Shortly after bringing my baby home from the hospital, my approach to buying things altered dramatically. Before it had been an excruciating process of hemming and hawing, wondering if I really needed this particular product, and if I should wait for it to go on sale or if could get it cheaper elsewhere. Whether or not I bought it depended on a precise equation of value to usefulness. If it was expensive, it’d better be something I used everyday or loved to wear. There wasn’t much I deemed worthy of retail value, so cheaper equaled better. Then, we got home with the baby and my philosophy immediately changed. Anything we “needed”, that is, anything that would make our lives even slightly easier, was worthy of having money thrown at it. I didn’t care what it cost or how long I thought we would use it, if it had the potential to make our lives better for a week or a day or an hour, we were buying it.
So throw money at things we did and for the most part, everything has been worth it. Life is a smidgen less hectic at the moment, but still I retain my new philosophy and I am pleased with it. Though my life is now weighed down with worry where before there was none, and though my body has aches and pains where before there were none, I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Part of allowing the new philosophy to stick around has to do with an article I read while pregnant. I remember nothing about the content except for the well-duh newsflash that you can return ANYTHING to the store. Even diapers. I did this once with a pack of newborn diapers that the baby outgrew and it worked. You really can take most anything back for any reason. I guess I knew this already but always wanted to save myself the hassle of having to return something by being sure beforehand if I wanted the product. But because of all that time spent hemming and hawing, I have found it tremendously quicker to stand in the return line knowing I don’t like something than to stand in the aisle and imagine the product in my home.
The other part of the “buy now” philosophy comes down to time. I just don’t have it to waste anymore. I was having a discussion with a friend the other day who hit the fat nail right on the head when she said that after she had kids, she became ruthless with her time. I feel this in many, many ways but for the purposes of this topic, it manifests itself as such: When I’m out and about with the baby, debating the unknown merits of a product in my head (do I really need this? Will I use it?) or a piece of clothing (will this hold up? When will I wear it?) for half-an-hour while I wander around the store aimlessly with a glassy-eyed stare is not an option. So I just take my best guess and move on with my life. It’s really worked out well so far.
This new philosophy was born (ha!) in the baby aisle of the local Target, but it has extended its usefulness to my life. If there is something I want, rather than reading a bunch of reviews online, I just bring it home and test it myself. Far more efficient and provides definitive answers to the question of whether I will like it. I also received some gift cards for clothing for Christmas and have bought several items online, with the reassurance I can take anything back to the local store.
Life has become exponentially harder* but this one teeny tiny aspect has made it easier. It might not seem like much but to me it is such a giant relief. It’s somewhat akin to the old adage that the only cure for a hypochondriac is an actual illness. The only solution to overthinking is underthinking. (Or something like that. Give me a break, I’m trying to write this with a squirmy 4-month old in my arms.) I bet it’s not the last epiphany child-rearing will bring.
*Harder but of course better.