Thoughtful Thursday: Hand Me Down

July 22, 2010

Thoughtful ThursdayThis is one of those Thoughtful Thursdays in which you help me make up my mind, though you can extrapolate the questions to another situation if you’d like.

Burrito and Tamale have been the recipients of many generous gifts, but the majority of their clothes are hand-me-downs — many of which were barely or never worn. To continue the cycle, and to get all of this stuff cleared out of my house, my intention has been to pass along their outgrown clothes and gear to others.

My nephew Murphy has been the recipient of all of Burrito’s clothes. Tamale’s belongings have been waiting to find a home. There are several candidates, but no one leaps to the front of the pack.

I could hold them for a future niece, but DH’s sister may not have a girl next time around (whenever that happens), and the other siblings aren’t yet at the stage of having children.

I could hold them for the DH’s best friend, Mr. OH, who will have a second child in a few months — but they aren’t finding out the sex, so it may not be relevant anyway.

I could give them to a coworker who is pregnant with twins after a long IF journey. Between the twins and the infertility, she should be the obvious choice — except that I can’t stand her husband. I tried to give him another chance now that we have the twin connection, but he was even more obnoxious than I remembered. Also, they’re not finding out the sex either. Mathematically there’s a 75% chance that they’ll have at least one girl, but it’s possible that they could have two boys.

I could give them to my friend who is definitely giving birth to a girl in a couple of months. They don’t need anything they can get the way that parents of twins do, and the baby would have plenty with or without me, but I like both her and her husband tremendously.

Would you base hand-me-downs on obligation? Need? Liking? Keep it in the family, keep it in the circle of friends, or just get it out of the house? Stay in a holding pattern of possibility versus embrace certainty and get it over with?

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11 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Hand Me Down”

  1. jill Says:

    Wow – lots of choices. I think I would ask the friend if she would like some of the girl clothes I had. If she responds enthusiastically I would let her pick out some or just give her a big box. If she responds indifferently or says she doesn’t need any, I would keep them and maybe offer up some of them (but not all) to the coworker who has twins (if she has a girl of course).

    If I had no one to give them to then I’d keep my favorite pieces (could be a whole box full) and donate the rest.

    Good luck with your decision 🙂

  2. a Says:

    We base it all on need + liking. My sisters have given me tons of stuff (and I’ve been very generous with their children over the years before hand-me-downs were an option). My in-laws…well, they’re another story. My husband is the oldest. The oldest girl has 4 kids and her husband is a doctor. Her kids have more clothing than I do (and I have quite a bit). She gave me a lot of baby stuff for our daughter. However, on the clothing front…whenever she would bring clothing over, the other 3 sisters (2 didn’t have children, one had a boy) would go through all of the girls’ clothing and take what they thought they might possibly use for their hypothetical girl someday. My daughter would get whatever was left. Whatever – that was my reaction. We actually bought an entire 2 year wardrobe on craigslist. But the capper was when my husband’s grandmother had to sell her house and move into assisted living, and all the girls essentially cut him (and my daughter) out of the process of dividing up his grandmother’s belongings. (He did get his digs in, but it was extremely obvious that he was put on the outside). So, I like them not, and I will give them…um…pretty much nothing.

    Fast forward to this spring when we were getting rid of all of our daughter’s baby stuff. We sold it to anyone who was interested, including my husband’s sisters. He refused to give anything away (which is partly his nature and partly a response to the way his family treats him). One of his sisters now has a daughter, and she wanted our daughter’s clothes in a certain size. We were planning a garage sale and told her that she was free to buy them beforehand and that we’d give her a good price, but she was only interested in getting them for free.

    Now, we don’t know anyone specific who is in need of baby clothing, and if we did, I would certainly give them away. But otherwise, I would probably just ask if anyone wanted it, and then sell what was left in a garage sale/consignment/craigslist/ebay.

  3. emk808 Says:

    I would keep the clothes until I found someone I really wanted to give them too–for need and because I like them. Or I might consider selling them on ebay or craigslist if they were in very good condition and I could get a decent price for them. But I’m going to be keeping all of our clothes until I am 100% sure I’m done having kids…so like when I’m 50. lol

  4. strongblonde Says:

    lol. this is something that we are also dealing with right now. i am totally torn between my need for order and to be as clutter free as possible and my thought that *maybe* i might need them again and my hate to spend extra money. we were lucky and got a lot of boy hand me downs….girl stuff we got some. we’ve really had to buy fairly little. we also frequent the re-sale shops locally.

    a good friend who just went through IF treatments and had a set of b/g twins has been slow in responding to emails (naturally), but i’ve offered her almost all of my stuff: clothes, swings, bumbos, exersaucers, etc. i think that i mostly want it out of the house. one sister lives in arkansas and will not be having any more children, my other sister lives locally, but doesn’t think that she wants any kids. all of our other family members and friends are older and are done having kids for the most part.

    obligation? no. need? maybe. i may just end up posting all of the stuff for free on the mothers of multiples list and whoever wants them can come and get them. ….then maybe i could have my guest room back!!!

