My Journey

Finding Meaning in Baby Registries

When we got married, I procrastinated in creating a registry for a pretty significant period of time. I just didn’t feel great writing out a list of gifts that I thought people should buy for us to celebrate this occasion (I have the same difficulty for myself come Christmas-time and requests for gift lists). I mean, I understand the point of registries, and I consistently buy off of them for other people when they are married or have children, but I really struggled in putting together ours. I only ever started working on it when my boss’s boss threatened to make one for us unless I got my act together (I’m still curious what exactly she would have put on our list…), and it took several dedicated days to get it done. So, after the pregnancy had settled in for me a bit and I started receiving reminders on the various apps to start a baby registry, I figured the anxiety behind creating a gift list would get the best of me again and I would put it off for an exorbitant amount of time until someone forced my hand or until the baby arrived and I had nothing at all and was running to stores in desperation, maybe still wearing the hospital gown.

But I was surprised: it wasn’t that bad.

I have some research I’ve pulled together regarding gift-giving behaviors in mothers and I wonder if that was coming into play here (forthcoming Topics post!). I wasn’t creating a registry for myself, so the usual feelings of selfishness or presumption were absent; I was picking out things that would be nice gifts for another person (a person that doesn’t yet have the motor skills or reading comprehension to click the best-reviewed items on Amazon). The understanding that this was so others could welcome a new person into the world with a gift if they so choose made it fairly easy to make a registry happen.

Since our registry was out in the universe, and we shared the information with friends and family, I have received a few packages in the mail and have been notified occasionally by Amazon if things are being purchased. With our wedding registry, I would absolutely feel excited and thankful, but with this baby registry I have actually felt emotional in experiencing such deep appreciation. The simple and kind gesture that others are offering to our child is pretty much the most humbling thing I have ever experienced. It is so clear to me that they are entering a community full of support and love, with people who are truly invested in another’s happiness and comfort, and are providing things that will be used in the very first weeks of a human being’s life.

I am verklempt.

To be frank, making decisions on products was not as simple, unfortunately. I still don’t know if I’ve really “got it” or if I’ll end up changing my mind on something in the coming weeks, and obviously the product opinion/review saturation on the internet and with friends is insane and overwhelming and usually unhelpful in the end since every mom is different and every baby is different… But at least that’s the hurdle I have to overcome, as opposed to the internal battle regarding the construct of registries themselves and the discomfort I experience in feeling like I am asking someone to buy me something. This, thankfully, is all for the baby.

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