One of the things that helped me in the classroom (and one of the things I loved about my job) can cause a lot of problems when venturing into uncharted territory. Planning and trying to remain as organized as possible is quickly becoming a major downfall.
We are all well versed in how it feels to plan and plan for something only to have the internet be down during that class or a surprise assembly scheduled for the day. Teachers, while being master planners, learn how to be flexible and adaptive in this way.
I’m sure we’ve also all experienced purchasing something for the classroom that we think is either going to be a great lesson or solve a problem (or both) only to find out it was a waste of money. This is where over-planning can become troublesome. It is this trait that is currently wreaking havoc on our bank account.
Prior to the birth of our son, I tried to think through what our days would look like, what we’d need to manage two under two, and what clothing and other supplies we’d have to purchase. Fortunately, one of my cousins and one of our friends gave us a ton of hand-me-down clothes, so we didn’t have to worry too much about that. We also asked for some of the basic necessities for Christmas. Where our spending came in was for all of the gear: the stroller(s), the baby carrier, the rocker/bouncer, etc. Basically, we had to make sure we could get around with two babies and keep one or both of them occupied when I needed to do other things, like go to the bathroom or make dinner.
Here’s the problem with trying to plan for that stuff, though: you can’t figure out what will work ahead of time! We thought we were being so clever and saving money. Boy, were we wrong.
I started looking for strollers on Craigslist almost immediately after I found out I was pregnant. I am in love with my Bob jogging stroller, but they are really expensive. I knew we’d have to buy used. I also wanted to find a simpler stroller for everyday use and for running errands. We ended up purchasing a double stroller on Craigslist and deciding to wait on the jogging stroller.
Of course, what we got such a great deal on is not working for us at all. It’s heavy and difficult to maneuver. I also found other solutions for when we run errands that make the stroller unnecessary. Now, I have to post the stroller back on Craigslist and try to sell it.
We also thought we could re-use some of the items we used for Lily, like the rocker and the bouncer. Thomas, however, prefers other solutions for his naps and for the times when I need to tend to his sister.
Everyone is different, right? We know this to be true of our students. Babies are certainly no exception. You can’t possibly know what will work for one baby based on what worked for another. Lesson learned. Maybe.