What do you think? How would you phrase? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Taylor 4/15/00 is still our only child. We have talked about trying on and off the last 2 years. We are very wishy washy. Not trying, not "not" trying. Etc.

Today I *finally* called my cousin [and left a message] who's girlfriend is due in July to talk to him [and my aunt] about all of the stuff WE still have that they might like to borrow. We still havent given up on having a second child though which is where the dilema comes in.

I am not *quite* ready to sell/donate all our pregnancy/baby/toddler stuff. Yet we are pretty sure at this point I wont get pregnant again. [Taylor was a minor-miracle since I was told I was infertile 10 yrs ago etc.] I would like to "loan" all of our stuff to my cousin. I do not want to keep all of it in our garage unused when they are SO in need and it seems to just take up space and remind me that I am not pregnant etc. But I dont want to "give" all of it either since we do have hopes that if I do become pregnant that we can get it back instead of repurchase etc.

To a woman who is 5 months pregnant in her early 20s and unwed etc, would she take this as a nice or not nice thing? I am only a cousin to the father of her child. And not a very close one at that since we only moved into the state after ~20 yrs absence and renewed our aquaintance 8 months ago. I have only met this woman 2-3 times before too.

I *think* it will be ok and she will be pleased? But, that might be wishful thinking on my part? Family relations are tenuous already and I dont want to add negative feul to the fire if I can help it.

Thanks for any thoughts one way or another that you have!! I value you opinions and think you have great ideas!

PS. I am talking about big ticket items like car seats (infant, toddler and eventually booster), crib (plus matress & bedding), swing, highchair, bouncer, cradle (& bedding), stroller, byorne, kelty, medula pump, bike seat, etc. We've already agreed to gift them with the cool like-new toys and clothes etc FYI. [Though she is having a girl, so we cant give her all the really really cool boy stuff. Sigh.]
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#2 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 07:29 PM
 
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I think she will be very happy (but I guess you never know) I would say something when you talk to her about not needing it until you get pregnant again though, so that she knows it is a loan rather than a gift.
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#3 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 07:32 PM
 
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i think i would just ask her if she'd like to come by one day and look at what all you've got and borrow whatever strikes her fancy. and then let her know that unless you get pregnant tomorrow (ha ha) there's no rush to return it.

that way you let her know she's welcome to whatever you have and that you would like it back should you have another child. shouldn't be too offensive.
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#4 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 07:52 PM
 
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The way my SIL and I handle that is we put our own initials (first letter) on the tags of the stuff we want back, but anything without letters is a gift. So I send back the stuff that has initials when dd grows out of it, but the rest I can take it to Once Upon a Child for resale, or re-lend it out to my friend, or whatever. And vice versa.

That's worked well for us.
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#5 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so far! Keep it coming!

I am the oldest [by 10-15 yrs] in my family generation so to date there has been no "trading about" done in some 20 yrs or so. Same on hubby's side of the family. So we have no idea what is "norm" these days.

I LOVE the idea of initials etc. I have done that with friends and gotten most of the loaners back too now that I think of it!! I think I'll take that route.

I have asked them over to my house for dinner a couple of times already but they live about an hour away and dont have a reliable car etc so they havent come. Also I am actually not exactly sure the mom and dad to-be are still together as a couple? I am planning to box everything up in my car instead and bring it to my aunts and let them meet me there.
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#6 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 08:50 PM
 
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I've heard that folks recommend not using car seats over 3? 5? years. Perhaps you could just give those to her.

I would probably only "loan" stuff I didn't care about getting back-especially since you don't know them that well and are semi-trying for another.

I might loan out the swing, crib and highchair, depending on the relationship. Most likely I would just give them the carseats, bouncy chair and swing- along with the clothes and toys.

I might have a different perspective cause I'm not close by family.
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#7 of 14 Old 03-20-2003, 08:57 PM
 
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oh, carseats older than 5 years need to be taken to the fire department and crushed. if you just throw them out or cut the straps off, people still try to use them. at one safety inspection locally, a woman had rope going through the slots where the straps were supposed to be!
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#8 of 14 Old 03-23-2003, 04:14 PM
 
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I am sure she'd be thrilled to have the hand-me-downs, but if you're not sure you're ready to part with them, I don't think you have to feel obliged. After all, you can hang onto the stuff and if you don't have a baby in the next few years and decide you want to get rid of it then, there will certainly be another young mom in need of good quality, free things. If you feel guilty about it and you can afford it, buy some things for your cousin and help her do shopping at a place that has good used equipment.
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#9 of 14 Old 03-24-2003, 04:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cloverlove
I would probably only "loan" stuff I didn't care about getting back-especially since you don't know them that well and are semi-trying for another.
I totally agree with Cloverlove. They live an hour away, you only recently got into contact with your cousin, and their (your cousin and the partner) relationship is not set in stone. They could break up or move away or anything and you are stuck putting out big money to rebuy all that baby furniture, stuff, clothes! I would feel very differently if it was your sister or best friend. I would only loan stuff you don't want back. It is not your responsibility to loan your cousin all your baby stuff.

