another person pointed it out on the way out. I'm totally betting that they were hinting that I just didn't bother to brush her hair for her.
This is a temporary daycare arrangement until they start a Montessori academy in December. This particular daycare is near our house and had immediate openings which is why we chose it for the interim, but I'm not really... it's not a high caliber place. Very mainstream preschool, kind of junky food served, the moms I've seen dropping the kids off seemed to be totally ordinary and whatever. Which is cool. The kids are in a safe place and they had fun, but my point is the rest of the kids aren't dressed up or anything, and it's not a "fancy" place at all. So why did I feel like they were kind of telling me off for her hair? I don't know if I'm being overly touchy or whatever.
And yes, her hair is sort of messy most of the time, but she's dressed neatly and it doesn't look any better brushed (her curls just come out). It's not in her face at all and doesn't get in her way doing anything. It was seriously a stretch for them to even be able to put it up in the half-ponytail. Sometimes we put it up when we're doing dress-up but she prefers it down. Am I a bad mommy now for having a daughter with messy curls? =(
Happens to us sometimes--DD's hair is very fine, she doesn't have much of it at all yet, and it's very curly/wispy. It looks great right after a wash, but she is not down for a shower every morning. So about 1/2 the time, she goes to daycare with less than perfect hair. Especially if it's DH's day to get her out of the house. :p
Sometimes, at daycare, they do the kids hair and put in barrettes or ribbons or something. It's usually an activity and DD loves it. If they think she looks especially cute, or if the teachers have had an especially fun time doing toddler hair that day, I've had some of the teachers point it out to me. But I never think it's about judging the hair in our case. Or at least, I've never taken it that way. After all, she wakes up from a nap every afternoon with, I assume, the same hair problems that she'd have at home after a nap. And the little clip they put in falls out after an hour or so the same as any clip I'd put in.
Soooo. No. You are definitely not a bad momma and I'd just assume the best of the would-be baby stylists, especially since it's a temporary situation.
Funny, I've got the same thing going on. DD is 20 months and has whispy, curly orange hair. They keep putting it in barrettes and half-ponytails...whatever. I don't have time for it, and DD won't stand for me to do it. So it doesn't get done. I think its great if they want to do hair some days, but I don't do it. I like my little wild woman.
There is a girl in DD's class who does not get her hair done. Mom doesn't want anyone messing with her girls' hair, and it doesn't seem to be a problem. If you don't like it, I'd say something. Otherwise, I wouldn't take offense. People just have different values. DD's teacher is of a different culture, and has different ideas about hair, in particular. She told me that if I pulled gently on DD's hair by combing it, it would grow long. I just nod and smile.