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Featured Article(s) for January 2004: Affordable Parenting?

As a young woman, my parents always told me, "babies are expensive". A few years down the line, I became a parent. I would soon find out first hand just how "expensive" they could be. In preparation for the birth of my first child, I began to shop for the "necessary" baby gear. Crib, bassinette, stroller, car seat, clothes, diapers, ect... All of the typical "necessities". And I almost forgot, baby formula... How could any mom forget that! After all, you can't have a healthy baby without formula or pre - made baby food. What mother would dare deprive her child of these essentials to it's life? With my first son, I tried to give him all of these necessary things. I worked hard for them, 40 hrs a week while my son was in day care. I packed his bag, woke him up, got him dressed, dropped him at day care, rushed to work, rushed home to pick him up, spent about two hrs with him and then went to bed. I was working to pay for day care and things. I missed my baby. I started to think are all these things really necessary? It's a question I had asked my self before, many times. It's the question that led me to at least look for bargains while shopping for these things. I had no problem with going to a thrift store or garage sale for baby gear, but I did so in secret. Of course these second hand items could'nt possibly be safe for a child. After almost a year of letting other peoples thoughts and opinions dictate how I raised my child, I finnaly said, "that's enough"! I left my 40 hour a week job for a part time one and began to explore other employment options. I was able to spend more time with my child and life was good. I soon became pregnant with my second child. It was durring this pregnancy that things realy changed. I opted for cloth diapers, breastfeeding and midwifery care. All things I had to some extent with my first child. After all, I tried breastfeeding for about three months, although not exclusively; and I tried cloth diapers for about a month. In the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy, I switched to midwifery care and had a successful natural birth in a free standing birth center. If I had listed to my instincts the first time around, life would have been a lot happier. In short, I found that babies are'nt what's expensive, it's all of they're unneccessary "needs" that are. All babies realy need are love, food from they're mother's breast, simple clothing, cloth for diapers and shelter of course. They don't need to be born in a hospital or like facility, they can be born at home safely. (With the exeption of truely high risk or emergency situations). Babies are affordable, that is not to say that it dose'nt take some money to raise them. That is just the type of society we live in, but you can raise your child to be a healthy and happy one without all of the bottles and other unneccessaries. Affordable parenting is possible!

Affordable Parenting? was written by Lisa Fuimaono - McDonald. Lisa is a mother of two boys, ages four and two years and wife to Harry McDonald. She spends her time at home raising her two children and doing work as a doula / midwife's asistant. She is the founder of Earth Birth Doula Services of Northern Nevada and assists her mentor Deborah Harmon, in the opperation of Debbie's Midwifery Ministry.

Affordable Parenting Resources:

The Frugal Baby Pattern

Poems, Articles, Misc. Writtings by Lisa

All Poems, Articles & Writtings: Copyright Lisa Lynn Fuimaono-McDonald