I have read in other peoples comments that they never know what they will get over here. Today won't be any exception to that.
Recently I went to a baby shower and noticed a lot of new inventions that modern women require to care for infants. We now have Babies R Us stores. Huge stores devoted to all things needed to raise a baby. At this shower the MIL mentioned that the registry list was 17 pages long.
Deep breath, slowly relax, exhale, can you feel it coming? 17 pages!!
What the heck for? For one year? By the way we made our gifts.
Do we even know how to live simply anymore and just enjoy life? Where is the home and hearth? I would really like to know from young mom's why this is essential? Is it just cute? Does it make you feel like a better mother? Do you feel like your baby will fare better? Do you work at a job or at home with the baby? How much does all this cost? Where do you put it? Does it resell well second hand?
Here is the point. Some where along the way of our consumerism mentality we bought off a big chunk of what might be nonsense from somewhere, and some one; probably marketers. Marketers that have a vested interest in keeping young mothers busily working in the job force with their babies in day care. It keeps the wheels of progress turning. It keeps the coffers in the economy full. But what of home making? What of the heart?
I was poor when I had my baby so there was no choice. I had no skills to market so I took care of her myself. I did most everything the way I had learned from my own mother and as inexpensively as possible. Just for comparison let me tell what I actually had and used for my baby.
I had a baby back pack. That was my biggest splurge, on something really not necessary because it was a cool way to travel. It just didn't take a lot of effort to put "the little", in there and take off. I had a front carrier when she was teeny and put her in that to do house work, and be busy and just let her sleep. It was a kind of long extended pregnancy, but you know little newborns never let you sit down anyway! They always want to be walked so why not?
I had an umbroller stroller again for convenience it was small, portable and easy for me to tote along and use. A crib and a high chair.
My grandmother, my mother, and I all used the kitchen sink to bathe a baby. You put down a towel alongside the sink. Wash and soap the little fella and then using the football hold and firm grip around the arm pit you wash their hair and then sit em in the water, they love it. Easy peasy. No mess, no fuss, no bulky plastic tub with a humongous frog face on it. No tub to put in the tub, oh my aching back. I may be crazy but a lot of babies that I meet smell like they need a bath, maybe it's because of all the rigmarole to wash them.
A high chair is pretty nice, one of those little clip on chairs that can hook on the side of your table are really cool. I'd actually like to get one of those again for little visitors. Baby food was people food ground up or just soft foods like mashed potatoes, bananas, and cooked cereals. A burp rag was a clean diaper or cloth. We didn't have wipes. We used a warm wash cloth.
Recently I saw a picture of "cloth" diapers on a post. I almost fell out. These are really fancy pants shaped like a butt onezies with velcro and a whole host of other gadgets. Plastic wraps.
I busted out laughing, cloth diapers? Anyone out there besides me remember a real cloth diaper?
They are soft white rectangles of cotton cloth. They are FOLDED by you after you wash them. They are pinned on with diaper pins, that may have little ducks on the tips in pink, yellow, or blue. Then you put plastic pants over that. Let me tell you about poop duty with cloth diapers. First you shake out what isn't squished, you hope it isn't squished. Then you stick your hand into the toilet with the poopie diaper and vigorously swish that diaper around enough to get the bulk of the evidence to rinse off. You then put that diaper into a diaper pail that has some detergent and water in it to soak until you have a whole load of wash. Pleasant experience isn't it? You then wash your hands up to your elbows with pine sol and hope you don't have any hangnails. It is very nice to hang them on a clothes line to dry, they "air out". The sun bleaches them and babies skin faired better with less rashes when the diapers were dried outside. We had to go to a laundry mat. I put my baby daughter in a red wagon along with her diaper pail and we walked to the laundrymat.
So why then if we have disposable diapers, do we need, disposable diaper baggies, and disposable diaper pails? Tying it up in a Walmart shopping bag those ones we have hundreds of and putting it outside in the garbage can. would save money.
I am not even going to get started on all the baby hygiene products, toys, computer things, training things, baby genius devices, DVD's, CD's and actual entire TV stations of programming for the little baby to become an Einstein. This scares me. What kind of people will these infants be? What happened to holding and rocking? To patta cake and mud pies? To scooting around under foot with pots, pans, and spoons clattering away and making a racket? Was that really so deprived?
I actually think that why I am a good cook is because I grew up in the kitchen. I grew up under mama's feet. Playing in her cabinets. Handling scraps of biscuit dough or pie dough. Banging around with the pots and pretending to fix something. Which progressed to standing on a chair to watch. Standing on a chair to help. Bringing something to mother. Becoming tall enough to stir, tall enough to pour, all those things that made me feel so special and important. It was a big deal to pour milk. Now we poke a straw into a disposable sac or box.
I'm not saying these things are bad. They may be fun to use. I am just raising questions in our faltering economy about what we are doing and why do we do it? Why do we buy all this stuff and then have to go to a job to pay for it? Does it make us happier? My days of being a young mother are way in the past. My big splurge was a backpack. My indispensable item a play pen. I never had a baby swing, a baby tub, or any computer toys. So what do you think? Were we deprived? Is it all that it's cracked up to be? Speak up or forever hold your peace!