It had been a while since I had been blessed by the generosity of another mom. But there was my friend with a bag full of clothes. “I noticed the holes in the knees of his jeans,” she said, nodding toward my oldest, “and figured you could use these later.” The thrill of unexpected bounty washed over me as I remembered what it was like to receive so much so unexpectedly.
Welcome to the Momconomy, I thought.
Momconomy is a silly phrase I made up to describe the veritable river of giving that pours into your house before you even have a child. To call them all hand-me-downs is inaccurate. Brand new items (with tags!) often found their way into my hands, passed on by moms eager to share the bounty and perhaps clean out a closet or two.
Better than Consignment
I have benefited so much from the Momconomy in the four years since I became a mom. To be sure, I shopped sales and consignment events like JBF, finding fantastic items for decent prices. But I was most thrilled by the items given so graciously and unexpectedly from the very beginning.
A quick perusal of my children’s rooms reminded me that even the beds my children slept in were gifts. One friend passed on a wooden bassinet, which carried the names of previous occupants on the underside of the base. When my youngest outgrew it, I was thrilled to continue the giving tradition. I added my sons’ names before packing it into a friend’s car as she waited on the arrival of her third child.
As my kids grew, I found bags of train tracks and Thomas and Friends engines on my porch. Then pristine Duplo block sets. A wooden rocking chair unexpectedly arrived and quickly became a favorite perch to watch passing cars. There was the giant fire engine that’s been pushed all over our house, and countless books (mostly on trains) that have found their way on to our shelves.
Momconomy: A Flow of Generosity
Yet as wonderful as it has been to receive so much, the best part of the Momconomy is continuing the flow of generosity to other moms. I’ve loved passing on bags of clothes to a friend whose son was just a little younger than mine, especially those items I missed putting him in! All those shoes in the size my son outgrew in a week? It was wonderful to know they’d be put to good use.
This wasn’t my idea.
I was inspired by those who gave so generously to me. Long before Marie Kondo inspired us to Netflix and… well, organize, the Momconomy encouraged us to give freely. Has openhandedness with all that you and your children have received sparked joy? It certainly has for me.