So Much Stuff!

Due Date: A lot of stuff – not all for baby (via soundcloud)

Via itunes

Why this podcast?
As has happened a lot recently, I found this podcast by accident whilst researching a different podcast.
I was immediately struck by how different it is from any I have featured so far.

Ashley May, who works for USA Today, takes you on a journey through her pregnancy.
It’s just like watching a documentary about someone’s life except, of course, you are listening instead of watching.

Ashley acts as a kind of narrator but you also get to listen to her talking to her partner, family and friends.
This also means that you listen in to various pieces of advice and opinions from those close to her and you will need to sift through these yourself to see which you take in and which you leave by the wayside.

This is not like listening to a podcast about a specific subject, with evidence-based information presented by experts.

It is, in Ashley’s words –

“An uncensored story of pregnant life”

It is important to note that this is the story of Ashley’s pregnancy and that your story will not be the same.
At the same time, it might be reassuring to hear that someone else is experiencing something that you are.

I really love the concept of this podcast and the whole vibe is very gentle.

How does it look?
There are nine episodes in total, with the average episode lasting about twenty minutes.
Some really interesting areas of pregnancy and birth are covered, including weird body issues, being split between two roles – career woman and mom, the many layers of ‘mom identity’, the birth of Ashley’s son and the moment they bring him home.

Why this episode?
The sun is finally shining here in Stockholm and the kids are out of all their winter layers. It felt like a good time to do a bit of a fun episode although you should not expect a lot of specific information about what or what not to buy.

Who should listen to this episode?
Anyone who would like to discover a really lovely podcast.
If you are attracted by the concept of this podcast but are not sure this episode will be your thing, you could check out the premier episode, Forming a Village, which only lasts ten minutes.

The episode
The episode begins with Ashley and her husband discussing where they will put all the stuff they have bought or been given. Baby clothes, diapers, baths and swings all need to be squeezed into a one room apartment.

It can definitely be overwhelming when you realise how much stuff is out there but you really don’t need all, or even most of it and it could be less stressful to just keep it simple.

Later, you get to be a fly on the wall at Ashley’s baby shower, thrown by her mum, mother-in-law and aunt.
At this point there is some praying so if that’s not your thing at least you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Pretty soon you are back listening to Ashley and her husband trying to figure out what to do with ALL THE STUFF.

What really struck me was when Ashley said that preparing her gift registry had made her feel totally unprepared to be a mum.

That statement made me feel so sad.

Yes, of course, there are certain things you need for your baby.
Nappies, some clothes, a car seat, somewhere for your baby to sleep and a carrier, buggy or both but that’s pretty much your basic list.

I’m not sure if anyone ever feels truly prepared to be a parent but that feeling should not be related to what stuff you did or didn’t buy.

Your baby needs you. To love them, to feed them, to keep them warm and safe and, as they get older, to guide them.

But all the stuff?

Not so much.

The wipe warmer
One of Ashley’s friends commented that the most useful thing she had was a baby carrier and the least useful was the wipe warmer (apparently these exist).
Again, keeping it simple and not getting too hung up on all those gadgets could be really helpful in keeping your stress levels to a minimum.

Another friend cites a website called Baby Bargains which gives you an idea of what you do and don’t need and gives recommendations for certain items.

It’s not just baby stuff though. Ashley was a bit taken by surprise by how much she needed for herself.
Maternity clothes, bras, a breast pump. You can easily end up spending a whole lot of money on things for you, not to mention the stuff for the baby.

Again, there will be certain things that will really be useful but you don’t need to go out and buy everything in advance.
See how you feel.
See how your body changes.

Some women can get away with leaving the top button on their trousers undone and looping a hairband through to keep them up until the end of their pregnancy.
Others will find that they are far more comfortable in maternity jeans from very early on.

You are also only pregnant for a relatively short period of time.
You probably have more items in your own closet than you realise that will see you through most or all of your pregnancy.
It might also be worth asking your friends if they have maternity wear they can give or lend to you.

That way you can just supplement with a few key pieces rather than investing in a whole new wardrobe.

I appreciated that Ashley said she hadn’t really experienced the nesting instinct.
Not everyone will have this crazy, energy filled time when they just need to wash, fold and put away all the baby clothes twenty times, set up the baby bed and generally prepare their home for when their baby is born.
It’s an interesting time and if you do get that burst of energy it can be really useful but try not to go completely crazy, you will need a whole lot of energy both for the birth and afterwards too.
And, if you don’t get taken over by the nesting instinct?
Relax. Read books. Take walks. Watch movies. Do all of those things that are not quite so easy once your baby arrives.

To wrap up
This is such a refreshing podcast. I love how honest and open Ashley is and hearing from her husband, friends and family adds such colour and warmth to her story.

I especially love the end of this episode where Ashley’s family talk about how it’s really not about the stuff.

It’s about being with and loving your baby.
Showing them that you are there to keep them safe. Sharing experiences with them and showing them how to be thankful for all the simple and beautiful things in their world.

I really encourage you to listen to this podcast and would love to hear your thoughts.

Other episodes related to this topic
Pea in the Podcast – Baby Gear

The Pregnancy Podcast – Preparing for Baby

The Pregnancy Podcast – Maternity Clothes

PregTASTIC – Baby Bargains

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By emilywills

Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.

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