answering the comments

The trouble with writing a post like this, I think, is that I run the risk of offending people without meaning to. I realize I am lucky to be able to buy new things if I need them and as such have no desire to hang on to every last thing.

When I have had friends who needed things and I have the things, I see no reason not to just give it to them, no strings attached. Yes, this means I have bought 4 brand new exersaucers over the past 11 years. two went to a women’s shelter and 2 went to friends who could use them.

T in HD,

It sounds like you have a great circle of friends who all have the same idea. Unfortunately, I have never had that. The people who have done this didn’t want the stuff back for themself, but to pass them to other people they knew. Which to me seems like being an indian-giver.

jen,

you are right about the GAP clothing. It lasts and lasts, like the energizer bunny or clothing I would rather spend $25 on a pair of jeans there than spend $12 at walmart and have them ruined before the season is out. The same however can not be said of their inferior Old Navy company.

merry mama,

I know some people have a lot of luck with consignment shopping, but I find it too hit or miss to depend on. They are also too far away from me for me to just drop in frequently. As a result I shop at retail stores and try and wait for sales, but not always. When Old Navy clearances out the seasonal clothing I’ll buy some things ahead for the next season and stick it in the child’s bin who the clothing would be intended for.

12 Responses to “answering the comments”

  1. Heather Says:

    You can also get great deals at Gymboree during Gymbuck time (going on now, actually)! I have really enjoyed discovering them as even though I pay more than I would at Target the stuff is sturdy! It has held up to pizza, chocolate pudding, the “pink medicine” and countless other stains that would have ruined more inferior clothing. Plus, I love that I can buy all one line and know my kids always match. Because otherwise, I might not notice they don’t! ;)

  2. T in HD Says:

    Chris, I didn’t mean to give the impression that I took offense at your post–I didn’t. I just offered up another perspective as I am not generally good about keeping my thoughts to myself. ;-) I have come to loathe and detest clutter over the years and I know, had we the finances for it, I would keep far less and buy more as we needed it. I do feel badly about my kids wearing used shoes but they’ve never cared and, well, you do the best you can, right? I am lucky to have been able to trade around clothes and baby stuff with my sister and friends over the years and it has worked well for us. I understand how others may not care for that arrangement. For me, I felt a connection with my friends and sister passing our baby things back and forth that felt special. If I have something particularly special that would bother me if it didn’t return or returned damaged, I don’t loan it out and I tell my friends and sister the same. But in the end, it’s just stuff, right?

    Anyway, I just made another post to your blog. Brevity has never been my strong point. I understand that everyone has their own way of doing things and what works for me may not for you. My neighbour upstairs this morning made a comment about how I’m the “experienced” one since this will be her first. I laughed at that and said I’m only experienced when it comes to my own family. She’ll find what works best for her own new family when the time comes.

  3. Denise Says:

    I didn’t find anything offensive about your first post. You were telling people what YOU do and not suggesting everyone should make those choices.

    I don’t understand people. They’re weird. What leads them to think that a blogger is suggesting her way is the only way, or the only right way? What insecurities lead them to think you’re finding fault with their choices or their lifestyles or their situations? Bah. People. Gotta love them.

    I found your post completely insane but not offensive at all.

  4. Brigitte Says:

    I take the bits of advice that apply to me, and just ignore the rest - after all, everyone’s abilities and needs will vary depending on # of kids, availability of storage space, income, location, # of good friends with stuff to give, etc.

    There’s no need to qualify or apologize for your advice, Chris, after all - I think in the whole set-up of this particular Blog, you clarified that you’re only telling us what YOU do, not what everyone should do!

  5. Brigitte Says:

    P.S. where does the little clock that says when we left our comment come from? It’s claiming that I left my comment at 11:18 am, but I’m pretty sure that the time on my computer (7:22 am) is right . . . or I just lost a few hours somewhere! :-)

  6. jen Says:

    I definitely wasn’t offfended by your post ;) In fact I found it very useful. Especially as (I think) I said, about the spreadsheet idea, as I can never remember what’s in the nappy-boxes once they’re in the attic, especially the new stuff he hasn’t worn yet. And it kinda appeals to my OCD tendancies LOL!

    I do envy those who can afford to buy stuff new all the time, but I am glad that there are people who can, as I directly benefit by buying it second hand in the charity shop and nearly new sales, as well as accepting gifts from other people. I grew up in second hand clothes (I remember buying my first item of NEW new clothing aged 11, I was so proud! I’d saved up my pocket money), so I have no problem dressing my son in “previously loved” stuff, especially jeans as they are then lovely and soft ;) I do buy some new stuff, but I am just ultra-picky about everything my son wears - new or not. It makes me cross to see people who live on the breadline togging their kids out in expensive labels, just to make them look trendy, instead of spending that money on nutritious food or on educational activities to enrich their kids’ lives another way.

    My husband says that he hopes#2 is a boy so we can re-use all of my son’s clothes, as he’d have to get a second job were we to have a girl, just to afford the clothes. I said it’s fine, we will have 7 - it will have another boy eventually. That shuts him up ;)

  7. Susan Says:

    I am a lot like you, Chris. I am able to buy everything new, but then I only have two children, too! Makes a big difference.

    That being said, I love to shop… everywhere. Online, in stores, you name it. We live out in the middle of nowhere (I mean NOWHERE!)–in the Mojave Desert where the next closest town/city is 90 miles away. Seriously. We have Kmart, Walmart, and Mervyn’s–that’s it. Thank God for Mervyn’s! But, like Old Navy, their quality isn’t the world’s best, and sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t get REALLY nice clothes there. So, what I have done is not only shopped online (Children’s Place has some awesome deals at times!) but I have even bought a few really nice pieces used on eBay. There is one seller in particular who has boatloads of darling Gymboree ensembles, and it doesn’t even look worn. Not only that, but once my daughter’s outgrown the items, I’ve turned around and resold them on eBay! Every time! SOMETIMES FOR MORE! I’ve also gotten some really cute Ralph Lauren dresses there for her, as well. Takes some time to hunt around — which I’m guessing you don’t have much of — but for other readers who are looking for a bargain, this is one of my suggestions!

  8. anony Says:

    Indian-giver - be careful with this term, as it was determined that I was a racist for using it. the internet is SO much fun. BAH!

  9. Gaft Girl Says:

    I’ve been lurking for a while and love your site. You are amazing and an inspiration! I can hardly handle one kid, but that’s another story. I just wanted to add my two cents on the stipulated giving debate. When I give something (clothes, toys, etc) I tell the receiver that they can either give it to someone else, toss it if it’s trashed, donate it, or return it to me so I can donate it or pass it to someone else. I don’t intend on getting ANYTHING back, but baby stuff is so expensive and when you get everything for “free” sometimes you forget that.

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