Friday, February 09, 2007

Either I need help, or I need to give it

Hi, I’m Damselfly, and I’m a babyclothesaholic.

Hi, Damselfly.

Thanks. This is my first meeting, so . . . . I haven’t admitted my baby clothes addiction to many people yet. Just a couple of my closest friends. You know, I was in denial for a long time.

Admitting your addiction is the first step.

You know, I have heard that a lot, but until you really live it, that doesn’t mean very much. I mean, the meaning becomes practical and real to you after you get past the denial stage.

Like, why am I doing so much laundry? Is it because I change my baby three times a day just so he has a chance to wear all of these clothes? No, it’s because he spits up on the outfits -- really, it’s true -- and he simply needs to be changed. Or, what about buying clothes in the 12-18 month size even though Flybaby is just now getting into the 6-12 month size? It doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. It’s nice to know there will be some clothes in his drawer when the realization hits that he’s grown out of his current size. What about trying to dress him in the 3-6 month size clothes because they are just too cute, even though they are on the small side?

See? Denial.

I can’t let my favorite baby T-shirt go just because it’s too small! The cute little race car bodysuit. The red romper Fly wore once, for Christmas. The adorbale three-piece outfit with matching hat with the little raccoon. Tiny shoes and baby jean jackets and a Hawaiian shirt with overalls to match. It's too much to bear.

So many clothes, so little time (before Flybaby gains another two pounds per month and grows out of yet another outfit).

Flybaby clearly doesn’t need more clothes. But I have developed a passion for baby clothes. I think it happened about a month before he was born, when I didn’t know if he was going to be a boy or girl yet, and I started looking at adorable outfits and trying to imagine what s/he’d look like in them. I became obsessed.

So, what to do?

I’ve decided I need to turn my baby clothes passion into a way to help people rather than a way to go into debt just to clothe my kid. (Just kidding -- I get most of Fly's things pre-owned.) I need to channel this energy into a way to give clothes to children who really need them. I don’t want to just turn over Fly’s grown-out things to charity, though. No, that’s not enough. Maybe it will be someday. But for now, I have to be hands-on about this, or else it won’t work for me. Bring me a child who needs some togs, and I’ll whip up a wardrobe for him or her. That kind of thing. Let me sort through bags of donated clothes and organize them by size for the next kid who walks through the door. Can't I do something like that?

I asked a friend who volunteers at a center for moms if there was a chance . . . ? And she said there might be in the future, but they're a pretty small operation now where any volunteer goes through the small number of donations -- it's not a job dedicated to just one person.

Any other ideas? Do you have experience in working with charities or whatever they are called these days? Maybe know something about the land of baby clothes? Or a good 12-step program?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, my dear sister in shopping. I feel your pain.

Some things I do that help...

When I find something so adorable that I don't think I'll be able to give it up when it's too small...I buy it in 3-4 sizes! I also buy anything that I love that's a great price in big sizes. I keep too big clothing in a bin labelled "Grow In To" and I go through it every month. I find some great treasures in there and rarely have to go buy a bunch of clothes because I have things from now up to size 4T in there. (I need two more bins, actually.)

Re: purging; We have a great consignment shop so when Ry grows out of stuff I force myself to think "Is this SO WONDERFUL that I must have it for my next child if it's a boy?" If not, it goes to the shop for store credit (more shopping!). If yes, it goes in a bin labelled "Baby Boy Clothes."
I get rid of anything that was remotely annoying ~ side zip pajamas, funky snaps, shirts with no crotch snaps, any cheapies from Walmart etc that could be easily replaced and anything that's stained. I keep anything that I'd like to give to someone related to me if I never have another boy (more expensive and higher quality things but that also meet all of my 'Must Have' criteria.)

Your idea of outfitting children is great! Have you got a local women's shelter that you could call and see if they have a boy child of a certain age that you can bring over a wardrobe for? I donate review samples from The Opinionated Parent to our local shelter and they are always SO appreciative!

From one shopper to another...have a FAB weekend!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehe I could be a babyclothesaholic but I need more money to spend !! Most of the clothes he received for Xmas will be used this year so no need for me to buy much more .He does need more jeans though..I think I can be a BABY GAP A HOLIC THOUGH!

Mrs. Mogul

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you absolutely certain there won't be another baby in your family? Do you have no relatives or friends who are likely to conceive within the next couple years? Are all Flybaby's outfits boy-baby-only?

