Overpriced strollers are bullshit

Why is baby stuff so ridiculously overpriced? They use it for such a short amount of time that you’d think it would be cheap. But no, that shit is crazy expensive. Case in point: I went out earlier this week and was looking for a pair of black mary-jane style dress shoes for my girl. I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Okay, no big deal, I’d rather shop online anyway since I don’t have to wear a bra when I’m on Amazon or Etsy. I found the perfect pair of shoes. For $31.95. Are you kidding me? First of all, my kid can’t even walk yet, so the shoes are really just a prop. Second of all, they are going to fit her feet for approximately 18 days before she outgrows them. There is no way I am spending that much on shoes!

But this got me thinking about baby stuff in general and how a lot of it is a total rip-off and the industry’s way of taking advantage. There are tons of bullshit baby items out there. Like bath thermometers. Ever think of just using your hand to test the water? If it’s too warm, add some cold water. If it’s too cold, add some hot water. It’s not rocket science! You know what else is a total rip off? Diaper genies. I was lucky enough to have one given to me from a friend who has a child that is a few years older than Charlotte. And I used it for about a week. The inconvenience of having to buy special bags and then potentially forgetting about all of the crap stored in there just isn’t worth it. I just throw her diaper into a plastic bag and throw it in the nearest outdoor public trash can.  Yeah, that costs me nothing.

Don’t even get me started on designer baby clothes. Who in their right mind is cray cray enough to spend $40 on a onesie? Every onesie I bought came from Carters, Target or Walmart and cost less than $5 a piece. And do you know how many onesies I had to cut off my daughter with scissors because she had an epic diaper blowout? At least 10. And the hilarious part is; is that the ones she destroyed were inevitably the expensive ones that people gave her.  Oops! Oh and heads up peeps, little girls look adorable in dresses but chances are, they only will get to wear them once or twice since they aren’t super practical.

My biggest pet peeve with baby items though, has to be strollers. When I first found out I was pregnant, I took my hormonal, ice-cream craving self to every pregnant woman’s favorite store: Babies R Us.  And I kid you not, I saw strollers that were $750!!!! I know people who have cars that cost less than that. Obviously your stroller is a big investment since you are going to use it for 3+ years. But….$750?? I have an idea. Buy a $200 stroller and put the $550 difference into an RESP. Or use that extra $550 towards diapers. Do anything else with it. Just please- don’t buy a $750 stroller people. I can guarantee that at the end of the day, that stroller isn’t THAT much better than the $200 one.
The industry definitely knows how to pry on expectant parents, and in particular, pregnant mama’s. They use words like: Outstanding safety ratings, maximum comfort and #1 choice of Mothers. And for new mama’s, this can be scary because we think  ‘if it’s the #1 choice of mothers then shouldn’t it be my number one choice too? I don’t want anyone to mommy shame me.’ (and I will post about mommy shaming at a later point). But before you go to Babies R US and spend several thousand dollars on crap you probably don’t need, I would suggest eating some ice cream and creating a realistic budget. And if you can’t come up with a realistic budget, then buy whatever you want and blame it on the hormones!


Questions that piss me off

People piss me off. There, I said it. I really hate the nosy and endless questions that people ask me about being a single parent. I don’t question you about your life, so how about not questioning me about mine? Person I haven’t seen in 3 years, do you really think it’s appropriate to ask me questions about my situation through a facebook message? No. It is not. Let me ask you some questions about your personal life/personal struggles and see how you feel.

What kind of questions do people ask me? Okay, sure here we go.

You must make a ton on money off the baby bonus, eh? Okay, first of all, it’s called Child Tax Benefit and second of all you don’t ‘make’ money from it. The money is allocated to families through the government so that families can subsidize the cost of raising a child/children. And it’s not based on being a single parent. It’s based on your income. I make a pretty decent living; therefore my child tax benefit is quite minimal. The program is designed to help low-income families.  Oh, and let me grill you on your finances now? Yeah, I’m not that rude.

