Friday, March 14, 2008

Sharing Is The New Black

I am seven months-plus pregnant. This is my second pregnancy. I have bought NOTHING for the new baby, nor for my pregnant self (okay, one sweater and a pair of maternity jeans. But THAT'S IT.)

The first time around, I had, by seven months of pregnancy, bought a stroller, two diaper bags, a few pieces of art for the nursery, numerous books - for baby and for anxious pregnant mom-to-be - nursery linens, and tons of baby clothes, to name but a portion of it. I had acquired a secondhand crib (duly inspected for safety, of course) and carseat (ditto) and a lot of hand-me-down baby clothes, which pleased me to no end, but still: I shopped, a lot, for new stuff.

This time around, not so much. It is, in part, because, I already have much of the stuff that we need. But not all of it, by a stretch. This next one is a boy, which means that much of Wonderbaby's wardrobe isn't pass-on-able (I don't mind pink on boys, but her pink stuff is hot punk-rocker pink and a bit over the top.) And he should have some of his own things, things that are just his.

But I'm just not interested, this time around, in dropping tons of cash and acquiring tons of new stuff. The novelty of having a baby that propelled me into the baby shops the first time around just isn't there any more. And I'm feeling a lot more eco-sensitive now that I did two and half years ago. I don't want generate tons more waste. So I've been looking for ways to accommodate the need for stuff for this new baby without, you know, falling into the trap of MORE STUFF.

Recycling and freecycling and searching second-hand stores are all obvious strategies, and ones that I'll employ. Sewing and/or knitting my own stuff? Nope. Not crafty or handy in the least. Also, I'm lazy.

Mostly, though? I'm going to try to make do with less stuff. Which doesn't necessarily mean acquiring less for our new guy, but trading off on what comes into this house. Giving away or freecycling more of the stuff that WB has outgrown (I'm terrible about hanging on to stuff for nostalgic reasons - oh, the first onesie that she barfed on! oh, her seventh vintage-look baby concert tee!), to offset the new stuff coming for the boy. Committing to giving away or freecycling the boy's stuff as soon as it becomes obsolete. Borrowing and/or accepting hand-me-down stuff that we don't already have, rather than buying it new or even second-hand. Being diligent about what we really do need. Paying attention to what others need, and passing more stuff along in that direction.

Sharing, a lot.

Part of the PBN Blog Blast in support of Zwaggle, an online community of socially responsible parents doing their share to give back to other parents, their kids and the environment. (Sign up for Zwaggle HERE.)

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