What was your initial reaction when finding out you were pregnant? Mine was a big, fat profanity followed by a call to one of my closest friends. I still wanted to save more money, travel and live before I needed to share my salary with another human. It’s true, babies are the smallest humans in your house, but take up the most space in your house, car and of your salary. I wanted to run my first marathon before I shared my body with someone else. Selfish? I think not.
There’s a reason that they call your 20’s your most selfish years. We spend our childhood and then teenagerhood studying. You then graduate as a 20 something year old, with a job (if you’re lucky in South Africa’s current economic climate) and you are finally able to do whatever you want with it! You are allowed to be selfish. Selfish in saving, selfish in how you spend. It’s your first years that you’re really free. Institutional freedom, financial freedom.
Until that bloody pregnancy test. Suddenly, your holiday fund turns to the baby fund. You’re lurking around Baby City, Dischem and Makro every other day looking for a special on nappies. Another thing I have noticed with younger moms is their innate need to have everything better than the next mom.
A better house, a better husband, a better cot, a better pram/stroller, a better baby.
And with that elevates the spending on baby goods. Which is why we think that we need to plan to have babies. The fact is, you do need to be financially stable. You DON’T need to spend R 54 000 on that stroller.
I wanted the things that looked unique and different. The Perspex cot and the pram that looked like a space ship that cost just about as much. When I really sat down and thought about it, how worth it is it?
For example, the pram that I wanted cost about R28 000 and carried a child up to 13 kgs. Roughly a 13 month old baby. We would spend the first 6 weeks indoors, probably. Then go out about twice a month with the pram (we are both in the working class), excluding shopping trips. Newsflash: You cant push a pram AND a trolley! Neither can you push one and your husband another, you would be jamming up the whole aisle at Woolworths!
Back to it, lets do the math:
12 months is 52 weeks.
You barely use the pram in the first 2 months because your baby might as well be stitched to your breast.
52-8= 34 weeks
R28 000 divided by 34 = ….. an outing. That’s excluding your car bill to take you where you are going, your food bill if you’re at a restaurant, your clothes, your make up, your husbands… Get my point?
Invest in things that are practical, cheap and this can look good as well!
We had a Q&A over on my Instagram account (@cubs_den if youre not already following me) a few weeks back. Included in my essentials for a newborn baby are some of the responses shared by real moms.
When you book your hospital bed around 28 weeks pregnant, I suggest you ask your hospital what they would provide you with. Some hospitals will provide you with everything for your baby. I’ve already done a post on your hospital bag essentials (LINKED HERE)
This post is about not breaking the bank or overbuying in preparation for your baby. Here are some essentials you will need for a newborn baby.
That is it. That is all you need. The days of needing EVERYTHING before the baby is born should be gone. The truth is that your baby only needs you. You, your comfort, your milk. Don’t overburden yourself or go into debt over something that your child will not consciously know they have.
You will. This brings me back to our need to compete with each other. Why does society teach us that we will only be happy if we have something that’s better than the next person. This is the beginning of our feelings of inadequacy as parents. Let’s stop this now. Let’s be the change.