So, what’s the deal with her father? Um yeah.. Like I really am going to try to summarize that in the grocery store to fulfill your need to know my business. It didn’t work out between us. It’s that simple and that complicated. If you’d like to know more about why it didn’t work then maybe you should ask him. Oh, you don’t know him? Then maybe you don’t know me that well either and should keep your mouth shut.

Does her dad pay child support?  Let me ask you this; how much debt are you in? Do you have any investments?  How much money do you make at your job? How much money does your husband make at his job? What does your car payment cost every month? Are you still paying on student loans? How many credit cards do you have? See how those questions are super inappropriate? Yeah, so is asking about child support.

Do you want to date? Yes, but a better question is: do I have time? No, no I do not. My daughter is only 8 months old and I want to spend as much time with her as possible. Dating is hard regardless but when you add a child to the mix it becomes even more challenging. My time is precious and I am not going to waste it with just anyone.

What is on your daughter’s birth certificate?  Her name and her date of birth. You don’t need to know anything else. When Charlotte is old enough to carry it herself, ask her to show you.

Do you feel bad that your daughter doesn’t have a normal family? Okay, define normal for me please? Oh and while you are busy trying to come up with an answer to that, let me give you an education about families. There are just as many single parent families, blended families, unmarried parent families and same-sex parent families as there are traditional families. So I am pretty sure that my family is as normal as yours. It’s not 1963 people!

Do you want more kids? I love children, which is why I have one. If I am lucky enough to be given more, then I will definitely take them.  But that being said, I don’t plan on having any more children as a single parent. I don’t know what life is going to bring but being a single mom is tough and if I do have more children, I hope my situation is different. But isn’t that obvious?

I know that some people ask these questions because they are my family or friends and are just generally wondering. But some people ask because they are nosy assholes that don’t have any tact. I know I don’t have a traditional family, and for some people, that sparks an interest. I get it, okay? But before you grill me with questions, use your inner filter please.

K, thanks!

How to pack a diaper bag…in just 9 simple steps!

So, you’ve decided you are brave enough to leave the house with your little munchkin! You’ve made your plans, have set up a time and now you are tackling the dreaded task: packing the diaper bag. To veteran moms, this is a breeze. You know exactly what to pack and can do it while nursing your newborn, entertaining your toddler and making a facebook post. But to us newbies, it doesn’t come as easily. Here is a simple (ha!) guide on how to pack your diaper bag.

Step 1: Find a bag big enough to hold everything. No matter how big your diaper bag is, I can guarantee that when you jam everything you need (or think you need) into it, it’s going to be bursting at the seams. That cute little diaper bag with the pink zebra stripes? That’s not going to cut it. The one that looks like a purse? Yeah, that isn’t either. Go for the big one ladies. In some cases, bigger really is better.

Step 2: Pack twice as many diapers as you think you will need. And I am so serious on this one. Your little darling will crap their pants at the most inopportune time. At the doctor’s office when they call your name, at your great aunt’s house when she holds your baby for the first time, in the line at the grocery store while you’re chatting to a friend you haven’t seen in 2 years. You know what sucks worse than a shitty baby? Not having a clean diaper to put on them. I was in Target once and my daughter managed to crap 3 times while we were there. Three freaking times!!! And we were only there a little over an hour.  On the third trip to the ladies room I was praying I had a clean diaper. I did and it was the last one in my bag. Lesson learned. Pack twice as many as you think you need.

Step 3: Wipes, Wipes, Wipes!!! Whoever invented these things is a genius. My parents love them because in their child-rearing days, wipes didn’t exist and they had to use damp facecloths and rags. And then wash them. I don’t need to emphasize that point any further for you to understand how gross that must have been. Anyway, wipes are awesome for a ton of different reasons. They do the job on a diaper change, are great for wiping down shopping carts, make a great way to quickly clean sticky hands and can even double up as make-up remover (though let’s be real, you probably don’t have time to do your make-up ). Pack tons of those bad boys in your diaper bag. You will be glad you did.