  5. Cat Says:

    My qualifications are need and to get it out of the house. I even considered having my own garage sale because our multiples club only has their rummage sale in the spring and it’s driving me crazy to see our six bins of clothes stacked up every time I go into the basement.

    Even if I couldn’t stand the husband, I think I would go with the coworker because of the shared IF experience.

    But, why do you have to give everything to one family? Could you split it up and help them all? You could give your coworker some stuff to help them out, but not your favorite stuff so it doesn’t end up “living” with the guy you don’t like.

  6. Eva Says:

    I sorted the clothes in two piles – the “normal” clothes and the ones I got attached to. Normal clothes go to a consignment store or to a goodwill store. The ones I got somewhat attached to I have a hard time to part with. I ended up keeping those that were too much worn out to be given away (I know this is somewhat strange) and whenever I moved I found a good home for all the clothes that were too small and still good looking. It is actually quite nice to then see my friends children in those clothes or discover some piece of clothing later in a picture.

  7. Rebecca Says:

    I would keep some of the darlingest things for your friend – like dresses, cute dungarees, maybe shoes? Like maybe about 20 pieces? Then I would give the rest – pink babygros, t-shirts, etc etc – to the IF mum with the obnoxious husband. And I would ignore the husband.

  8. Mel Says:

    Personally, I try to give my hand-me-downs either to a family member first and to someone I won’t see very often second. Once something is gone, I don’t want to keep hanging around it by seeing the person over and over again. Does that make sense?

  9. WiseGuy Says:

    Can’t you donate the clothes to a hospital/ care centre?

    Your pregnant co-worker of the obnoxious husband could be a choice too. If the woman is ready to accept the clothes, you can keep her DH on ignore mode for this.

    As far off as I am yet, I have already asked my SIL to keep some of my niece’s clothes for Kaiser (esp the 0 – 3 months stuff). We will not actually find out the gender till Kaiser is born, but the tops/pajamas that my niece wore as a newborn would be perfect even if Kaiser is a boy.

    Frankly, I would like to keep Kaiser’s baby clothes with me. Specially the ones that have been given out of love, have been hand-made. His/her first blanket, or a grandparent-made-sweater/quilt would stay.

    I would give out the rest to

    a) somebody expressly asks for them.

    b) the ladies in my office (the lowest-rung staff), who have grandkids being born who always need clothes or other care items.

  10. Dora Says:

    Interesting post. At first when I was reading it, I thought, “Oh, this is easy to answer. We live in a small apartment. Just get it out.” But as I thought about it more, it is more complicated.

    Sunshine has received an abundance of hand me downs from 3 sources—my BFF who has a DE son who is 14 months older than Sunshine, a friend in the neighborhood who I met while she was on maternity leave whose daughter is 13 months older, and a friend at work who has IVF twin girls who are a year older. I have stopped the flow of boy’s clothes, as I have so many little girl clothes now. But I’m still not giving away the boy things willy nilly, even though Sunshine has never worn most of them. In fact, We’re going to a shower Sunday for a fellow IFer and SMC who recently adopted a baby boy, and I pulled together a gift bag full of the nicest boy things.

    I do need to clear out a lot. We just don’t have the room. We will be moving to a bigger space (hopefully) soon, and I will use the opportunity to go through the outgrown clothes. My next door neighbor (who is awesome with Sunshine) has a niece who is due any minute. We don’t know the sex, but once the baby is born I will put together a bag of clothes. I may save a few special things, but not much. I also plan to put aside some special things in case any of my IF friends who are currently TTC have a girl. The rest will get donated. It’s too much trouble to take pictures and try to sell them on ebay, and there’s a great program near my mother to donate them to. It’s called The Community Closet. The items donated are absolutely free for those in need. I will probably donate most of my maternity clothes there as well. (Holding on to some things for friends I hope will need them soon.)

  11. heather Says:

    honestly i looked first at like then need. all my girl clothes go to my friend kristi, i adore her and she needs them, altho now that my best friend is pregnant with a girl ive started reserving certain special peices for her. but only certain ones cause she doesnt have the need.


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