As a #firsttimemom I wanted to buy whatever gadget I THOUGHT I needed but my budget did not allow it. Also, I am a serial planner and very independent so there was no chance in hell I was going to wait for a baby shower to see what I “still” needed to buy. No, I wanted to buy what I needed and I wanted to buy it NOW. Yes, I have no patience.
Then I heard about the “Mama Magic baby expo”. Because I did not have excessive funds to buy willy nilly, I did some crazy research in the month leading up to the expo. I got prices from Baby City (lots and lots of phone calls as their website does not always have prices), Takealot, Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Ackermans, Treehouse Décor and a bunch of other retailers.
Cue my “Accountants-have-Excel-Skills” traits and I “excelled” the shit out of my shopping list; from clothes to toiletries to furniture, you name it and I got a price for it. So when I went to the expo and shuffled into the Baby City stall I was not in any way going to be overwhelmed and buy something that I thought was cheaper because “expo” when actually they had not dropped their prices that much. Armed with my typed out tabular comparative list I went only to the stalls I needed to see the price. Faeez and I did about two roundabout walks and on the third roundabout we purchased what we needed. That night when I got home, I bought the balance of things that was cheaper on Takealot. If you do not have a truckload of money to spend then planning and comparing is key. I saved a good couple of ZARs by doing this. It took effort and time but it was worth it.
If I had an epitaph written about me on my death it would read “Effortless and conscientious list maker”; my excel document encapsulates everything I needed to do, to buy, to budget for and it saved me many surprises. I noted delivery costs, anaesthetist costs, costs to have my son circumcised etc. (all to make sure I had cash to pay upfront if it came to that); what to pack for hospital for myself and baby; what furniture I needed to buy, what I still needed to pack and status of things to do. I figured I could not control the birth experience or know what to expect even in the slightest regard, but I could definitely make sure I attended to the things that were indeed within my control. I know, very Type A but this helped me reduce my anxiety levels tremedously.
In the end I had such beautiful baby showers hosted by my work colleagues, my sister and mom and one with my boot camp buddies and of course a special baby shower with my BFF, that I got enough clothes and toiletries for a small country of kids. I was beyond lucky and managed to donate some items and to keep some for my future kid I knew I was going to have.
With the arrival of Anas, I followed the same route; I figured out what I needed taking into account hand me downs from his older brother and again visited the expo. Yet again amazing work colleagues and the very best of friends spoilt me yet again with the most gorgeous baby showers. My little boys were loved long before they made an appearance Earth-side.
If you are expecting a little one or know of someone expecting a bundle of poop and love, share this post with them (the file is attached). You never know, it might help an expecting mom to feel a little less overwhelmed than she already is.
Call me Nuz