Step 4: T-O-Y-S, and lots of them. It doesn’t matter if you are making the world’s fastest trip to the grocery store. Your child needs to be entertained. At all times. And if they aren’t, be prepared for an epic meltdown. Basically pack every toy they own. Because chances are, if you forget Sophie the Giraffe, that’s the one toy that babe wanted to play with and nothing else will do. Just bring everything; even if that means that you’re going to have to listen to that damn toy remote play the same song over and over for the 15 minute drive.

Step 5: Food and drinks. If your little one isn’t eating yet then obviously you are going to need to bring bottles or your boobs. And since your boobs aren’t detachable (don’t you wish they were?) there’s no chance you can forget them. But if your babe is eating, bring snacks. Load up on mum mums, goldfish crackers, Gerber puffs and whatever other tasteless snacks kids seem to go crazy over.  Little one on the verge of throwing a tantrum because they can’t play with the laundry detergent you are buying? Pass them a mum mum. I don’t know what it is with those things, but they tend to occupy my daughter for 7 blissful minutes which buys me more time to browse the bakery section of the grocery store and figure out which brownies go best with my wine.

Step 6: A change of clothing, for both of you. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a baby that doesn’t spit up. I am not that lucky. My daughter spits up at least three times a day. I’ve given up on trying to wear clothes that don’t have spit up on them. Mostly I just try to make sure I don’t smell too bad and hope that it blends in with whatever I am wearing. But that aside, you should have a change of clothing for the two of you. You never know when your child might decide to projectile vomit or have explosive diarrhea. I’ve only experienced the former twice and the latter once, but having a change of clothing makes those situations so much more bearable.

Step 7: Comfort items. Your kid is going to have a meltdown in public. It is inevitable. This does not make you a bad parent. Being able to pass them a pacifier, a special blankie or a favourite teddy might save the day (and your sanity).  I’m not promising that having a comfort item will put the meltdown at bay, but it might be enough of a distraction to at least temporarily delay it. My daughter’s comfort item is something we call chewie-ooie. I don’t even really know what it is. Some kind of teething ring. She stopped using pacifiers at 10 weeks old and since then chewie has been our go-to guy.

Step 8: Receiving blankets. These things are awesome. You can use them to make shade, provide warmth, wipe up a milky mess, use it as a nursing cover or even as a make-shift change pad. I recommend having at least two during your outings. One that is always in your car and one that is always in the bag. That way, if you lose one, you have backup. And I don’t know about anyone else but I had about 20 receiving blankets when my daughter was born and now I’m down to 6. I’ve lost and left behind so many of those.

Step 9: Plastic bags. We have a rule in my house. Poopy diapers go to town. Literally. We only get garbage pickup once a week so I take her poopy diapers to a public (outdoor) garbage can. I know this might sound gross but it beats having the house smell like ass for 6 days. And before anyone suggests it, diaper genies do not cut it. I just take her dirty diaper, tie it up, and bring it to town. So when you are out visiting, remember this:  You don’t want to stick a dirty diaper in someone’s trash. Just bring a plastic bag and put it in there. Take it with you when you leave and drop it off at your nearest public trash can. Plastic bags are also great for clothes that are covered in spit-up or vomit. You’re welcome.

There you have it folks. Nine simple steps on how to pack a diaper bag. If anyone has anything that they think should be added to this list please let me know. Oh, and yeah, I do occasionally pack a bottle of wine for myself (kidding…maybe!!)  Remember, happy mommy=happy baby 🙂

Hello world!

This is my very first blog! I decided it would be fun to start a blog about my mommy adventures and the challenges that motherhood can bring. My blog name is: she didn’t come with instructions…because, well…my daughter didn’t come with instructions! I’m figuring it all out one day at a time and hope that I am getting at least some of it right 🙂