Once upon a time, before toilet paper was a coveted commodity and leggings weren’t quite yet acceptable as pants, I splurged on a few items to help me recover from childbirth that have served me very well during these, shall we say, unconventional times.
You might think I will mention all the healthy frozen meals I prepared. Perhaps you will envy my homestead garden complete with food items representing nearly every food group. But I am not that kind of mom.
Here are 7 useful things I happened to buy right before the pandemic, that have really come in handy:
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#1 – A random assortment of baking ingredients
If you’re a nursing mom, you know what I’m talking about: brewer’s yeast, chia seed, coconut oil, flax seed. Name the random ingredient, I probably have it and we’re figuring out how to use it all. Digging through my cabinets, I found three different bags of chocolate chips, two different types of flour, and candy from every holiday in the last year.
Run out of milk? No problem. I found a near-expired box of almond milk. It’s like producing Chopped and Nailed It in a crazy mash-up series weekly, live and in-person. It’s also math, science, and healthy eating for mama and baby.
#2 – A once very affordable bidet that attaches to your toilet
I swear at one point this bidet was less than $25, and I scooped up this luxury item faster than Usain Bolt. Any mom can tell you how tender it might be to wipe after using the facilities and this convenient gadget provided reprieve to my healing genitals. Hopefully demand stabilizes soon, and you too can take advantage of this amazing bidet.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: At press time, the bidet price is back down to $25, but could go up again in these unpredictable times so this paragraph was left as is.)
#3 – A subscription to a wine club that gives back
After nine sober and pregnant months, I rewarded myself for my self-discipline with a shipment of ONEHOPE wine delivered to my home that doubles as a chance to give back. In addition to the current nonprofits that each bottle supports, we have created more opportunities for our community to fundraise for frontline workers and mothers in hospitality during these uncertain times.
#4 – The softest pajama pants in every available color
Ok, I bought these before the baby was born but I bought them because they have pockets and I knew I wouldn’t be embarrassed wearing them in public if say, one was leaving the hospital carrying a two-day-old baby or running to Target for both a new nursing bra and formula because feeding a newborn is complicated y’all. Never did I realize that these useful things would also serve as perfect suitable work pants many days of the week.
#5 – Every board game created and sold by Milton Bradley
Sometime around the holidays, I got this wild idea that I wanted to start playing more games as a family. I even flirted with the idea of a game night. For months, we tried to get our four-year-old to follow the rules of Yahtzee and were close to defeat when the pandemic gave us new reason to forge ahead. Now, I’m pleased to announce, he’s quite an admirable opponent in a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos or Chutes and Ladders. Still a little too young for Texas Hold ‘Em, but he’s working on his poker face.
#6 – This personal Brita filter water bottle
I’m going to be honest. I have mixed feelings about this purchase. My personal plastic water bottle is perfect for me, but it is the biggest pain to wash. I’m also on my fourth one because the first one dropped and cracked, the second one was left at Target, and the third melted in the dishwasher. They’re also incredibly hard to find. But, in the spirit of trying to reduce my disposable plastic use, I bought these useful things for almost every member of my family. It’s not the worst item I’ve ever bought four times, I can tell you that.
#7 – An entire elementary school’s worth of craft supplies
Let me start this by saying, I am not crafty. But I am ambitious. I once had visions of making homemade robot costumes and frequent handprint keepsakes. I even thought I would make custom hair bows for my little girl. I’ve made one single hair bow.
This left me with just enough fabric, hot glue, pipe cleaners, and elastic to make my family no-sew masks, that I still haven’t made because our Surgeon General explained how to make them even easier with a t shirt. The supplies do keep my preschooler occupied for about 2 minutes and 14 seconds though, so that’s a win.
Some other useful things I have thought about buying?
We haven’t been tempted to buy hair dye, though I have pitched the idea of mohawks for the boys. It was shot down. And I am finally brave enough to start experimenting with some natural deodorants I purchased pre-pandemic but was too self-conscious to try with mixed results.
Now, if only someone had whispered in my ear that the real useful things to do would be to invest in Zoom and Netflix back in January, I would really feel like my money was well spent.