I once knew a blogger who lived an enviable life. Not only was she gorgeous, her husband was extremely wealthy and handsome. She constantly wrote of her designer purchases, exotic getaways, and decorating their mansion with custom-made furniture and one-of-a-kind decor.
Soon, she started getting snarky comments from readers who judged her for her lifestyle. “Shallow bitch,” they would write. “Don’t you know there is a recession going on? How can you brag about being rich when so many people are hurting? Why don’t you donate some money to charity?”
After receiving numerous comments of this nature, she shut down her blog.
I felt bad for this girl, because she genuinely seemed interesting and wrote of her extravagant life without sounding snobby.
Then I realized…I’ve done it too. I’ve judged others based on their purchases and lifestyles. And I’m sure many of you have too.
Financial decisions are coming into play more than ever, as we slowly begin budgeting for the baby’s arrival. (I know I have 6 months left, but it’s never too early to plan and prepare, right?)
Do we really need a $500 stroller?
Is a recliner/glider — which can run upwards of $1000 — really necessary? What’s wrong with the couch? I love my couch. Can’t I just feed the baby and read to my baby on the couch?
Why pay an extra $300 for a doula when my husband can do the same thing?
(ETA: these were my initial reactions. I am not dismissing, or looking down on anyone who chooses to do these things. I just didn’t realize the numerous options that are out there, or how much they cost…nevermind the number of women who become trained to think that they need these options.)
As I browse mommy blogs and pregnancy boards, I can’t help but be astonished at how much some families spend in preparation for their little ones.
Alright, I’m a bit jealous too.
J and I aren’t wealthy. We will rely on a lot of hand-me-downs when the baby arrives. I don’t plan on adding anything to the second bedroom (which will be the nursery) aside from a crib.
So as much as I would love to paint the nursery, set it up with new furniture and decorate it with nice accessories, we realize that these are unnecessary expenses that can be better spent on other things.
And this is when the judging comes in.
Because I can’t help but ask myself: Will a baby really appreciate a nicely decorated nursery, an expensive stroller, or a $1,000 crib? Are these things necessary for a happy and healthy baby?
Maybe it’s my own jealousy talking — for not being able to provide for the baby these nice things that seem to be the norm for so many of my friends’ households. For being made to feel like I’m an inadequate mommy for not being able to afford these things. Maybe it’s my own form of rationalization.
Maybe it’s guilt for planning a babymoon — our first vacation together in over 2 years and probably our last for another few years — when that money could be spent on nicer things for the baby.
Wow, I’m judging myself here.
And yes, I’ll probably be judged for choosing a babymoon over nice baby stuff.
How do you rationalize your splurges and luxury items?
Do you ever get worried that you will come off as shallow and materialistic as you share your latest purchases (whether via a blog, Twitter, Facebook) and talk about numerous vacations, especially in light of the current economic climate?