Guest Blog: My Very First Blog About My Very Favorite Topic — Advice!
In addition to working as a political consultant, Sara Ladenheim Forman is a full-time mommy to three amazing and crazy kids, aged seven, four, and four months. She was the first person she knew to get married and have children. (She started the trend.)
I love it when I’m out shopping at Target or Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby, and I get to watch new parents-to-be with the scan gun hitting the aisles picking items for their impending addition. (This is, of course, assuming my own little baby is not screaming, and my other two older kids are either a) in school or b) at home with my husband or c) miraculously walking quietly next to me.)
I used to just ignore my gut and not intervene, but now that I am a mother of three, I am that person who interrupts you, as you are about to scan an item of pure whimsy (wipes-warmer anyone?).
Not that I had all the answers from the get-go. I’ve spent a small fortune on various things that promptly went out of use the minute the packaging was thrown out, because I didn’t know any better. I’d like to think that I was uninformed in the beginning because I was the first person of my friends to have a baby. (Put the Teen Mom thoughts out of your head: I was in my late 20s and married for two years.)
So I intrude because I want to help these clueless new parents-to-be understand that room-temperature bum wipes are okay. Usually, this is taken as sage advice. (One exception: someone’s mother or mother-in law once told me to mind my own business. I guess she had her heart set on hot wipes?)
I have found that most new parents are craving advice from someone who isn’t going to judge them. And if you have a baby who is happy cooing in her stroller, chances are you’ve thought about (or used!) whatever product their registry scanner is hovering over.
I am all about helping someone find whatever is going to do the job best, for the least cost.
When my husband and I were looking at the Bugaboo Cameleon in Buy Buy Baby before our first child, it was folded up, and we couldn’t figure out how to open it. A very nice woman with an older baby in a Bugaboo saw us struggling and came over to help us. She laughed, explaining that she was the only one in her family who could work it, but that its rugged wheels were a must for New York City curbs. She demonstrated it for us twice (we got it stuck mid-open the first time), and then she wished us luck.
What’s coolest about this story is that the woman giving the demonstration was Liv Tyler. And what it goes to show is that all new parents can relate to what you’re going though—and a little help from a seasoned parent can go a long way. (Seven years and three kids later, our Bugaboo is still in full working order!)