Top Valuable Investments in Parenthood
Let me preface this post with I AM THRIFTY…some may say cheap, I prefer financially conscious. I live in the Target sale racks and rarely pay anything full price if I don’t have to. I probably am cheap on what I should really invest in and don’t mind spending on a fantastic meal (food…my second passion). I do splurge here and there, but as I get older I realize that not everything can be fit into my love for a great sale! Becoming a mom was the most nerve-wrecking thing in the world. I love kids…adore them…but there is something so drastically different from babysitting and spending time with a child, to living with a child and raising that child. I remember thinking to myself “What the heck am I going to do?” I realized that EVERYTHING was changing and as slowly as nine months can feel, they really do go by much faster than you think. Not just life was changing…but BUDGET changes and even goals you thought you had, you realize you weren’t really interested in the first place. The top thing people said to hubs and I when I was pregnant was “A baby cost money!” So of course I’m thinking, it can’t be that bad! I will save here by breast feeding, I will buy this and not that… I will pick and choose what I purchase and most things are bargain finds anyways. I remember when doing the registry I took my mom with me (hubs didn’t see the point in going, until he realized he didn’t like the nursery bedding…) and I remember her scanning all of these things. My first instinct was “NO! That’s $200… I’m not asking for that! Where is the sale section?” Who pays this much for a stroller? Why do baby monitors have to have cameras? I’m not using a spa bath! Of course my mom looked at me and simply told me, stop being cheap this isn’t the time for that. It wasn’t until after love bug came I really started seeing the importance of some of those investments. Don’t get me wrong, things like clothes, shoes, toys, and even cribs (be careful of make and any recalls on the model) can be found at discount rates, thrift stores and such. I hunt down those bargains and have found some AMAZING mint condition items at yard sales! If you’re not into hand-me-downs I get it, but I’m the second child so I lived with hand-me-downs though my sister is 6ft tall (a lot of alterations went with those clothes). However, there are some things that you really should invest in and I have learned to loosen up a bit myself and practice:
Newborn Pictures…photography in general! Though I love my little snap shot camera, it doesn’t do justice like the picture that greets you on this post. I’ve loved every moment of saving my pennies or even being blessed by old friends who have a passion for photography. Sure Instagram and your phone snap those quick adorable pictures, but nothing compares to having someone just capture you! Doing love bug’s newborn session was the best investment I made and being able to have his first year photos done reaffirms how strongly I feel about this. I remember the feeling of getting his newborn session back and thinking to myself it was perfect. If you can, INVEST in a least ONE professional photographer that YOU LIKE! If you like taking your own pictures, I know that many people buy their own camera (if so, LEARN HOW TO USE IT). Don’t just buy the awesome Nikon or Canon DSLR and not take the time to YouTube how to put that powerful camera to use! Either way invest in capturing those memories…they only happen once (like this picture).
ANYTHING REGARDING SAFETY. Yes that means your stroller, car seat, high chair, etc. I love the city mini! It can be pricey, but it has carried us from infant to now. It’s versatile and doesn’t take up space in our car. AND it’s super easy to open and close. Seriously find one off of Craigslist or Facebook even has online yard sales based off of communities (make sure no damage or anything of that sort… ask solid questions). Either way, if it isn’t this one, choose one that is sleek, easy, and compact. Car seats are no joke! Make sure you research your brands and see the safety tests done. The last thing you want is to have an accident and WISH you didn’t buy the $25 dollar car seat…SAFETY FIRST! Same goes for your high chair! As seasons change, check the clearance areas of stores. We scored a $300 high chair for $80 at Wal-Mart and it will last us all the way until love bug can sit in his own big boy chair!
Cloth Diapers. This is a side note that though I can’t due to love bug being at a daycare, I would! Diapers are so expensive, and I read in another post about keeping your baby in a diaper as long as possible…DO NOT DO THAT! It’s super uncomfortable and if you see the indention of the diaper on your baby’s leg move up to the next size. But if you can try cloth diapering! I hear so many awesome reviews and the investment is worth it. I’m hoping we can for baby #2!
The Future. You only get one shot at it. Sure if you’re financially able to spend tons of money on things like clothes and shoes and stuff that your baby will seriously outgrow…by all means go for it! If you’re in between like we are, choose their future. Set a small amount of money aside each paycheck or start a piggy bank in their room. You will be so glad you did. Sometimes as parents we think of their immediate needs, because dangit they have so many! But hubs is a long-term thinker and he brings that balance to us…
Time. Though I work full-time I cherish all of the time I do get to spend with love bug…even to the point I forget to balance time spent with hubs. However, it’s so important to invest that time into your little one. I’m exhausted after traffic and work, but I know that the last 3 hours of my day I want to be filled with stories, baby giggles, bath time, and snuggles… the rest of the other stuff can wait. I’ve even pushed myself to put my phone away, because it can wait. Social media sucks you in, because it keeps you “in the loop,” but it also keeps you distant and not connect to what is around you. I don’t want to miss anything…that’s just me.
It is a short list, but I feel like I’m continuously learning that all the rest of the stuff that people suck you in to buying for your baby is just stuff. Sure splurge and enjoy, but INVEST in something worth it that one day your child will look back and be so glad you made that decision when they couldn’t make it on their own. I really hope one day love bug sees a path of success that we laid out for him and continues on his way after we’ve taught him all we could 🙂