How Do You Take 9 Kids Shoe Shopping?

Well, if you are my mother, who survived raising 9 kids ON HER OWN,  you find a creative way to get those shoes.

Yes, that’s right!  My mother and father had NINE kids.

Back in the day… it was normal where we grew up!  Heck, we weren’t even the largest family.  However we were the largest family with only one parent.   My mom and dad D.I.V.O.R.C E.D when I was five years old.

I always wonder how she did it.  She amazes me!  Even to this day, my mother amazes me.  She is 93 years old, lives on her own and dotes on 3 fat cats.  I told her she needs to get 6 more, one cat for each kid she has!

But back to the question at hand.  How do you take 9 kids shoe shopping?

This is how my mother did it and I think it is just brilliant.  It is also one of my most favorite memories.

Mom would catch each one of us, when she could, whip out a piece of paper and hold our foot down on it.  She would then find a nub of a pencil, a crayon or lipstick and trace around each kids foot:


I loved it for two reasons.  Number one it meant I was getting a badly needed pair of brand new shoes!


Number two, it tickled!

After she got the outline of each dirty little foot:


(I am sure she did a better job than I do, she had more feet to trace!)


She would then write our name on each foot!

Then off to the shoe store she would go with 9 feet!   WITHOUT the kids in tow!  Now isn’t that just brilliant?

When I take my daughter to the store, I inevitably end up buying more than one pair of shoes for her, there are socks and accessories, tops and scarves…you get the picture.   I have never traced her foot…

Well, my mom had a great idea.  Just don’t take the kids, can you imagine NINE KIDS shopping?

Got to hand it to my Mom!  I think I am going to take her lead.  Maybe I won’t trace my daughters feet, but I think I will leave her home and save more money!

Wasn’t that just brilliant?


13 thoughts on “How Do You Take 9 Kids Shoe Shopping?

    • We had so many hand me downs too and thrift store clothes. I don’t think I will ever recover from the vertical stripes on my pants matched with paisly top with 5 inch colars. OMGosh!!! Thanks mom!

    • I know right? She did so many little things, that really added up to her success. She was able to retire at 60 and travel, on a shoe string mind you, but she saw the world!

    • Thank you! One thing is for sure, I def. don’t get too many mani/pedis and when I do, I try to go it alone! But kid loves them too, so sometimes I budget for her! My mom is my hero too!

  1. Your mom was obviously a very smart lady! I am sure she learned very early on that trying to take multiple kids to a show store was nuts and came up with tis great idea! I remember reading about two single parents with with lots of kids who married. The dad hit on the idea of going to the store, buying 20 pairs of assorted tennis shoes, bringing them home, and letting the kids try them on and matching as many pairs to kids as possible. Then he would take the ones that didn’t fit back to the store and get the correct ones for the kids that were left.

    • Thats is a great idea. My mom didn’t drive so she usually only had one chance to get it right. Can you imagine not driving. I remember going to the doctor on the bus, now that was miserable!!! 😉

  2. What a great memory! You’re mom sounds like a great lady. I grew up with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My parents were O.K. financially but I think that was partly because my mom was Mrs. Frugal McFrugalson. While she never traced our foot to go shoe shopping, we always wore hand-me-downs. Most of the time if we got a new clothing item it was handmade, which at the time felt embarrassing because we all wanted the cool name brands from the store, but in hindsight it makes me love her even more. Shoes were one of the few things we actually got to go to the store to pick out when we absolutely couldn’t mend or make do with an old pair. I rarely go shopping but now I get all nostalgic any time I walk past a shoe department or store.

    • “Mrs. Frugal McFrugalson”. Love that!!! It sure is a different life, shopping has become the norm these days. Thank you for stopping by, I will check our your blog too!

  3. This is a riot! I just did this with my youngest and measured the rest of their hands for mittens. Then only went shopping with my oldest daughter and the two trouble makers (#6 and #8 both boys of course) because if I leave those two home they cause, well, trouble. 😉

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