The more I think about it, the more the two ideas marry up in my head. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m on the poverty line – we are extremely lucky to both be working full time in decent jobs, and at the minute we enjoy a pretty comfortable life in Edinburgh. We socialise a lot and just now we have disposable income which is a luxury, I know.
But having done my sums I know that’ll have to change as my income will fall dramatically in early 2014, and even once my maternity leave finishes I don’t know whether going back to work full time will be the right choice – financially or otherwise.
I’m heartened by the fact that lots and lots of people do this, and we’re pretty good at budgeting (our wedding was a thriftful masterpiece, if I do say so myself) so I’m not worrying about it – in fact I’m glad to be prepared rather than approach it ostrich-style, head in the sand.
This brings me back from the future to now – 21 weeks pregnant. We’ve really not done much in the way of preparation; the room is undecorated, furniture unsold, baby stuff bought = 0. But we are accumulating bits and pieces from friends and that has already saved us money – AND it’s helping me on my quest to be a low carbon mum. I love second hand shopping and the idea of breathing new life into things, giving them another chance, appeals a lot.
I totally understand that some people want brand new everything for their baby – I get it – but I think the amount of great quality, nearly new stuff out there for new parents is incredible and can help reduce a household’s baby budget as well as their carbon footprint. The only maternity clothes I’ve bought new have been two pairs of maternity tights from Debenhams (which were dreadful, both split along a seam and are both now in the bin – tights fail) and the rest have been hand-me-downs from friends or eBay gems.
In fact I’ve managed to accumulate so many maternity clothes in this way that today I gutted my wardrobe and put away everything non-maternity, so that all my ‘now’ clothes aren’t mixed up with ‘yesteryear’ skinny jeans and so on. Jamie got a fright when he opened the cupboard and saw the workings of my newly manic pregnancy brain:
So I’ll carry on trawling eBay, Gumtree and the fantastic Jack and Jill Market for bargains, and enjoy getting my head pickled deciding on a pram, etc etc etc that does what we need it to do (what do we need it to do?) and fits our budget (what the hell’s our budget?) and rather than feeling a bit disappointed that we aren’t going on a spree in Mothercare or John Lewis (and you know I love a good John Lewis Spree) I feel satisfied that we are both caring for our planet and protecting our bank balance from severe depletion. I mean have you seen what these things cost???
And here’s a bump pic – I put the same top on as last time to help y’all compare. This is 21 weeks and four days. Plump.