As another big bag of hand-me-downs sits in the hall, ready to go to my scrumptious niece, I can’t help but feel a teeny bit sad.
I am very happy for these clothes to go to such a good home, and I’ll be thrilled to see her looking as cute as a button in them. But it’s another sign that Thea is growing up.
I do think there is a real joy with hand-me-downs, both giving and receiving. My cousins, and friends with older children have given us loads of stuff, and I’m happy to be able to do the same for my family and friends. After all, how many baby baths and car seats do we really need to manufacture? They’ll last forever, and goodness knows we don’t have space for all this stuff!
A Balance Between Hoarding and Giving
I struggle to get rid of things. It’s partly the hoarder in me, that ‘just in case’ feeling. We are not planning on having any more children – we think 2:2 is a good ratio of children to adults. But you never know! And how annoying would it be to have to re-buy all that stuff?!
We still have the buggy in the shed, despite the fact we’ve not used it for over two years. We have stair gates in the garage, but pretty much everything else has gone to my brother and sister-in-law.
The main thing I am guilty of hoarding is clothes. The majority went to my niece, but some I have saved, or got back when my niece outgrew them! One reason is that my parents saved some of our old clothes, which we discovered a few years ago.
A family friend recently emailed me some photos she’d found of when we were growing up. It’s so funny to see myself in these clothes, that my parents thankfully saved! I hope Ava and Thea will have the same joy of hand-me-downs when they have kids of their own.
So here is my little gallery of me wearing some of these clothes, and Ava and Thea wearing them over thirty years later!
I didn’t make Ava wear the tabard or the bonnet, but I think we still have them somewhere!
I love how I have inadvertently styled this dress the same way, with a white t-shirt and red tights – Thea’s just missing the shades.
The Joy of Hand-Me-Downs
As you can see, the girls wore these worded clothes a lot, and I’ve now put them away again for when they hopefully have children! So what else have I saved from the girls’ clothes? The Fruji duck dress that friend bought for Ava when she was born. Both girls got so much wear out of it. The Miffy baby grow I bought with gift vouchers from another friend. The mini duffle coat I fell in love with that both girls looked so cute in. Some Little Bird by Jools clothes I loved, and lovely Gap and John Lewis clothes my friends bought for the girls. Plus the ‘vintage’ ones saved by my parents.
I have to confess these are only about a third of the ones we saved, but there is space in the loft and I know the girls will appreciate it when they get older!
Have you kept any precious clothes to hand down to your children?