Today Hubby and I went on a car cruise to Yanchep as part of the car club he belongs to. No matter what the event, they put on a great social day and it's always pretty family oriented. Today was no different, with a picnic in the picturesque bushland setting. We avoided the kangaroo poo, settled down to eat our picnic with the approximately 50 other people under the shade of the massive trees, enjoying the cool breeze. Sounds good right? Well it was... except for the woman who made me feel like I would be an incompetent mother after 'knowing' me for three seconds.
I don't know this woman's name, she never introduced herself to me, but I know she was eight weeks away from giving birth to her second child and therefore knew everything there was to know about raising children. For ease of reading I'll call her Jane. I know she was only trying to be nice and give advice, but she made me feel like an idiot.
Jane started talking about the costs of a new bub and asked if we had all the bits and pieces ready for the baby's room, so I started telling her about the $1000 challenge and how we've done incredibly well so far (we've scored a cot, bassinette, pram and change table for a grand total of $530). Immediately she chastised me for not looking after Tricky's safety by buying second hand gear, like I'd just gone to the tip and picked up any old rotting and splintered piece of wood and gone “This'll make a great cot!”. She continued earnestly saying she had thought more about the safety of her children and the longevity of the product than money... and spent $800 on a cot. My heart lurched and I started doubting myself – had I done the right thing? What if the cot/pram/basinette falls apart one day when Tricky is in it? World's all time worst mother candidate, right here.
So mid barbecue lunch I'm sitting there, engulfed in my own thoughts and I came up with a conclusion; I'm not so cheap that I would put Tricky at risk to save a buck. The items we have bought so far have all looked pretty good (is there a baby furniture structural engineer I can consult on these things?) and the pram was only 6 months old when the woman I bought it from had to upgrade to a twin stroller because her toddler didn't want to walk if the baby wasn't walking. We have researched all the Australian standards and the new regulations that came in on the 1st of January to make sure we were buying products that would do their job. Plus just because something is brand new doesn't mean it is safe – one of the Maclaren series of prams was recalled recently because toddlers were getting their fingers amputated when they learnt how to fold the pram themselves. I haven't so much bought second hand, second rate furniture, I've purchased items that have already been “safety tested”. My doubts continued to ease when she revealed her sources on baby safety to be none other than that bastion of journalistic integrity, Today Tonight. If I'm going to take advice from someone it sure isn't going to be Monika “my hair, eyeshadow and lipstick are all the same colour” Kos.