If you do decide to loan them your stuff, I would (nicely) make it very clear that you definitely want it all back if you get pregnant again. I don't think that is rude at all - what I hate more is people giving you hand me downs but not telling you what to do with them after you are done. Do you want them back? Can I give them away to other friends? Garage sale them?

I like the idea of letting her pick what she wants. I have been given huge boxes of things that I didn't want - or just wanted a few things out of the many - then am stuck storing it until after the baby would be grown out of it. Ugh! I don't have the room to store other people's used clothes, etc. then remember who it belonged to and get it back to them later. What a hassle. I am sure they were trying to be nice but if I didn't ask for it, maybe I don't want it? Maybe I have a different style/taste than them, maybe my child was born in a different season or is the other gender? Maybe I just have a weird thing about used clothes?

Sometime when you are together for a visit, I would just ask her if she wants to borrow your (whatever) to use for her baby. If it was me, I would let her know she could let me know later if she wanted - not put her on the spot. It is hard to tell someone "no, I don't want your crib, baby clothes, etc." - seems rude somehow. If you tell her to let you know later if she needs it, it gives her some time to think it over and make a decision and find a nice way to say "no thank you" if that is what she decides.

Kirsten
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#10 of 14 Old 03-27-2003, 05:45 PM
 
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I know what it's like to have NOTHING when expecting a child, especially a secure relationship with the dad. When I was in your cousin's shoes, I welcomed anything and everything anyone gave me, I asked what they wanted returned, marked it in some way, and anything I didn't want otherwise was donated to our local mission. I totally didn't mind picking out what I wanted and storing/donating the rest. SO, my advice, similar to the above, mark what you want back, like put an address label on swings and such, and use a laundry marker on the tags on the clothes. Go pick her up and have her over for the afternoon. Let her pick what she wants out of what you have, then take her and the stuff back to her home. She'll appreciate the gesture.

But trust me, even if you don't get it back, you will reap the benefits of being so generous in other ways.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-27-2003, 06:25 PM
 
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Wanted to add one thing to how I handle it:

After my dd grows out of something, I put it in one of 3 places; keep, lend, or donate/throw. The last group is too raggedy, or stained, or whatever. The "lend" pile can either be leant to SIL or a friend, or taken to Once Upon a Child, or local school fundraiser, that kind of thing. I will probably eventually donate anything left in that pile, but right now I have a bunch of friends with babies and they seem to keep coming, and a lot of people have appreciated what I was ready to donate to Goodwill. (Goodwill's cheap, but free's better, kwim?)

The "keep", pile, though, are things that I couldn't bear to part with/ have damaged. That includes things like special dresses, outfits that she was wearing for a particularly good picture I took, etc. I don't want to be mad at anyone for ruining something, and there's only so much you can control if your kid is wearing it.

I'd say 1/8 of everything goes in "keep", 3/4 in "lend", and 1/8 in "donate/throw."
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#12 of 14 Old 03-27-2003, 08:08 PM
 
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oh yes! start a 'keep' pile! you can get fancy and use a cedar box, or at least put cedar blocks in with the clothes. wrap everything in acid free paper, if you can. Try not to let this pile get too big. :LOL
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#13 of 14 Old 03-28-2003, 05:26 PM
 
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ITA with sunmountian. Go fetch her if you can and have her over for lunch and let her pick what she wants and what you can part with. If you can't bear to not get it back, better to store it. But if you can face the possiblity of never seeing it again, offer it. It sucks so bad to be starting a family without anything, even a secure relationship. Maybe you could throw in a Dr. Sears book and a subscription to Mothering too!! You will be an angel to a baby who might really need one.
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#14 of 14 Old 03-28-2003, 05:47 PM
 
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"But trust me, even if you don't get it back, you will reap the benefits of being so generous in other ways"

How very true. That said, do the "keep pile" thing for anything that you care deeply about. I have lots of hand-me-downs and borrows, and I was very clear that I *did not* want to take anything precious -- I don't want that responsibility.

edited b/c I cannot figure out how to quote someone properly -- sorry:
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