We are fortunate (it’s a weird thing to feel fortunate about) that we share our 2 older sons with their other parents. Together with these “other parents”, we are able to get school fees paid, clothes purchased and other basic necessities seen to, that we would generally have to pay for on our own. And yet, the boys still follow the “hand me down” tradition that my sister and I do (and I’m sure a bunch of you do too!) Albeit it doesn’t happen often (because they pretty much wear the same size clothing) but if Kyle’s shorts are too small, and they are in good condish, oh hey Seth here’s a cool shorts for you. And if my baby brother, Jason, has a hoody that doesn’t fit anymore, oh look Kyle, you score a hoody! And when Hubstopher’s favorite leather jacket made him look like Mr Bean, Jason scored a leather jacket! Doesn’t it work like that everywhere? I’m asking for a friend. This friend frequents these Pre-loved Clothing groups on Facebook, so she was a bit curious.
The conversation with my friend stemmed from a place where she found it a luxury to be able to sell her children’s second hand belongings in these social media groups, because in most cases (or shall I say, in her case) there are perfectly good other children in the family (or friendship circle) that would find use for them. There is no shame in hand me downs. Or is there? Has it become taboo?
Analysts say that todays parents actually spend much more on children’s clothes and outfits, compared to that of moms of yesteryear. So with that said, those cool R400 Woolies shoes are probably still in really good condish and if cousin Amy could get use out of them, wouldn’t that be a bonus? I’ve heard that “hand me down friendly” moms feel awkward about “handing down” because it feels like charity. And that some moms don’t want hand me downs – they would rather pay you for it. Is there truth behind this?
Maybe it’s the actual child, who does not feel comfortable wearing someone elses second hand items. Or maybe it’s the source; eg. if the friendly receptionist at work offered to give your child a bag of clothes, would it be weird? I’ve only ever encountered one situation where a friend became SO super awkward about his older sister giving Kyle a (really cool) jacket that her son had no use for. Should we only be handing out/taking hand me down’s from specific people?
And then, with regards to Pre-loved Clothing groups: I realize that a bunch of factors contribute to the popularity of these second hand forums. Things like our tough economic times – everyone needs to make an extra buck! Perhaps you don’t have other kids in your family or friendship circles who could benefit from your “hand me downs”. Perhaps you’ve spent a lot on your R900 Naartjie jacket and giving it away, for free, feels wrong. Fair enough – all pretty solid reasons.
I’ve always thought that hand me downs make the world a better place! And certainly a less cluttered place, that’s for sure! Plus there’s the added benefit of being blessed to be a blessing to someone else. But I wonder if it has now become a no-no. Have we become to “fancy” to accept hand me downs?
Mom, what is YOUR opinion on this?