Necessity, the Mother of Invention

I have hippy tendencies that bob to the surface but are usually whack-a-moled by my competing love of convenience. Communal living, tiny houses (now with movement status), minimal personal hygiene (this one gets tempered pretty quickly by The Spouse and lingering looks from strangers), and a macrobiotic diet have all been suppressed for now.

When we were anticipating our little one, my first instinct was to run headfirst into the most extreme hippy version of parenting possible. I had visions of strapping my naked baby to my body using nothing but palm fronds and ‘watching for her signals’ so I could catch her excrement in a bowl or the toilet (as white-sneakers-and-kool-aid as this sounds, it’s actually normal in many parts of the world).

I rebounded back to reality and acknowledged that we do not live in the bush. But I couldn’t shake the image of piles of plastic in use for a few months and then off to a landfill. The Story of Stuff video from a few years ago was still lodged in my brain. With a kid on the way, I was thinking more about the world they’d live in when they’re old.

Eventually we marched over to Big Box Mart and bought disposable diapers (we since switched to cloth, but a very modern and easy version of cloth) and collected generous gifts and hand-me-downs from friends, family, and craigslist. We have a rocker, a swing, a bouncer, shakey toys, toys that play music, books, books that play music, things, things, and more things. And when we think something new will ease the day-to-day we rush on over to Big Box Mart to get it. (I still try craigslist first, but The Spouse has instituted a $10/10 minute rule, meaning it must be worth more than $10 and less than 10 minutes away or it’s not worth the hassle.) As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And many necessities have resulted in many inventions.

What’s your attitude toward stuff? What things have made raising your kid(s) easier? 

Andrea Lee is a mom who’s winging it, just like everyone else. 

Tags: This Week in Moms, Mom, Moms, Mother, Mothers, parent, Parents, parenting, youth, youth development, baby, babies, child, Children, Kid, Kids, teen, teens, Family, families, Community, communities, the y, YMCA

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