As soon as we found out we were pregnant, all I wanted to do was get everything organized. I wanted to be ready for the day our baby arrived. I needed to have the perfect nursery with all the accompanying items that go in it. That meant I had to go shopping!
I loved shopping! And now I had a good reason. I needed to get all this stuff because we were going to have a baby!! We needed everything for a baby since we didn’t have anything baby related. But what exactly was everything? I didn’t really know.
I went to the baby store and looked around. We got a list from the salesperson that had things you will need for your baby. It had big items on it like a crib, change table, stroller, but also more detailed items, such as crib sheets, bumper pads, crib mobile, diaper genie, nursing cover, receiving blankets, burp cloths, etc. I didn’t even know what a receiving blanket was. But the list said we needed them so obviously it must be true! (I did end up using receiving blankets but I don’t think I needed quite so many)
I was so excited to get all these things. If it were up to me and a never-ending budget, I probably would’ve bought everything in one day. I needed to be ready. It didn’t matter how much everything would cost in the end, I just knew we had to get it all. How else was I supposed to be prepared for such a life changing event?
I saw a post on Facebook a little while ago that said something like “I found a bassinet on one of the bidding groups, but the skirt on it has lambs and our nursery theme is elephants. Does anyone know where I can get one with elephants so it will match??” I started laughing. Not at the lady who wrote this (at least she used a bidding group, I didn’t even know about those then). At myself. Because I was that lady at some point. I would’ve said the exact same thing!!
I had to have everything be just perfect. Otherwise, how could I take care of our baby? If the lamp in the nursery didn’t match the bedding? If the crib bumpers weren’t part of the bedding set? If the mobile had stars not butterflies, although had the same colours?
How could I be a good mom if I didn’t have a wipe warmer? Or a bunch of baby clothes? (Like way more than a baby would ever need)
Looking back, I didn’t know anything about being a parent. I didn’t know how to take care of a baby. Going shopping and buying everything I thought I would need, trying to create the perfect nursery for our new arrival, was me ignoring my fears. I couldn’t fail if I had all the right things. Right?
That’s the solution we are always presented. Big life change happening? Go shopping! Even a small change warrants a new item. Everything is solved by shopping! It makes you happy when you find that one perfect item and you get to ignore the real reason you’re trying to make yourself feel better.
Except, it doesn’t usually end there. The joy you experienced when you bought something fades and you need to buy something else. There always has to be more. We get stuck on this endless consumer carousel without even thinking about it.
In my case, I was ignoring my fear of failure. I didn’t have to deal with it if I was constantly focused on what other items we needed. I didn’t even stop to consider that I could get most of these items used at a much cheaper cost. I had to have (almost) everything brand new. I did get a change table from our family that has been passed down for quite a few years (and is in amazing shape) and some used baby clothes, which were in perfect condition.
When I had my second baby, I did things a bit differently. I still had to get clothes because we had a boy and I thought he might look a bit funny in his older sister’s dresses. But I didn’t buy him new bedding for the crib. He’s currently sleeping on a white sheet with pink polka dots and has purple crib bumpers. His lamp has purple on it and so are the walls in his room. And guess what? He doesn’t care!! He’s a baby! All he cares about is food, having a clean diaper, having his family around to play with and take care of him.
I’m not saying shopping is bad. Or that you don’t have to care at all about what your kid’s room looks like. You will still have to get things for your nursery, but you should get things that you will actually use. We don’t need to spend this much energy and money to get the perfect looking nursery we saw on Pinterest. Just because that’s what’s trending right now.
Q’s room looks quite nice, it’s organized and has custom made (by us and family) artwork on his walls. He has good-looking clothes, even though most were purchased second-hand or handed down to us. He doesn’t want or lack for anything.
The painting above with Q’s initials was made by T just before he was born. The Winnie the Pooh artwork beside it and the wall hanging underneath, were made by his great aunt, who is very, very talented. I will always treasure these gifts. They are priceless.
I think as new parents, we are preyed upon by marketers. We are led to believe we need all this stuff if we are ever going to be good parents. We need to have a matching nursery. It’s either elephants or lambs, you can’t have both! That would just be silly. What will your baby think? Obviously they will say you’re crazy, how can you have lambs and elephants??
Or they won’t. Because they’re babies. They don’t talk!! They just love you for who you are. They are a new part of your life. They won’t judge you or think you suck as a parent, even when you think you do. All they need is you. I promise they don’t care if anything is matching. Just ask my son!
So instead of wasting your hard-earned dollars on the most expensive stroller you can find, why not save it for something they will actually need or want later on? Or for a trip somewhere? Or their future? Or you know, not overspending and racking up credit card debt like I did. The cheaper stroller works just as good. You can even find free ones that people give away when they’re done with them.
It’s amazing how many baby items you can find second-hand that are in perfect condition for a fraction of the cost! I honestly wish I had thought about that when we first had our baby.
But that’s for another post. For now, make your nursery how you want to! Not how you feel like it has to look for other people’s sake. Because in the end, it’s what you think that matters. Your baby will love you regardless.
If you read this whole article, thank you! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
If you would like to follow along with my journey towards simple living, sign up for emails and you will be notified of new posts 🙂