Motherhood and Materialism: Babies R Us Might Have Us All Fooled

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!  Today’s author is Lori D’Angelo.  Welcome, Lori!

Hi! I’m Lori D’Angelo and I am a fiction writer. I live in Virginia with my husband, son, dogs, and cat. Click here to read one of my recent short stories.

In the months before we had our child, I remember walking into Babies R Us and feeling very, very stressed.  What was all this stuff? And did we need it?  I had been reading parenting mags and baby books and online advice and felt that oh, yes, we did. Could we live without a changing table? Oh no, we could not.

But the problem was I got pregnant in graduate school and was looking for a job. Just paying monthly bills was a struggle. The other problem was that we lived in a house not a mega-mansion.

In the three years since my son was born, I’ve learned that we could live without a lot of that stuff. Due to the generosity of friends and relatives, we did get a lot of that stuff. But some of it we didn’t really need. Some of it, no one really needs. For example, a video baby monitor is really not a necessity. Nor, actually, in the house we live in now, is a baby monitor at all because our son’s room is right across from the master bedroom. So, if he cries, we hear him. Many things, like a crib mobile, are only going to be able to keep up for a short time. So, it’s okay if you don’t actually put one up at all.

Some things about our society, the ease of getting information quickly or the availability of a million latte flavors, are really great—especially on a day when you didn’t get much sleep. But some things really are a money drain. Just because something’s available to us doesn’t mean we have to have it. The joy, the pure joy of a hug from your child, is not at all dependent on whether or not he has a matching crib set.  So don’t let yourself get caught up in the designer parent rat race. You can be a good parent—regardless of whether you have a top of the line stroller and a $300 diaper bag.

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