Throgs' Neck Mom: Learning new ways to "Mom" everyday…


Hand-me-downs
September 18, 2009, 3:54 am
Filed under: Going Green

Four years, eight months, and eighteen days ago I gave birth to my first child.  Like most first time moms I wanted the best of everything for my brand new baby girl—especially clothes.  At my baby shower I was presented with a  complete wardrobe for the first six months of her life.  When she was born family brought more gifts of brand-new clothes.  Then three months later I returned to work so that I could buy her even more brand new clothes.  To me, there was nothing better than seeing her in a brand new Gap dress or the latest pair of Stride Rite shoes.

Two and a half years later something changed: I gave birth to my second child, a boy.  I knew that with two children I would not be able to afford childcare.  I would not be able to drop two children off at daycare, go to work and bring home a nice healthy paycheck without handing most of it over to “child-care providers”.  I decided to stay home with my children and develop a budget.

Lucky for me, my best friend, had already been a stay at home mom for two years and was a bit more savvy to a budget that did not involve Gap tags and full-priced Stride Rite shoes(not that she didn’t buy these items just that she never paid full price for them—an aha moment for me).  She has a son who is a little younger than my daughter and her daughter was born one week after my son.  We decided to do a clothing swap—her boy baby clothes for my girl baby clothes.

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My first “shipment” arrived in three large diaper boxes and included an entire infant boy’s layette plus clothes that ranged from 3/6 months size to twelve months.  I could not believe it!  I would not need to clothes shop for my son for an entire year!  This meant hundreds of dollars in savings.

So for the past two years I happily package up my daughter’s clothes as she outgrows them and send them to my good friend. I receive her son’s outgrown clothes in return.  My first son is two years old now and I could probably count using the fingers on one hand the amount of times I’ve clothes shopped in a store for him.(I “shop” in his closet where I store all of these hand-me-downs)   My second boy is seven months old and I enjoy dressing him in the same clothes that have managed to survive two babies before they’ve arrived to him.

The best part? Seeing her two year old daughter in my little girl’s clothes and realizing that my oldest baby was once small enough to fit in them.

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