Eliminating has always come easier to me than accumulating. I have great clarity about what doesn't work and doesn't fit. I always feel huge relief when a space is cleared and there's room to breathe.
Because of this, when I was pregnant with Phoenix, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the idea of a baby registry or baby shower. I didn't want all the stuff. I had some intuition that a lot of it wouldn't get used anyway. I'd comfort myself that families have brought children into the world and cared for them without showers, registries, special washcloths, or custom rocking chairs for centuries. With Phoenix I was incredibly focused on the mystery of childbirth itself. Most of my time and energy was spent researching natural labor, processing the changes happening in my body, and wondering how life would change when we became parents. Fast forward, when we brought him home in October wrapped in a blanket, we went to dress him and all we had were short-sleeve onesies! We took the minimalism thing a little far. Over time, I softened to getting the things we were missing, but I never embraced the process of collecting ahead of time, for the joy of it, in anticipation. It was always a reaction to being without, or a fearful purchase to avoid an issue down the road.
Perhaps it was limited apartment space. Maybe it was limited funds. Probably it was limited mental and emotional room to take in much else besides a new human.
Even though adding new things is scary for me, I find it's much less terrifying in familiar territory. Having done this once before, I feel a total sense of clarity about what I want to add for this baby, for this special time. I feel deliciously indulgent with myself. I'm not adding things to my list out of fear that I won't have what we need or that we're not prepared. I'm not choosing things based on how affordable they are, or whether they will make good hand-me-downs. I'm simply leaning on what I know now that I didn't know then, and embracing the joy that choosing items for my baby brings me. Sinking into the joy of anticipation now while I have the energy and desire, instead of later as a reaction. I'm enjoying this season of mental and emotional room, and less fear. I've eliminated and expanded, and now there's space to bring in the new.
It's not even all about the baby. Babies probably don't care what their clothes or sheets look like. I do. And this is my experience too. A co-creation. Part of motherhood for me, is an expression of my maternal soul, my tastes and preferences, my style of self-love and being present.
No one else has to do it like me. It's so personal.
With all this said, I wanted to share the tool that has been SO FREAKING FUN for me as I find the things I want to purchase. I'm using an app/website called Baby List. It's amazing because, like Pinterest, you can save items from all over the internet to one place. Because I love boutiques and shopping small, and find most items on Instagram, I love that I can browse anywhere, save it all, and organize it by category. Baby List also has awesome articles and recommendations (like the best diaper bags, carriers, and strollers) and their own store. We aren't planning to have a baby shower with this baby either, but I know some friends and family will want to give something to the baby, so it's nice to have a link to give them. And most handy, it's great to have a place to shop for myself over the next few months. I'm thinking I'll budget a little baby allowance and select some items off the list each month until the baby comes. I'm so excited! Bring on the happy mail!
If you're curious about Baby List or want to check out what I'm registered for, here's my registry:
I'm adding to it all the time, so if you have any suggestions of shops or items you love (or make!) that I should try, PLEASE leave them in the comments.
Last, but not least, I've created this fillable checklist to create your own registry. It's fillable and links to some of my favorite shops. Enjoy!
What are your feelings about registries? Do you like shopping for others off them? Did you make one for yourself? Are you a collector or a purger? Does all the baby stuff totally overwhelm you? It's always fascinating to me how differently people feel about registries.