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Hand Me Downs

Updated on May 12, 2012

They Share Rooms. They Share Shoes.

They share it all!
They share it all! | Source

The last 3 Sundays, my 5 year old son wore gym shoes to church. He wasn’t breaking the rules. He had grown out of his church shoes. I would be reminded Sunday morning and say to myself, “Agh! I need to get him shoes!” Then the week would pass and Sunday morning would arrive. I would be reminded, “Agh! I need to get him shoes!”

So, last Friday, I remembered. The kids were off school and I took my oldest 3 boys to get church shoes for my 5 year old. On the way to the store, I realized. I was not going to buy him shoes at all. I was going to buy shoes for my 7 year old son instead.

Kids Sharing Shoes

My 7 year old twin boys wear dress shoes to school 3 days a week. They attend a Catholic school and non-gym days mean no gym shoes. They both have Sperry Topsiders that are holding up wonderfully as they are almost thru the school year. We have polished them a few times and they look almost brand new.

My 3rd son, attends preschool and can basically wear any shoes except flip flops. He only wears dress shoes to church. This is why I can so easily forget he doesn’t have any that fit.

Buying New Shoes

So, why not buy the 5 year old who needs to shoes the new shoes?

Why would I?

He was in line for the 7 year old twins shoes anyhow. They wear size 12 and 12.5. This is exactly the size I was going to buy for the 5 year old. Instead, buy the one who wears 12.5 a new pair, size 13. Size 12 gets 12.5. And the 5 year old gets brand new (to him) size 12.

I was going to need to buy a new pair of size 13 for sure in the fall. Hopefully, I just did it and now will not have to. Kids can grow like weeds. Mine appear to grow a little slower. Therefore, I was willing to play the odds and take the gamble.

The Hand Me Down Path

The Hand Me Downs
The Hand Me Downs | Source

You Aren't Getting New Shoes

The boys got in the car because I said, “We are going to buy the 5 year old new shoes”. When I had my revelation, I explained my new idea to the kids. They said, “Ok, Mommy.”

None of my kids ever questioned this decision.

The 5 year old never made an issue of the change of plans.

I honestly was a little surprised.

Not Stepford Children

My kids have opinions and do not always agree with me. They are not Stepford Children….trust me! They have voices and they have been heard.

So why did my son, when promised new shoes, seem completely unphased that his brother got them instead? He ended up with hand me down shoes. This was not the plan.

Hand Me Down Success. How Did This Work?

Perhaps I am super lucky. It is possible that my kids are just easy going. I will be thankful for this characteristic for now because I am guessing this will not last forever.

Perhaps my 5 year old just wanted shoes that fit. That is what he got.

Perhaps I run a dictatorship. Ok, not perhaps, I do run a dictatorship. Maybe they didn't know that they could say anything other than, "Ok, Mommy!"

I have 5 kids ranging for 7 to 2. Negotiating with many young children is futile. I believe the more I attempt to negotiate, the more I would guarantee a mutiny followed with the dictator, me, being overthrown!

Of course, a dictatorship has a negative connotation. I use it to simply mean, there is one person guiding this family on its course. My husband and I combine to make that one person. Sometimes I am in charge. Sometimes he is.

7 people aren't running the show. I have seen this attempted. It is a nightmare to watch. Imagine 7 people trying to control the steering wheel of a car all at the same time. They are going no where as a group fast! Pretty sure they created the passenger seats for this reason.

I do not recall successfully negotiating with my parents. I might have attempted a few times and I guarantee it ended poorly.

I am sure this will change when they are teenagers, but I am going with it for now.

Perhaps new to them is just

This might be the biggest reason.

When I was a kid, I had hand me downs. I am the youngest of 9 kids and I am not sure if or when I became annoyed with hand me down clothes. I recall being happy wearing a shirt my older sister wore. She wore it first. She was cool. I wanted to be like her. Now her shirt is mine!

Perhaps my kids have adopted this mentality. Fortunately, a handful of friends give us their hand me downs. When a bag of used clothes arrive at our house, it is Christmas all over again. My daughter is dancing around like a crazy. The boys are dividing up the lots. Everyone is psyched about the new clothes.

My youngest son, our 5th, has probably worn a handful of brand new clothes in his life. He has 3 older brothers. Why would he need new stuff? We have bags upon bags of perfectly good clothes waiting for him to wear in all the available sizes.

The Circle of Hand Me Downs

The Circle Of Hand Me Downs
The Circle Of Hand Me Downs | Source

We Love Hand Me Downs!

You can call me frugal.

You can call me cheap.

What you cannot call me is a mom who wastes money.

I have 5 kids. Like everyone, we are trying our best to meet their needs.

I am the youngest of nine. Hand me downs are how I grew up.I turned out just fine.

Yes, my oldest 2 boys got new things. Of course they did. We didn’t have any clothes yet. After that, we entered the world of hand me downs. Hand me downs rock!

I enjoy watching my kids being excited for their new, used clothes. I appreciate their understanding that this is how our family works.

Not sure how long this lifestyle will go unquestioned. Until then, I am running this boat as efficiently and inexpensive as I can.

Everybody’s happy.

Why rock the boat?

Do your kids wear hand me downs?

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    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Bottom line, 'new to the kid' is new. I think that is perfect! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope your granddaughter continues to love hand me downs from Angelina!

    • GDiBiase profile image


      6 years ago from Portland, ME

      Hi Twins,

      I have to agree with you most of our kids clothes that we by are hand me downs, our kids don't care. In fact I just my granddaughter Kaitlyn, a bag of my step daughters outgrown clothes and she was simply ecstatic about getting clothes that used to be Angelinas.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Exactly, Brainy Bunny! We get the same 'gift bags' and it is like Christmas all over again! I will head over to your hubs, too!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I love hand-me-downs. I wore my sister's hand-me-downs as a kid, and until my son got old enough to notice, he wore a fair number of his sister's hand-me-downs. Now we get a "gift bag" (i.e., garbage bag) full of hand-me-downs from a friend whose son is older every six months or so. It saves me a ton of money, and my son always has more clothes than he needs, so we can pass them along to Goodwill when he's done with them.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading, Pamela n Red. That is exactly when our youngest has gotten new clothes, at Christmas and Birthday. You are correct, though, it might get more difficult as they wear the clothes harder or in my case, the oldest 3 are getting very similar in size! Thanks for taking the time to comment, too!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I have two sons and my youngest one was always happy to wear Brother's outgrown clothes. I did on occasion, Christmas and birthdays, get him his own new things and when school started he would get a few things but mostly hand me downs. Boys are hard on clothes so sometimes they didn't last past one child.


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