Put away the checklists, the baby registry print-outs, the Pinterest wish boards. Stop thinking about all of the things you still need and all of the ways in which you’re lacking.
There were things you needed to do and buy before you even got pregnant, apparently. I remember reading a pregnancy book that started with a to-do list titled “Before You Conceive,” and I felt a wave of panic. We go into this thing already behind, needing more. So much to do, so much to buy, so much we need for this one tiny human.
So how about we stop (just for a moment) and flip this thing on its head? Instead of focusing on what you need for a new baby, let’s look at all of the things you don’t need.
You don’t need a theme for your baby’s room.
Heck, you don’t even need a separate room. If you don’t have the space or the means for a pin-worthy baby nursery, it’ll be okay. A coherent color scheme does not make a better mother. A cute nursery theme does not make a prepared parent. Your baby won’t care about matching crib bedding, not in the slightest. And it’s not like newborns actually sleep in their rooms.
You don’t need the fanciest baby gear.
I spent many years reviewing baby gear, with access to the best of the best. Take it from me: Buy what you can afford, thrift whenever possible. Those first three years go by fast, and so goes the $1,000 stroller. The “right” brand doesn’t define you, not in any way. It’s tempting to compare yourself to the well-off neighborhood moms and the glossy magazines in the OB office, but it’s not real. You don’t need it.
You don’t need a viral pregnancy announcement.
Heck, you don’t need a social media announcement at all. Relax.
You don’t need to care about people’s reactions.
All of the comments, advice, and judgy stares say more about them than you. (Note: You will care, because you’re human, and it’s just unnecessary to care. But just because they’re loud doesn’t make them right.)
You don’t need a wipe warmer.
Nix it from the list, along with: bottle warmer, bottle sterilizer, diaper stacker, and bath thermometer. Don’t need ’em. And most of that stuff you’re sure you’ll need (tummy time toys! baby bouncer! baby food maker!) will be used for a shockingly short time period, if at all.
You don’t need to be established in your life.
What does this even mean?
You don’t need a college savings fund and a robust financial portfolio.
A life is built over time. It’ll be okay.
You don’t need a pregnancy bucket list.
Don’t waste your precious pre-baby time; your life isn’t over. You have plenty of time to accomplish your goals after having a baby.
You don’t need to have “found” yourself.
There are many routes to self-awareness, and motherhood is certainly an underrated outlet.
You don’t need a Pee-Pee Teepee …
… or any contraption for a newborn boy’s reckless pee stream. (I used the Pee-Pee Teepee with my son and he shot it straight across the room like a hydrant blowing its top.) Here’s my advice: Change fast and keep your mouth closed.
You don’t need to be ready.
No one is.
Besides a few basics (diapers, wipes, clothes) you basically just need three things: 1. someplace for your baby to live (with you), 2. something for your baby to eat (from your body or from the store, whatever works for you), and 3. someplace for your baby to sleep (in your arms). And love! Your baby will need your love.
See? You have more than you thought.