Somehow I ended up with 13 strollers, 9 baby carriers, 3 dozen baby blankets and more diaper bags than the whole Kardashian clan would need. “How many kids do you have?” I get asked often. I never realized how fast and severe my hoarding of baby gear got to be.
I guess it all started when I found out I was pregnant. As a first time mom, I wanted nothing but the best for my baby. I shopped around everywhere for the perfect pieces for my baby’s nursery. I remember throwing a huge hormonal fit when my husband didn’t order the matching ottoman for my Pottery Barn Glider. How dare he. He obviously does not care for this child. What kind of father forgets about the ottoman?
The funny part is, I never ended up using anything in the nursery and sold everything for pennies on the dollar. We can joke about it now but it was a big deal to me at the time.
During the baby shower, other moms are always eager to share their miracle baby products such as swings, high chairs, swaddles, sound machines, etc. There is never a shortage of newer and better baby gear product launches. So I listen to these experienced mothers and I buy. After the baby came, I joined lots of mommy groups (both online and local). This was probably the best and the worst thing that could have happened to me. I connected with other moms. I asked a lot of questions. “What’s the best diaper bag that’s lightweight, easy to clean and still looks stylish?”, “Which car seat is safest, easiest to install and takes up the least amount of space?”, “What stroller do you recommend for in and out of cars that’s best suited for a newborn and a toddler?”. And just like that, I joined over 30 to 40 Facebook groups online including Tula blankets and carriers, Jujube bags, and many different brands of strollers.
So I buy some more.
I justified these purchases by telling myself they’re for my kids. But let’s be real, they’re really for us. I don’t think our babies know the difference between a fancy diaper bag and a plastic shopping bag. Did I hope I look like a good mom with them? Yes. Did I think I would be more accepted by other moms? Although I was never one to fall for peer pressure, the insecurity in me says yes.
Like other first time moms, I often doubted my ability as a mother. I think these purchases somehow helped fill that void, after all, it is retail therapy. There was also a part of me that thought I deserved it. It’s a small price for pay for the large sacrifice I’ve made including my body, my career and whatever ounce of coolness I had left. And then there’s the perfectionist in me that is always on the hunt for the end all product, the one and only that fits all occasions. Since all babies and family situations are all different, we know this is like chasing a unicorn. It just does not exist.
My bank account thinks otherwise but I do not regret my insane amount of baby gear purchases at all.
I had a lot of fun trying them out, giving my opinions and reviews. Our priorities change after becoming a mom. I’ve given up my wardrobe and beauty items and redirected the budget. I could talk with my mommy friends for hours on end about baby gear. Kids outgrow everything so fast that there is such a limited amount of time to use them. I love being able to try out as many as my budget allows.
I’m also constantly learning which is something I’ve always pushed myself to do as a person. Having a wealth of knowledge and being able to help others makes me feel good about myself. After 2 weeks of cleaning up vomit and diarrhea, I need a little something to remind me of what a picture perfect mother and baby looks like…you know…the perfect hair on baby and mommy, dressed in cute matching outfits, mom pushing the latest top of the line fancy stroller with the
hottest limited edition print diaper bag hanging from the handlebar.
I hope on a good day when my kids cooperate and the stars align, I will be able to capture that moment forever. I guess in the end, retail therapy does work. Even if the happiness only lasts before I get next month’s bill, it’s well worth every penny. I only wish my therapist would agree.