And every once in a while, I have a whole-body ache to have a little one.
Please understand me when I say that I do want a baby, but the timing is not right now, today. My husband, James, and I are in the middle of a cross-continent move, I need to have a wisdom tooth extraction and my body is nowhere near where I want it to be to meet my pre-pregnancy health and fitness goals. I get winded just walking up and down the stairs.
But I know that within a 3-year time period, I’m very likely to be sitting in a much more stable and baby-friendly situation. Now that I’ve added in my disclaimer, I repeat: I have a whole body ache to have a little one. I know that not every woman experiences this, but I have heard that some women do. So, at the very least, I don’t feel like a total alien for wanting to be a mom in a very career-first sort of world.
Fortunately or unfortunately for me, it seems to hit whenever I am out shopping. I round the corner in Target and suddenly, a Country Western rattlesnake noise sounds off. Suddenly, newborn size Santa pajamas – with the little footies in them- are staring at me, right between the eyes. So what do I do? Keep calm… walk over… They’re on sale. So, there I am. Its just me, surrounded by actual mothers, and these Santa footie pajamas for $2.00 on clearance. Cue sagebrush rolling by.
Cutscene to me hiding the footie pajamas in my sock box for a week out of some odd sense of shame. Because yes, I bought them and no, I’m not pregnant. And isn’t that just weird? No, it isn’t. And I shouldn’t judge myself so harshly for many reasons. After I finally worked up the courage to admit to my husband that I bought newborn Santa footie pajamas, he didn’t think it was weird either. He actually encouraged me to go ahead and snag some baby gear since he’s heard how inexpensive baby clothing and necessities can be found when on clearance versus full price. Thus, our Baby Box was er… born.
Top 5 Reasons I Have a Baby Box (and Don’t Have a Baby Yet):
(1) I am in a solid relationship moving towards starting a family. My husband and I are moving towards starting a family in the near-future, which we’ve talked about at length for a while now. Our relationship is on solid ground financially and emotionally. I might not be pregnant today, but within 1-2 years, there is a very good possibility that I will be. It is very important to me, as well, that having a baby wasn’t just my wish, alone. I want to begin our family when my husband is ready, too. We have talked about it and we’re in agreement with moving forward sooner than later, with a few immediate goals (hello, wisdom tooth extraction and cross-continent move!) that we need to meet first. He’s ready to be a dad. I’m ready to be a mom.
(2) We will save money in the long-run. Baby items, specifically clothing, can be found at ridiculously inexpensive prices when on clearance. I have found little cotton stretch pants for $1.80 at Target before. Before we move from Canada, I also wanted some specifically-Canadian things for a little one since I know his or her first years will likely be in the US. It is really important to me that he or she can celebrate their Canadian heritage too. So, after Canada Day, I went to the Old Navy clearance section and found lots of cute things, including a little winter beanie/toque/toboggan (depending upon where you’re from) for $4.00 with the Canadian flag all over it, as well as no-slip Canadian flag socks in different sizes and a maple leaf sippy cup. Adorable. Wouldn’t trade them for the world.
(3) I am educating myself in an entirely new area. Knowing what is available familiarizes me with what decisions I will want to make and what I need to research more. What kind of nipples will my baby need on its bottle to reduce colic? Will I bottle feed or breast feed or both? Will I use a soother and when should I introduce it? If I’m a stay-at-home mom, and do breastfeed, do I still want a pump? What supplies will I use the first week and what will be a waste of money? I try to (flexibly) plan as much as I can so I see a lot of value in answering these questions ahead of time.
(4) It makes me practice self-discipline and putting material things into perspective. The idea of dressing a baby is the cutest little dream. However, this is real life and far-reaching purchases can be more than impractical. I like nice baby clothes, but I realize that littles will have lots of accidents, be sensitive to certain materials and hate extra frills. So, maybe shelling out $200.00 on a stark white baby tracksuit that the baby will outgrow within a few weeks isn’t the route that I want to take. But $7.00 for a 3-set of onesies with built in scratch mittens and bottom buttons for easy changing? I’m there. No, really. They’re already in the Baby Box. Anything expensive, such as holiday outfits or professional photography outfits, will be made with baby present for appropriate sizing reasons.
(5) I can let my mind go into a happy daydream. I want to be a mother. When I left my career, it was to for the purpose of beginning a family. I knew that not everyone would like that choice, but it was mine to make and I am satisfied with it. I have always been a future-oriented person, planning things ahead and envisioning how things would be for both the positive and negative. There are some days where I love to indulge thinking about baby names or daydreaming about a toddler “helping” me make a meal in the kitchen or coloring a page for Papa. I’m looking forward to helping a little one learn about how big and fun and wonderful the world around them can be and sometimes having a real thing or two in a Baby Box makes it feel a little bit more real. Although I made the choice and it hasn’t manifested yet, it will.
Is there ever a time that I wouldn’t maintain or purchase items for a Baby Box?
I would not maintain a Baby Box if it became emotionally detrimental in any way to me or my husband. There are many couples struggling with conception or who are unable to have children and a constant reminder of things for a possible child could become an emotional hazard. As in many cases, the things themselves are not as important as the meaning we project onto them. If my Baby Box were to ever be a source of negative thoughts, the Box would be packed away into storage or donated.
For now, Baby Box is in our bedroom closet and whenever I want I can go fold and re-fold the little clothes or muse over the perfectly-matched washcloth and towel sets. But one day, hopefully soon, they’ll all be just another little detail in our big family portrait.
Do you have a Baby Box or did you have a Baby Box prior to having a baby? Tell me your thoughts below.