Before V. even got pregnant, she selected a Mark Jacobs diaper bag that she declared would be the ONLY bag she wanted. She even asked me, in all seriousness, if I could find a way to incorporate the fact that she has a diaper bag picked out into her baby shower invitations, because she didn’t want anyone to buy her a different one. Now that she’s actually pregnant, she’s started an Etsy wish list (technically Etsy doesn’t do baby registries, ) and a Pinterest board dedicated to her Etsy finds, where she directs people to look when they ask her where she’s registered. Why not just a good old Babies R Us registry? Because, as she put it, “her daughter deserves items as unique as she is.” Now before you all race to find the best GIF to express your disgust (though that sounds totally awesome and we should play that game for fun anyway) hear me out as to why I’m indulging V. in her selection of custom made baby clothes, handmade Boppy covers and organic baby bath products that cost more than my cell phone bill.
1. She’s not hurting anyone.
Attachment parenting, Ferber method, Free Range or Helicopter, my parenting style is what I call the “Do You” parenting method (patent pending). If dressing her daughter in 100% organic cotton or cloth diapering will make V. feel like the best parent she can be, then go ahead and do you Momma. And hey, tell me all about it, I love to hear about how different things work for different families. As long as she doesn’t lecture me or try to make me feel like a bad parent for not doing the same, then we’re cool. Also, I will openly admire her dedication to her relationship with her washer machine, because agree or disagree with the practice; it’s a lot of laundry.
2. Being a first time parent is scary.
V. wants this thing called the Serenity Star. As far as I can tell, it’s a pricy nightlight that will also tell you the temperature in the nursery. In my house we call that the thermostat and use a Pooh light from the Target Dollar Spot. But I will happily help her set this puppy up, because I clearly remember my “holy-crap-i-can-barely-remember-to-feed-the-cat-how-will-i-raise-a-human” panic moment from when I was pregnant. Despite the magazines that claim that parenting is “instinctual”, truth is babies don’t come with instructions and it can be really scary to realize you’re responsible for the life of another living thing. So if having super expensive baby gear and accessories will help V feel more confident, I say go for it. And I admit- it is pretty cool looking.
3.It’s not my job to burst her bubble.
No matter how many kids you sit for, books you read, moms you talk to or classes you take, nothing can really prepare you for the reality of what being a parent is actually like. All expectant mothers have their parenting fantasy, be it lying in a pristine white bed surrounded by pillows while your baby peacefully nurses, or pushing your stylish stroller through the mall while wearing your pre baby jeans and having people comment on your well behaving child and her flower head band. Those of us who have kids know the truth-kids don’t always behave in public, breastfeeding is not a magical weight loss miracle and there are many levels of clean when it comes to your bed sheets, depending on how recent and/or visible the spit up stains are. But when V talks about her maternity leave plans, I smile and listen. It’s not my job to burst her bubble. (That’s what her MIL is for, amirite?) When she asks me for specific advice I happily bestow it, but otherwise why would I make a pregnant lady upset with my tales from the trenches? I figure she’ll be on the other side with me soon enough, and then we can laugh about pre-baby cluelessness together.
4. I want her to be happy.
Confession- I have a bit of an attention seeking side, so I remember how fun it was for me to be pregnant. V. is the same way, so I know she is fully enjoying basking in her moment in the sun (metaphorically speaking of course, I’m so happy for her that she’s not pregnant in the heat of summer) Once V. delivers, everyone will come over to coo and fuss over the baby and it can leave a hormonal new mom feeling a little deflated and overlooked. Hopefully having these fancy baby things that people purchased for her will remind V. that she is loved and supported.
5. I like to think that I’m not a complete Biotch
Another friend of mine suggested that I bring disposable diapers or some good o’ Johnsons and Johnsons baby wash to V’s shower. The mean girl in my chuckled, but I would never do that. If there’s such a thing as a reverse Sanctimommy, that’s gotta be it. It would be just as bad buying a nursing cover for a friend who has openly said they aren’t going to try breastfeeding.
Sure, the practical mom in me wants to gift V. with a high chair or baby tub, something I know will get a lot of use, and that side of me cringes at the thought of buying a hand knitted anything in a size so small V’s baby may only wear it once. But there is something precious about teeny little white lace clothes that are small enough for a doll, and if that’s why my good friend V wants to celebrate the birth of her first child, who am I to judge?
(Image: Getty images)