First time poster w/ a small vent about people who want STUFF! - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-08-2005, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Ya!

I'm Jen, I'm due in January (end of) with our first baby. I'm a vegan that cooks everything from scratch and am very considerate of waste and by-products from daily living that can be recycled or just not even needed in the first place. Right now, I work full-time and my husband, who was just laid off, is starting a new temp job that will take him through December. Hopefully, he'll have an electrical apprenticeship to start in January that is a five-year program. At that point, we will probably go down to one income to let me stay home with baby. We are hoping to go down to one car at that time as well, but we'll see.

I have been involved on another website's board with other mommas who share my 'birth month' and have been profoundly disappointed in so many of the attitudes I've seen displayed. There are people on the board who think that they should get EVERYTHING they "need" at the baby shower and are getting stressed about having to buy STUFF. They are registering for $200 crib sets and $400 travel systems and checking their registries and venting about how no one is getting anything that they wanted.

Where has pure gratitude gone? How did this 'entitlement' that people feel to get THINGS enter the picture? I just don't understand why people think that they NEED everything for their baby.

Here's my list of what I got and where I got it and how much I paid.

Crib with newer mattress: $60 second-hand store (gave them desc of what I wanted, told them to call, 3 days later, had it)


Playpen, older, but clean: $5 garage sale


Dresser, older, needs paint job: free, came w/ DH when I married him


20 onesies (diff. sizes), 15 gender-neutral outfits (mostly newborn & 3-6 size), 8 prs socks, 6 burping clothes, 2 bibs, 6 recieving blankets: $37 garage sales over 2 weeks


25 Cloth diapers: free, my mom made them from flannel, just like the ones I had as a baby.


4 soft washclothes: free, again mom-made


6 diaper covers: $50, ordered from babyworks.com


used glider: $15 garage sale

We are buying a new car seat, a sling, and some of the smaller items (ie: thermometer, sheets, etc).

There are several people at work that are knitting baby blankets for me. We decided against getting a stroller b/c its too bulky and it's just not NECESSARY for the newborn in the middle of winter. I will be getting a backpack as a 'diaper bag'. I am breastfeeding exclusively. The 'nursery' is our spare room, we'll paint it and the crib and dresser and stick them in there. Our child doesn't need all the gizmos and gadgets out there.

When I got pregnant, the first thing I started budgeting for was for these things. I will not depend on other people to get what I tell them to get from a registry, that takes all the fun out of buying presents.

Am I totally out of line for believing this way? Is there anybody out there like me? I feel like it's very hard to fit in on that board b/c of those sorts of posts, along with the vents on DH posts and the lack of common sense posts.

Looking forward to answers, sorry if I offended anyone first time out.

Jen D.

----

Messianic mama to 3 boys, C (4 yrs), E (22 mths), B (newborn)
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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you came tro the right place!!!! i also have gotten most of our baby clothes from garage sales/second hand shops. i bought a bassinet and travel system from a second hand shop. the only thing we purchased new was a crib and a carseat. i do NOT want a stroller but a friend of mine gave me one. i dont know that i will ever use it.
people want THINGS because that is what our society teaches....
i do admit to buying way too many cloth diapers (cd's). there are a zillion abbreviations here on mothering, so my first word of advics is for you to look at those. when i first joined a few months ago, i was overwhelmed when i didnt know what dh, ds, dd, etc. meant (dear husband, son and daughter). lol!
welcome! you will be embraced and feel at home here!
rach
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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Jen, welcome! Glad you've joined our board. Sounds like you'll fit right in.

I can definitely identify with some of the feelings you've expressed. I get such great satisfaction from reusing and recycling things. I do lots of shopping for my children at Goodwill and so love the fun of coming across something great for $2.49 that first, my children will use and second, will keep me from causing something else to be mass-produced. I also really enjoy sewing and knitting for my children and for presents for others, although the time I have available to do that has really diminished. We got many of our things used with dd#1, too. High chair, crib, many clothes, wraps, sling, many toys and books. We bought our diapers new, but they are now about to be used for the third child, and when we finish with them, I'll find someone else who can use them. And now that I am about to have my third child, we are pleased to not really need anything but support from family and friends.

Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes great!

Emily
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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We've definitely become much less material oriented, and this does seem to be a theme on this board.

My dh and I try not to be judgemental about this, but what we tend to notice is when peers our age - friends or co-workers, get and expect a lot of financial support from their parents. We have never gotten anything from his family - other than a guilt trip to pay their rent payment for them. My dad painted our first home for us 9 years ago as sweat equity for us and we were EXTREMELY grateful, and have bought them some nice gifts. My parents borrow money from us on a regular basis (but always pay it back). We couldn't go to them to borrow money if we ever needed it - we need to be able to cover ourselves financially because we have no one to turn to if we get into "trouble".

When we had our first, I got layed off while 7 months pg. I was going to make due with my sister's crib - which was fine. Baby's room had a huge closet, so I was going to put things on hangers, maybe get a cheap used dresser. Then, while we weren't home my parents brought in a brand new crib, matching tall dresser and matching wide dresser that they COULD NOT AFFORD! It was really crazy. I think they put in on a credit card. We don't even carry a credit card balance.

