during pregnancy

Every Mom Is Judging Your Baby Registry, It’s Not Your Imagination

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shutterstock_100121495The parenting world is rife with judgment. It sucks that this judgment starts almost at the moment of conception. People will judge you for what you do and don’t do during pregnancy, eat or don’t eat, drink or don’t drink (ahem, wine). People will judge the most seemingly innocent things to gauge your skill level as a mom–starting with your baby registry.

Internet pregnancy and baby forums are beautiful place because other mothers are often willing to admit what they don’t want to say to your face:

I know everyone has their own preferences, but I can’t help but secretly judge people’s registry choices.  Almost like “Oh, hunny, you *think* you need that now, but just wait . . . you’ll see”. It never fails when I see some crazy overpriced uni-tasker, like a beaba, or a diaper pail which needs special garbage bags.

Yeah, I do. So only one of my friends has a baby but when I saw her list I was all “yeah…she’s not going to need that”. I got her a boppy pillow. That was one of the baby items I use the most and I figured it’d be useful to her to no matter how she fed the baby.

Especially when the registry is ALL big ticket items.  I’m not always in a position to “go in” on a gift for someone, and honestly I’ve been burned by that in the past by people who never paid me for their portion so I tend to not do that anyway.  If there is nothing reasonably priced on the registry (baby or wedding, either one), then I feel like they are just in it for a gift grab and I get them whatever I want to get them and ignore the registry.

Now, some of this judging seems innocent enough because experienced moms with children believe that pregnant women just don’t know what they are getting into. Some of the judging, on the other hand, seems downright rude. Some women believe that they know better than the newbie mom who has yet to pop out a baby. If mom puts a certain item on her registry that seems frivolous or useless, “friends” may ignore the item altogether and buy what they believe to be a more useful product.

I think it’s wonderful when friends with children give pregnant women their wisdom, as long as it is asked for. But I have to point out that much of the fun of pregnancy is in planning for a baby, and yes, part of that is creating a registry. When I made a registry, I wanted to pave my own way as a parent. I wanted to choose the cute little products and toys and clothes that I thought my baby would like, and of course, in many cases, I was wrong.

This small act of registry judging is reflective of how we tend to judge new parents. If a pregnant friend asks for your advice, wonderful. If she doesn’t, keep your opinions to yourself. No one is an expert parent when they create a baby registry for the first time. They’ll figure out what to do with their baby soon enough, just like the rest of us did.

(Image: Daniel_Dash/Shutterstock)