Wear It Again, Sam - Cheap Clothes

Staying at home with your children is a worthwhile thing to do. It's probably the most important job you'll ever have in your lifetime. But if you're like most of us these days, it may call for making some sacrifices in order to make ends meet and balance the household budget every month.

One way you can shave a significant amount of money off your overhead is to shop wisely by buying your children's clothing at consignment stores or wee swaps, garage sales, or thrift stores. There are great bargains to be had at these places! You can find very nice clothing or shoes, often barely worn if worn at all, at a fraction of the price you'd pay at a retail store. Don't be hung-up on feeling compelled to dress your kids in brand new, pricey clothing!

Let's face it: Kids grow like weeds! Sometimes they outgrow shoes and clothes from one month to the next. When you stop and think about it, spending a small fortune on things that will be worn for a very short period of time makes no sense whatsoever. It may be important to some people to dress themselves and their children in designer labels. A status thing, sort of keeping-up-with-the Joneses, I suppose. But heads up! Kids don't care about designer labels or status or keeping up with anybody.

They don't need ridiculously over-priced play clothes or sneakers to flout their affluence. That's a grown-up thing. Kids need to be warm and comfortable, dressed for the season, and kept neat and clean. That's it. Anything over and beyond that isn't done for the sake of the children, it's done because parents want to use their kids as walking billboards, advertising how far up the ladder they've climbed.

Sounds harsh, doesn't it? But it's true.

If you can afford to dress your kids in designer duds and stay at home with them, that's cool. But if you can't afford to do both, as is true for the average American, and must take a full-time job outside the home in order to pay for those and other unnecessary symbols of your prosperity---that's not cool. Your kids should come first. They don't need $150 jeans to be happy. They need you.

Making the decision to opt out of the rat race and being a Stay At Home Mom is the greatest gift you could give your children. More valuable than even the highest priced clothes or toys, more precious than any designer label made. Your time spent nurturing and caring for your children during the first crucial formative years is something that nobody could hang a price tag on. Money cannot buy a happy childhood. The most exclusive day care center or private nanny cannot give your children what you can. If you ever doubt that you made the right decision about being a stay at home mom and feel twinges of guilt because your kids may not be dressed in kiddie haute couture---stop right there! Perish the thought!

Clothing wears out, tears up, goes out of style, is outgrown. But the time you spend teaching your kids things to help them lead a happy, successful life, guiding them and leading them in the right directions, loving and caring for them when they need those things the most......those things are forever. They won't go out of style or wear out and they'll certainly never be outgrown.