What I am against, though, are the “Registry Essentials”-type lists in Any Pregnancy Magazine. It’s those words and phrases: “essential,” “must-have,” and “you absolutely cannot be without this…”
I am fairly certain my baby’s quality of life will not suffer without a wet wipes warmer.
I also do not need a motion sensory function on my baby monitor. Or, for that matter, a video component with better HD quality than the TV in our living room.
Now we know what’s wrong with the world! We are descended from heathens who raised babies that suffered unspeakable tragedies because their parents couldn’t get HD in the cave!
I’m done now. I’m frustrated, yes, but amused more than anything else. First trimester me might have cried over that list — a full page of small print, sans graphics, conveniently placed at the beginning of the Babies R’ Us catalog that is nearly an inch thick and chock full of “all the essentials.”
You don’t want to know how far down an earthy gal can pare that list.
Suffice it to say that just past the halfway point, I rightly recognized that pregnancy is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Even further, and perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned so far about being pregnant and becoming a mama: I know what to do.
I know what’s “essential” for Jon and I to raise a baby — our way. I know it inherently, somehow (hint: it doesn’t include a leopard-print sleep positioner). And I’ll keep learning more, intuitively. Because all joking aside, our ancestors did all this without birthing classes and smart phone apps to tell them what food item is comparably sized to their growing fetuses on a given week.
Some of those extras are just good for morale. Like the wall decals I want to get to match the “forest friends” motif I’ve all but officially decided I want for the nursery. Adhesive porcupines: essential? No way. Adorable? Absolutely. And I like my apps, but I don’t feel they’ve enhanced my pregnancy outside of letting me geek a little when I have a couple minutes to spare.
I have found a few lists that are reasonable, like this one at Rookie Moms. They’ve tiered items according to what really is essential, like the car seat you need to have properly installed so the hospital will actually allow you to leave with your baby, and what is a luxury, like a stroller with a smart phone holder. They’ve also compiled lists of what’s safe to buy used, which is very helpful for eco- and budget-mamas.
The single greatest reward of learning about “the essentials” in preparation for creating my registry is realizing that I’m “the essential,” that my editorial skills are translatable to real life. I know what to cut, what isn’t working or needed. I know it without asking someone else. I actually texted a mom pal: “Wet wipes warmer.” That’s it, no context, no indication of whether I wanted one or not. Her response: “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” And she has three kids. That made me feel ahead of the game.
I’ve got this.