My brother's wife had their first child about a year or so after my first child was born. I sent them a few things, but kept most items because we intended to have at least one more child. And we did! A boy 3 years later, and then a girl (who wore plenty of overalls) 2 1/2 years after that.

Giving away baby clothes (or holding a "garage sale," where you know bargain-hunters, many of which will be less fortunate will take delight in Flybaby's cast-offs) is fine, but make sure to keep a few of your favorite outfits, if you possibly can. My mom and M-I-L both gave us a few things that we had worn as babies, and in turn, we've kept a few outfits (particularly ones they've worn for special occasions or to have their pictures taken in) as keepsakes.

I like MMTAM's suggestion to get rid of things you don't like (by the sound of it, you may not have much in that category), or that is too impractical for everyday use. I'm sure I must have done that, too (except for the special occasion outfits or ones handed down that my husband or I had worn as babies).

As time went on--kids keep on growing!--there were always neighbors and co-workers who'd pass clothes in good shape to us, and we in turn would do the same.

The groups who run the "giving trees" at Christmas, who give food baskets to the poor for holidays--whoever they are in your community--probably know of poor families who need baby clothes. And they need them all times of year. Social services (social workers), foster care, hospitals, etc. are other places that are constantly in touch with families in need.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Mama's Moon said...

"Hello, my name is 'mom', or 'mommy', or just plain 'ma!' and it's my first time at this shopaholic-meeting."...So glad to hear that I am not the only one going through this! Maybe it's the weather around here since all the activity I get on a day-to-day is walking the malls or ducking into consignment shops but I ALWAYS, always, always head right for the baby/kids stuff and leave with a bag of schtuff! It's insane how addicted I am to this hobby!

And talk about being prepared?? My kids' drawers are all designated in sx-month increments so as to make the transition easier once they outgrow their current things. I get a lot of second-hand outfits as well so add that to the mix and you've got an kids-clothes-groveling-fiend!

I'm not too sure what's out there, and depending on where you are you may just be the pioneer with your fab idea of outfitting babes. Why not start your own thing? Advertise with local shelters and such? I'm pretty sure the idea would catch on quickly - and with a lot of appreciation!!

Have a great weekend!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to shop for baby clothes too! I think there must be an epidemic, for moms and their need to buy all those cute clothes. Hey, what can I say I'm a sucker for all those cute things. I don't know of any 12 step program out there as of yer!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I completely have the same illness. I have not purchased one item of clothing for myself since Isabella was born. I have, however, purchased her enough clothes for now and for the future to clothe at least three babies.

I wish I had some suggestions for what to do with his clothes once he's done wearing them, but I don't. However, I'm sure someone reading does.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Bobita said...

My best friend and I swap baby clothes. After my Lobito grows out of his clothes, I box them up and swap them with Trabinski for her son Super T. She does the same with her big girl's clothes (KK) and my Faffi wears them. Now, because my baby is a boy... Trabinski boxes up the boy clothes and sends them BACK to my house for Sepe!

Just today as I was folding laundry, I had to sort out the clothes that are too small. As I was putting the baby's shirts in a basket, I couldn't help but cry. Those little shirts started with Lobito, went to Super T and are now too small for my Sepe... it was really sad to think I had no one to box them up for!

Ah, baby clothes! My addiction is the smell of them. Come on, it is like sweet nectar!!

Hey, how about if you clipped the clothes together into outfits before taking them to your local charity?

1:00 AM  
Blogger OhTheJoys said...

Ack! I have the same problem!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Scribbit said...

You sound like my aunt. She's a Master Shopper and her children/grandchildren were always the most fashionably dressed kids I know.

She takes shopping to an art form.

7:26 PM  
Blogger The Queen B said...

One word:


I buy to much so I sell even more!

8:24 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Hi, I'm mamacita tina, and I'm a babyclothesaholic. Ah, it feels good to get that off my chest.

They're small, soft and just down right adorable, it's hard not to cave.

I've saved everything from both Ian and Laurel, unless, that is, the stains just won't come out.

Who knows, we may have another. Plus, I would love to save some pieces at different stages of their lives, to turn into a quilt.

As for charities, I have only donated so far, not actually physically helped. Hope to someday when the kids are older and busy with their own things. Hope you can find something.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I am a huge clothing nut. I love dressing my boys so much and they have large wardrobes. I have no ideas on how to purge as we save all the clothing for later kids. I do give the ones that were not worn very often or were ugly gifts.

11:29 PM  

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