Are you ready for a shocking revelation over here? Registering is awful. I usually love all the research and crowd sourcing and heck, just reconnaissance shopping involved in planning out a registry, and certainly imagined Brian and I having such a blast testing out strollers and choosing a fun activity gym for our baby girl. But the truth is, it’s incredibly stressful. We blocked off time last night to work on the shower registry together and accomplished exactly zilch. We couldn’t even land on the best place to register. A friend recommended Amazing Registry which lets you choose items from anywhere, but we spent a good half hour comparing similar sites like Babyli.st and My Registry before taking a look at single store registry options like Babies ‘R” Us and Buy Buy Baby.
I think the heart of the issue is that despite being halfway through my pregnancy and having the incredible benefit of the tried and true recommendations and advice of all the moms in our lives, making these decisions is our first real taste of parenthood. Until now, “having our first child” has been like a fantasy. It’s been daydreaming about nursery decor and oohing and aahing over sweet little baby girl clothes. I’ve had check-ups and sonograms and my belly is finally starting to pop (!), so my schedule and body are certainly primed and ready, but I think this last hurdle is mental.
It’s funny (or maybe not so funny, now that I typing this), but when I express this to more experienced moms in particular, I’m usually met with a lot of guffaws, and “gee, maybe you should have thought this out more.” One even had the gall to suggest that maybe we weren’t ready if we couldn’t even handle selecting baby gear. Where is the solidarity, sister?! It made me really think, who is ever really, truly ready to have a baby? It seems to be that overthinking everything, starting well before they’re even hereis is part of it!
Thinking through the types of products we want for our baby is forcing us to really think about the types of parents we want to be and what we imagine our life will be like once our duo becomes a trio. The big unknown of course, is what our baby will be like. It’s the X-factor that will influence everything as far as our lives and hopes and plans are concerned. A friend recently asked if we thought we’d do Newport Folk Festival with the baby next summer — an annual tradition. I have no idea! If we think we’ll be very active and travel much with her, does a convertible stroller system make sense? Or will we be baby-wearers? Do I still want to attempt cloth diapering? Will I (try to) exclusively breast feed? I probably don’t need a crazy dual manual pump then.
I think my greatest takeaway so far is that you have to be flexible as a parent. What works great for one baby may not work well for ours. And to just trust that we’ll figure it out as we go. Still, I’d LOVE to hear what your baby essentials were. After testing out a few options, we eventually finally decided to use Amazing Registry for our baby registry, but haven’t made much progress. I think a few spins through Babies ‘R’ Us are in our future.