My son woke up this morning, and I swear his foot had grown a size bigger overnight. His practically brand new sneakers wouldn’t fit, and my husband and I tried to problem solve in the minuscule five minute window we had remaining to leave the house for the day. Unless we greased it up and squished it into place or cut off a toe—a la Tom Hanks in Castaway—those puppies were not going on his ginormous foot.
Cue the bag of practically brand new shoes my coworker had just handed me not even a week prior to the debacle with which I was currently presented! (I bet if you listened closely enough you may have heard the faint sound of a harp playing or angels singing. Hallelujah for the hand me downs!)
After paying the bills—especially daycare tuition, which is more than my mortgage because a hefty price tag accompanies three kids attending full-time—there’s truthfully not too much left over. (And no, it is NOT more cost effective to: 1. Stay home 2. Get a nanny 3. Pick some other thing that everyone always suggests because they think they have somehow thought of a novel idea that would magically make our financial lives “easier.")
The reality of spending so much of our hard-earned money on stuff our growing kids wear for just a hot minute causes me physical pain. I also barely have enough time to go grocery shopping, let alone shopping for clothes. Adding hours to the day shockingly hasn’t been suggested by anyone yet.
Most of the time I genuinely feel the only reason my children aren’t running around naked is because so many of the hard-working moms in my life have given me years—literally years—of clothing for them to wear. Honestly, my kids receive so many compliments on their outfits, and I cannot take the credit. Not ever. I always say, “This is from Fran … or Erica … or Toni … or Lauren … or Adrienne … or Nicole … or Alexa … or Tracy.” Every single one of those women are also working mothers, and they saw it in their hearts to give my family so many of the beautiful things on which they spent their hard-earned money. They are the reason why we have a little extra to take the kids to an art studio and let them paint their own pottery, or bring them to a trampoline place so they can jump around until they are equal parts happy and sweaty. Those working moms afford us the opportunity to spend that small surplus on memories—and you can't place a price tag on that.
So what do I do with all the things that my kids outgrow in the blink of an eye? Pass it on to another appreciative, hard-working mama, of course.