This is not written by the perfect mom, perfect wife, or even a perfect human. I feel assured you would know that by looking at me, even more so if you know me. However, when writing something from my heart this way, I feel you should know I know I’m not perfect.
Right now my family is putting up with me going through my annual reorganization project. This is annual because sometime this year all my efforts will slowly die off as I let go of “the plan” and replace it with busy-ness and probably laziness. But while the cleaning bug is fresh, I’ve had some thoughts regarding what you need to have a baby or babies, and what you’re told you need to have baby(ies).
A few ideas off the top of my head:
The picture perfect nursery with all the trimmings
An ornate travel system
Deluxe diaper bag and accessories
All manner of light up, gotchya, eye catching toys
Ultimate baby food making system
And of course, where would you put the baby without the perfect house?
So basically, the only people who should really be having children are 40 year old’s with surgeon’s salaries. Too bad that’s a limited demographic. What are the rest of us supposed to do? How will our children ever have everything they need to thrive and flourish and be happy?
Our Nursery pix (it’s changed some in two years, but this is what Elijah had to come home to)
Here’s my list of Essentials:
Concern for the child’s well-being
Ability to make do with what you have and instill that value in your children
Faith in God to provide
Patience with children, with yourself, with your spouse (still working on that one!)
Network of understanding friends (this takes work too, but it’s possible)
We live in what I think is a very adequate two bedroom town house that we rent. I’ve had the situation occur more than once where acquaintances, often younger, made me feel like the setup we have just isn’t enough. Even if we had to keep renting, we should rent something bigger and better. When Elijah was growing inside of me and we began planning his nursery, we knew we wouldn’t be buying a set from Babies R Us at $500 a piece. We knew we wouldn’t be driving him home in a fully loaded SUV. But we knew we would love him, give him everything he needed to be healthy, safe, and loved. With gift cards and cash gifts that come from baby showers, we put together clothing storage from colorful plastic drawer units. We used wall decals to personalize and kid-i-fy the nursery. We had an all in one pack and play system for around $200 new. A convertible car seat that at 2 1/2 he can still use, that had a 6 star rating, for around $250. His clothes are consignment and hand me downs. His food was my breast milk for 15 months, and with a standard blender, I pureed our food for him. What toys he has, he usually gets from consignment stores or gifts from grandparents. He still prefers anything from the cupboard or my makeup bag, or library books, sticks and mud, cardboard boxes. We used cloth diapers which was a one time cost of $120. We did elimination communication and he was day time potty trained at 15 months. For one year we used a pull up at nap time and bedtime and spent $120-$130 total. He moved to night time dryness on his own at 27 months. When he moved into a big boy bed at 19 months, it was my old day bed with my bedding I got in college and a safety side rail I bartered for with a friend. Only recently did I purchase bedding specific for him, and it was consignment, $30 for an adorable sock monkey set. 2 year old boys do not care what color the sheets are or if they match the theme of the room. That’s a marketing thing.
When I think of the conditions people live in the world over, so far below what our country calls poverty level, with many children under one roof, I am humbled by what I have, and what I continue to get rid of every year. We truly have so much space, and such great living conditions for only three people and one full time income. We are blessed and I am grateful! I hope this post can bless and encourage someone today.