{MMB Thankful Series} :: Material Mom

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“We are living in a material world, and I am a material [mom]”

When I was pregnant and making lists (coping mechanism?), my mom repeatedly told me about how she slept in a wicker laundry basket as a baby and turned out just fine. I pinned all sorts of “only the crap you really need” posts on Pinterest, with the idea that I could be a minimalist mom. Corporate America was preying on new moms with all their baby paraphernalia, right? Babies have been raised for ages without special bouncers, swaddles, and other devices. As a first time mom, I was determined to get the most important items (on sale! naturally!) and not lose myself in a sea of baby plastic.

And then she came.

I should have known out the gate that I was surrendering to a totally different lifestyle. For all of the pinning, reading, and preparing I did, apparently I didn’t know you were supposed to track feedings and diapers. Who knew?! Well – there’s an app for that. One search of “baby feeding” and I got all sorts of free options. One download later and we were set, including a handy alarm that reminded me when to feed my micro-human (as if she didn’t remind me herself).

And so it began. The realization that perhaps improvements to modern society were a benefit. Don’t fight it – embrace them. There’s a reason why these society progresses and changes – to better the lives of sleep deprived moms.

So this Thanksgiving, in addition to (clearly) being thankful for my loving husband, precious baby girl, amazing support system, surprisingly good health, fulfilling job, warm cozy house, and overall the ridiculously fabulous life I’m fortunate to live, I’m also thankful for these things – I’ll call them my material mom sanity savers.

Thank you to Whole Foods. I probably stepped foot in WF three times total prior to mom-status. But during my 7 weeks of maternity leave (.. I know), I learned quickly that WF is where the posse gathered. So thank you to WF for giving me a safe harbor to wander aimlessly down your aisles while lulling my baby to sleep, tempting me with organic BPA-free goodness. Thank you for accepting me as I was – in the stereotypical mom-outfit of yoga pants (thank goodness for compression leggings) and a t-shirt – and pretending that maybe I did come from working out (but let’s be real).

Thank you to Spotify for having a free music streaming service. Thanks to you, my daughter will be well versed in classical music, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry (all the basics).

Thank you, frozen organic vegetables and fruits. Because of you, I’m able to make my own baby food and feel confident that she’s getting a nutritious dinner without laboring in the kitchen forever. Take the bag out of freezer, steam, chop, and you’re good to go.

Thank you, Facebook buy-sell-trade groups. One click and I’m able to buy adorable, slightly-used clothes for my daughter at a fraction of the original price. And you’re more than slightly addictive, so baby’s gotten a great wardrobe.

Thank you, Starbucks barista, for not being (too) judgy for my newly complicated order. Because of baby’s dairy intolerance and sensitivity to caffeine, I’m now one of *those* people. Iced decaf coconut milk latte, please.

Thank you, inventor of the paci clip. You’re a genius. With a baby who thinks it is hilarious to throw everything, the clip is a must.

Thank you, Google calendar, for keeping my life together and alerting me to where I need to be, when. With marginal brain capacity these days, my google calendar keeps me going.

Thank you, Siri, for your reminder function. This one is recent. A friend just told me how you can tell Siri “remind me to…” and it will alert you at your specified time. It was a game-changer for me. Siri is reminding me of all sorts of things these days.

Thank you, Nosefrida. The entire idea of the nosefrida grossed me out pre-baby. Sucking snot out of your baby’s nose through a tube? No thank you. First sign of congestion and we gave in – and thank goodness. The bulb suction has nothing on the nosefrida. I’m a believer.

Thank you, Amazon prime. Because even with my lists, pins, and plans, I still was greatly underprepared for what I really needed. But thanks to a c-section, combined with frigid January temps and a rampant flu season, momma and baby weren’t going anywhere. So Amazon prime? You saved the day. One click and two days, there it was. Our mailman loves us.

And lastly, Thank you, internet moms. One google and I could figure out what in the world I was supposed to do with this tiny, screaming, beautiful, pooping, demanding, amazing gift of life. I had a particularly hard time with breastfeeding and was so very unprepared. I called my pediatrician, who referred me to the hospital’s lactation consultant. The hospital’s LC said they basically couldn’t help me so I was on my own. Through google, I read so much advice from moms all over the world and slowly started to figure it all out. It really made me realize the connection we all have. We’re all in this together, figuring it out as we go and sharing with the next wave.

So I may have started out naive to the reality of motherhood. I may have thought I could do this all by myself. No need for technology, no need for materialistic society temptations. But let’s be real. I’m so very thankful for all of the little things, material and otherwise, that allow me to be just a little more sane as a mom- because most days it is touch and go. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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A native Memphian who did a 5-year stint in Knoxville for undergrad+grad school, Kathryn loves Memphis. Being a Memphian by birth and by choice, she takes any opportunity she can to share her favorite spots with anyone who will listen. Kathryn is married to her high school sweetheart, a fellow VOLS grad who now works at a local hospital, and mom to Ruthie, born January 2015, Kate, born August 2018, and their encore baby Eliza, born July 2020. After being team #midtownismemphis for (almost) her whole life, Kathryn traded in bungalows and original hardwood for closet space and access to Target. She's adjusting to being an East Memphis mom, but luckily still makes it to all her favorite Midtown spots. Being a mom is the hardest but best thing she's ever done.