That is another thing that we don't understand - people that live beyond their means to keep up with the Jones. It is just sad and puts so much stress on you. I guess I am really blessed that my husband is good at managing our money. We are frugal in some areas and able to splurge on the stuff that is more important to us.

Money and material things are such a tricky subject - everyone has to deal with them, some of us do better than others. I try not to judge other folks, but it is interesting to see how other people view and handle money.

Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.

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Old 11-08-2005, 08:04 PM
 
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Yep, you're definitely in the right place. I am one who vented about people not getting what I need at the shower. (Actually it didn't turn out too bad. ) But my needs were: diapers, clothes, a sling, and some nursing supplies like pads and bras. We don't need any furniture, or the accessories to go with, we don't need any baby holders (like bouncers or exersaucers), we DEFINITELY don't need bottles! I was at a mainstream board for a lil while, and I peeked in on what the other mamas were registering for, and one of them specifically said she wasn't going to register for the neccesities, because people don't like to buy BORING things! Whatever we didn't get at the shower (pretty much everything, I mostly got clothes) we'll be looking for used off Ebay first, and then buying if we need it.
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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Welcome to MDC! I get so annoyed with all the consumerism too! I have friends who think it's "disgusting" that I buy all baby's clothes at thrift stores. WTH? It's not like you can't wash them . . . And then people tell me I'm so lucky that I get to be a stay at home mom. While I am fortunate to have this option, it also involves tons of hard work and scrimping and saving. It's not like I just up and decided to not work anymore and there were no consequences. Anyway, I got off topic. I think you'll like the boards, I'm so glad I found them and was able to get away from the mainstream boards where all anyone can talk about is which stroller they're getting and how "fat" they are while pregnant!
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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I hear you!! I'm being thrown a baby shower by a few of the IL's, and while I really appriciate that they are doing it, I'm not depending on the gifts. I'm more than thrilled that they are taking the time, energy, and money to plan a party (It's Co-Ed, so not really a 'baby shower' persay. More of a 'baby party'!) for us. I did register, however, for those who wanted to know what I wanted. There are some people who prefer it that way.

I'll graciously accept whatever someone gives to me. If they spent their time thinking of me, that's more than what I would have asked for.
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Old 11-13-2005, 05:26 AM
 
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Welcome to MDC!

You will find that most of the people here will enthusiastically agree with you. About the only areas the people here get excessive is too many diapers and too many slings. But, then again, most of them recognize that they have more than they need, and many mamas here are as generous as the day is long with their extras.

I think the only thing I have bought for the baby so far is a different nursing pillow that I got from the Trading Post here and some used prefolds from a local friend (I didn't CD ds as a newborn). The only thing I plan on buying as "new" is a few Bumpy night covers and some pink snappis. I am getting some hand-me-down clothes, but so far they are very out of season for my January babe, so I might have to try and find a few items. I still need to dig out my ds' clothes and see what is still usable from those. (most were used when I got them and they might be too rough by now).

About the only things you 'need' for a child is a car seat, some diapers (although ECers would argue that) and a few clothes and blankets to keep our winter babies warm. (and feeding supplies if you are unable to breastfeed) Everything else is a different level of 'want', unless you have a unique situation (handicapped you might need a stroller, for instance)

I know what you mean though. I am in a blog ring of people expecting in January. As far as I can tell, I am the least mainstream mama, and probably the oldest, and one of the very few married ones. I have thought about leaving many times, but have noticed comments here and there from people who seem to be intrigued by some of my 'weird' ideas. So, I stay. As long as I am not harrased I figure I can be a bit of a mentor since so many of them are so young and so unsupported. I also noticed a big reduction in the 'what I MUST HAVE' posts after I made a post about the issue. (very gently, I might add). Some people just have never been exposed to anything but a consumerist culture and never really thought to even question it.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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Old 11-13-2005, 01:45 PM
 
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I think people, especially first time parents, are just so blinded by our consumeristic society and influenced by the media that they feel they NEED this stuff, that they won't be good parents without it.

What kills me is when 2nd, and 3rd time moms do it too! Didn't they learn the first time how unnecessary that stuff was?
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Old 11-13-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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When I registered for stuff for my babyshowers I was more than a little put off by the registration packet. The two pager listing all the stuff you simply must have for your baby - 95% totally unneccessary. I tried to butt in to conversations to let new parents know that "no you really don't need that" - in a nice way and only when I'd made other small talk first.

That said, I've learned better than to judge the choices that others make. With my first I was on a very limited budget and went second hand most of the way. With my second, we were much better off finanacially and I loved that I got to buy things new, even though there wasn't much we needed.

I can totally understand the frustration with not getting things on the registry. With my first there were things that I generally needed. Only one person bought off my registry which resulted in my spending days running around town returning things that I got for things I needed. Yes I appreciated the thought, but the fact is I had needs and no one bothered to look - the info was right there on the invitation. That annoyed me. Since then I *always* buy off the registry unless I've talked to the mom first - I typically buy a sling for new moms.

At my shower for my second everyone pitched in and gave money to my boss. She bought us a double stroller which I'd asked for, but she sent her husband who didn't check the registry so he got the travel system instead of the jogger which we wanted/needed. We exchanged. All the left over was put on gift cards and that was awesome!
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