this parenting thing kinda already sucks. and the kid isn't even here yet.
i am seriously struggling to put a baby registry together. i've been working on it for a month now (not joking, not exaggerating) and it's completely stressing me out.
and it's not because i'm sucked into the whole mommy industry telling me every little bit of equipment and gear i'll need ... because i'm actually feeling confident about some of the bigger choices we've made. (i.e. we're not going to go with a travel system because the strollers are too cumbersome for someone who is barely 5 ft tall, and i don't like that the car seat isn't even going to get me through the first year when we can get one that will go from 5 to 65lbs. we're also getting a small, compact swing in place of a bouncy seat and a larger swing because we don't have a lot of space and really both functions are accomplished with this one item. bam.)
being a teenager and having a 15 yr age gap with my baby brother not only gave me a front-row seat for all things baby, it also showed me that there's a lot i don't need, or that would just be overkill in our little compact life (like a full sized high chair). i have experience with big choices. i can handle those.
what is driving me to tweet tirades directed at babies r us and target is my lack of knowledge of the little things that make up the daily life of a newborn. bottles. diapers. nursing paraphernalia. all of these items are "try it out" or "learn from experience" stuff and that's completely stressing me out. i don't want to register for a cabinet's worth of medela bottles, only to find out a week into the kid's life that the nipples just don't work for him (even though they worked for lots of other kids). i don't like that i can't start stockpiling diapers now because every kid has a different leak/fit issue with a different brand, and i have no way of knowing that until we have 3 leaks in a row and suddenly it's just not worth using the rest of the box of diapers.
and even where there is information and data to be had, it's seriously lacking. for example ... car seats. did you know that babies r us carries 109 different convertible car seats?? they do. did you also know that consumer reports only tested 27 convertible car seats? they did. and did you lastly know that the consumer reports top-rated convertible car seat (which just so happens to be the "Safety First Onside Air") is no longer carried by babies r us. i think it's discontinued. steve and i got an online subscription to consumer reports expressly to help us pick out registry items. silly me, i thought they'd have the frantic mom market cornered. apparently not, because their tests aren't even up to date with the latest carseats available.
i know i sound certifiable right now, and that's ok, i'm just being honest. because this is me (albeit, the effect is enhanced by these damn hormones), and i know that this is how i am. i really like to be well-prepared for things. i don't like to start a task or project unless i'm fairly confident i can be successful at it. and my need to be prepared and confident of success is directly proportional to the importance of the task or project. so you can imagine how much more i feel this need for information and preparedness with a kid coming. and i bet you can imagine how much harder it is for me, knowing that we don't really have a nursery to start setting up (it's my office, and we're moving shortly after kid comes, whole other sob story for a whole other day). so it's really just chaos all around. chaos is not my favorite when the stakes are high.
all this is why i'm driven to tears over a stupid 3-pack of bottles on a baby registry. and it's further compounded by the fact that i'm not spending my own money on these items--i'm asking my friends to spend their hard-earned money on something that i can't be sure will even work for us. a lot of these friends have families on one income, and i know how precious $30 is for them--i'd hate for it to go to waste. this is completely different than a wedding registry, where you can still be frugal and practical, and register for items you know you need and will use, because you are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul, etc.
and i know, i know, this is only the beginning. i will never be prepared for anything in parenting, ever. i will constantly be trying to readjust and try a new thing or angle, and make it work again. i'm just writing today because i need to let it out. i need to express my frustration with this process of pseudo-preparing for a baby (because let's be honest, in order to really be prepared, i'd need to either own babies r us, or be married to the local general manager who could get me access to one of everything). i also feel the need to put this out there ... because "preparing for baby" is always portrayed as this skip-through-a-field, say "aawwwww!!" over the size of socks, fulfilling maternal experience. and i suppose there are lots of mothers who feel that way. but i don't. and i don't think i'm alone (even though i've already had others tell me that i'm wrong--it's only me who gets stressed any annoyed by this process ... but i know better than to believe them).
i considered turning the comments off for this post. mainly because this is me, putting my neurosis out there. please be kind. please don't tell me to just calm down--that's not helpful. please only comment if you have something supportive to say or can commiserate. my little heart thanks you in advance.