General Etiquette > Family and Children

Yet another baby clothes issue

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Fragglerocker:
I never knew there was such an issue with passing along baby clothes until I became a mom myself!

Here is an issue encountered by a friend of mine:  She was pregnant with a 2nd child, did not want to know the gender, but already had a daughter.  One of her friends was due about four months ahead of her with a girl.  This other mom-to-be was a first-time mom, and strapped for cash, so my friend offered her hand-me-downs with the following condition:  If her own 2nd child was a girl, please return them once friend's daughter outgrows them.  (With a 4-month gap, this shouldn't have been an issue.)  The "recipient" agreed.  My friend's second baby turns out to also be a girl.

My friend explained that she didn't expect them all back at once, but figured since they saw each other often, she could bring them back a small bag at a time.

So, time goes by and my friend's friend's daughter clearly outgrows, say, the newborn and 3mo sizes, and nearly a year old; her own daughter is now wearing 6 mo. sizes.  Friend politely has asked for the clothes back that the friend's daughter has outgrown, and her friend just refuses.  No excuse, just won't do it.

So my friend told me all this and I was upset on her behalf.  I don't even know the other woman so I won't say anything to her, but it really frustrated me because here my friend was trying to help out, and her friend agreed to the condition of returning the items when her own child outgrew them if my friend ended up having a girl, too, and now, my friend, who also isn't flush with cash, doesn't have enough items for her own child! 

Understanding how she felt, I ended up going through the stash of items passed to me for my own baby (due in April) from my sister, and gave her roughly half of the stuff in the size she needs.  I am of course hoping that she'll not turn around and behave the way her own friend did, and not return the items, but I kept enough stuff in reserve so even if she does that, I should be okay with my own daughter's wardrobe. 

So, my friend doesn't want to ruin the friendship over these clothes, but asking directly hasn't gotten her anywhere.  Other suggestions on what she should do?  Or is she crazy for expecting them back (when that was the arrangement from the outset)?

Yvaine:
OtherMom is definitely in the wrong. In a lot of these threads, the agreement was kind of nebulous, but here it was really specific: Friend gets back the clothes if Friend's baby is a girl. OtherMom has reneged on the agreement and won't say why. Maybe she sold them, maybe they're ruined and she doesn't want to admit it, but in any case she's in the wrong.

I'm not sure there's much to be done unless Friend wants to take OtherMom to small claims court, which might be much more trouble than it's worth. But relationship-consequences, such as Friend becoming much more distant or never doing a favor for OtherMom again, would be justified.

auntmeegs:
Its not so much ruining the friendship over the clothes, its more the friend ruining the friendship because she is a dishonest and unreliable person and who wants to be friends with someone like that?
When you say she refuses, I just can't picture how this conversation would go. 
"Hey friend, I need that clothes back that I lent you."
"No, I'm not giving your clothes back to you."

I mean, that can't be the end of the conversation, right?  Your friend must say something in reply, I would think.  I would be demanding an explanation if I were her and flat out demanding to have the clothes back. 

PS - I bet something happened to the clothes and thats why the non-friend is refusing to give them back.  I would not let her get away with that.   

lowspark:
I agree that the borrower is in the wrong and should at the very minimum explain why she can't/won't return the clothes.

However, this kind of agreement was just a misunderstanding waiting to happen. I understand your friend was tryng to be generous to this needy mom but if she really needed those clothes if her next baby turned out to be a girl, she should not have lent them out in the first place. With or without conditions, the chances that the clothes would be returned, in good shape, in a timely manner, are pretty small.

Rosewater:

--- Quote from: Fragglerocker on February 15, 2013, 12:13:03 PM ---I never knew there was such an issue with passing along baby clothes until I became a mom myself!

Here is an issue encountered by a friend of mine:  She was pregnant with a 2nd child, did not want to know the gender, but already had a daughter.  One of her friends was due about four months ahead of her with a girl.  This other mom-to-be was a first-time mom, and strapped for cash, so my friend offered her hand-me-downs with the following condition:  If her own 2nd child was a girl, please return them once friend's daughter outgrows them.  (With a 4-month gap, this shouldn't have been an issue.)  The "recipient" agreed.  My friend's second baby turns out to also be a girl.

My friend explained that she didn't expect them all back at once, but figured since they saw each other often, she could bring them back a small bag at a time.

So, time goes by and my friend's friend's daughter clearly outgrows, say, the newborn and 3mo sizes, and nearly a year old; her own daughter is now wearing 6 mo. sizes.  Friend politely has asked for the clothes back that the friend's daughter has outgrown, and her friend just refuses.  No excuse, just won't do it.

So my friend told me all this and I was upset on her behalf.  I don't even know the other woman so I won't say anything to her, but it really frustrated me because here my friend was trying to help out, and her friend agreed to the condition of returning the items when her own child outgrew them if my friend ended up having a girl, too, and now, my friend, who also isn't flush with cash, doesn't have enough items for her own child! 

Understanding how she felt, I ended up going through the stash of items passed to me for my own baby (due in April) from my sister, and gave her roughly half of the stuff in the size she needs.  I am of course hoping that she'll not turn around and behave the way her own friend did, and not return the items, but I kept enough stuff in reserve so even if she does that, I should be okay with my own daughter's wardrobe. 

So, my friend doesn't want to ruin the friendship over these clothes, but asking directly hasn't gotten her anywhere.  Other suggestions on what she should do?  Or is she crazy for expecting them back (when that was the arrangement from the outset)?

--- End quote ---

Ruin what friendship?  Someone who blatantly ignores a promise they made to a good friend who helps them out in their time of need for whatever reason doesn't sound like much of a friend to me.  This individual doesn't even posses the grace to tell her friend the truth about why she won't return the clothes!

I have never seen loaning baby clothes to work out for anyone yet.  If one can be independent enough to bear a child then they are responsible for providing for that child.  The "friend" mentioned in the OP had  many months to glean garage sales, charities, Craigslist and second hand stores to get together what she needed and she should have taken advantage of that time.

Since the "friend" doesn't want to give the clothes back I fail to see what is going to magically make her change her mind in the matter, it's possible she has already sold them or given them away to someone else.

In short I don't think any of the clothes will ever be returned to anyone.  As Dr. Phil says the best predictor of future actions is past actions.  Please do not give this person anything more, she is an adult user and is capable of meeting her own needs with a little initiative and hard work.

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