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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Many Clothes!

Having our three grandchildren staying with us for a couple of weeks (without their parents) has brought back memories of parenthood and made me realize again how much work mothers have to do to stay on top of life at home. 

I remember when my children were young, my biggest dread was "clothes".  I hated clothes.  There always seemed to be the stack of clothes to wash every day, the stack of clothes to be folded and put away, and then the bags of clothes stored for when the next child would "grow into them". 

We were fortunate to be the recipient of hand me down clothing for our four boys.  I say fortunate because we were on a very tight budget and with five little children, clothes were always needed but difficult to buy.  I was grateful for our neighbors for giving us almost brand new items that my sons would be able to use a year or so later.  Then with four sons, we were always passing down clothes to the next boy. 

One thing I did learn was that no one needs 15 pairs of pants and 30 shirts in their drawers.  It is hard to maintain a clean bedroom when the drawers of a child's dresser are so bulging that the child can't even find their clothes and there is no place to put the clean clothes away.  In this day and age of cute clothes, it sometimes is difficult to resist getting way more clothes than a child needs (or even an adult needs).

No person needs more clothes than their dresser can hold.  If you really look at what people wear, they choose clothes from a pretty small selection that they own.  Kids are even worse than adults.  They have their favorites and almost refuse to wear those "cute" clothes that mom loves.

When my sons were young, the velour shirts were popular.  My neighbor gave us "many" beautiful ones   I loved them.  They were so soft and the colors were pretty but my kids hated them.  I would beg the boys to wear them but they wanted to wear "their" favorites leaving these beautiful shirts in the drawer or worse yet, thrown on the floor to step on and get dirty then be added to the wash pile unused.  I learned after the third son refusing to wear them that they needed to be given away.  They took up space in the drawers and made unnecessary work for me as they were having to be washed without ever being worn.

I see moms with so much laundry that they can not possibly get it all done in a day and children's drawers busting at the seams with clothes that they probably will never wear.  I learned over the years that it was actually so much more work for me to keep all of those clothes.  I wish I could convey that to these moms that hang onto those treasured cute clothes that their children will never wear.

My daughter must have brought just about every piece of clothing her children own (she is really good about not having too many clothes for her kids but she didn't know how dirty they'd get at my house so she brought way too much).  I learned the first day after she left that I had to remove most of the clothes for the kids from their drawers and just leave the ones that they truly wear.  I found as I had seen with my own children, that kids will pile through their drawers to find the ones that they really like and wear over and over and dump the others on the ground to be stepped on and washed (yet never worn).  So I pulled out 2/3's of the clothes and packed them away in their suitcases.  Now I do a load of wash a night and stay up with my laundry which in turn keeps a much cleaner house and a much happier grandma!

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