I used to be a shopper. I loved checking out the latest fashions and trends at local malls and shops.
But those days are on hold for a bit now, thanks to a very lively 10-month-old. I’m lucky if I get through Target, let alone a shopping session for – gasp! – myself.
My shopping list has changed too. Pre-baby, I spent more on clothes than I do today. I guess I think of budgeting differently now that there’s another member of the family needing diapers, clothes, food and a college fund.
It’s also hard for me to justify spending too much on clothes since every single shirt I wear ends up with a new decoration by the end of the day, in the form of drool or spit-up. Plus, my son loves hanging on to my shirts when I’m holding him, stretching out the neckline as he tugs.
When it’s time for date night with my hubby or a happy hour with friends, I practically run to the section of my closet filled with my “nice” clothes (those without spit-up and a droopy neckline) and long earrings, giddy with excitement. And if I make the mistake of leaving my dangly earrings on after a night out, my son will quickly remind me as soon as I get home, happily gripping them with his tight grasp and pulling them toward his mouth.
Even though my own shopping habits have drastically changed since giving birth, they don’t necessarily apply to my little one. On those rare occasions when I do happen to embark on a shopping trip, I typically find myself stopping by the baby section first – just to browse, of course. But even if my son’s closet is fully stocked, I can always justify one more shirt or romper for him.
The result? Many days, my son wears nicer clothes than I do. Recently, I dressed my son in an outfit my husband and I purchased on our local Newport Beach babymoon last year. It’s a Penguin brand body suit – adorable, but probably triple the amount we’d spend on a body suit nowadays. At the time, we were too busy picturing our son in the classic romper than to think about the practical things, like how quickly he’d outgrow it, or the fact that he’d likely spit up on it.
Another instigator in my baby clothes obsession is online shopping. With all the great online baby deals (hello, BabySteals.com!) it’s hard to resist shopping for my little guy on my laptop. Funny enough, I wasn’t a big online shopper pre-baby. I always preferred browsing an actual bricks-and-mortar store, touching the items, trying them on and taking my time making a retail decision. But now that I’ve discovered just how difficult it is to get baby in and out of the car for what used to be a quick errand, I’m a big fan of shopping from the comfort of my pajamas. Not only is my Amazon.com order done in less than five minutes, but it will also be in my hands much, much faster than if I had waited to get to the store in person.
Here’s my shopping style transformation, in a nutshell:
Before baby: Banana Republic
After baby: Banana purees
Before baby: Cocktail ring
After baby: Teething ring
Before baby: Coach purse
After baby: Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag
How have your shopping habits changed since starting a family?
FILE PHOTO: THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Originally written for The OC Register on OCMoms.com