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Selling out to the Man (or Baby)

by janevermeulen on June 5, 2014 · 0 comments

Before, when I was single, life as a “parent-to-be” was easy. I simply saw what other people were doing and passed judgment. Like so many mothers before me, I had a vision of what kind of mother I would be and how my child would be raised. I was going to be different. I am beginning to wonder how many types of “different” there are as I swear every mother states that they are going to be different!

When I worked in sales, I was known for my “rants against the Man”. Considering that I was born in 1975, I may have been a bit young for knowing “the man” but I had no issue invoking that term when I was protesting the mini-van that was given to me as the company car. I was not going to sell out to The Man when I was single and I was certainly not going to sell out as a parent. Good news–I did not sell out to The Man. Instead, I sold out to the Baby!

My greatest pet peeve as a child-free woman was the “excessive baby-focused consumerism”–how much did an eight-pound baby really need? Did a baby really need video monitors, wipe warmers, fancy body wraps and patterned swaddling blankets? When I was five months pregnant, I downloaded a document from BabyCentre that listed everything I needed for my newborn. The document was four pages long. So, off I went to buy onesies, receiving blankets and changing table covers. But, then things got complicated. I did not need a bottle warmer because I was going to breastfeed exclusively for the first three months. When the baby was five days old, we bought our first can of formula. Not very compatible with breast-feeding exclusively. But, I held out on buying a bottle warmer. I would “kick it old school” and heat up the bottle in a pot of hot water. At two o’clock in the morning, the nostalgia lost it’s charm and I bought a bottle warmer. So, began the slippery slope of consumerism.

So it begins...

Next up, the dreaded Stick-Man Family car decals. As a singleton and then married woman, I felt no need to advertise my life choices. And then, when I was desperately longing for a child, the family stickers seemed to be a constant reminder that I was childless. My husband shared my disdain and we could cackle at the car owners who succumbed to the pressure of the Stick Man Family. And then we saw the “Zombie Family decals”. Well, that changed everything. We love zombies and these decals would be “different”. So, we now have a family vehicle that is decorated with stick-man decals. We were slowly selling -out.

I swear, these stickers are different!

As my son went from newborn to infant and now toddler, I slowly stockpiled random parenting tools. When my son was congested, I had a bulb syringe in my baby “care kit” but it was ineffective against the “waterfall of snot” he produced. One day, while purchasing diaper covers, I discovered the “snot sucker”. Twenty-five dollars later, I am the proud owner of a tube and suction device that seemed powerful enough to remove the intestines from his gut. It is also one of his favourite toys so I suppose it was worth the cost.

Nose Frida must be swedish for "Snot Sucker"

My son is now 14 months old and I have discovered that my baby certainly does not need a lot to function, but I do! As I have gotten older and more settled into my career, I have discovered that I have more money but less time. And when you have a child, no amount of money can take the place of time. Perhaps my son did not need the bottle warmer or the snot sucker, but I needed the convenience. Admittedly, the zombie family stickers were “selling out”.  But, in my defense, I no longer mock other stick-family drivers. I am just grateful to have joined the community.

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