Mommy Judging Starts With the Baby Shower Registry

baby giftSo, I'm completely done registering. And my baby shower invites have been sent out. Most have reached their destinations, some are still en route. A few people who haven't yet received their propositions to buy me stuff have asked me, via text or Instant Message, "Where are you registered?" To which I respond with the baby emporium my husband and I chose. And then the slightest twinge of anxiety begins to set in. I feel like I'm about to be judged.


Before I get into it, you should know, I have a problem with feeling like I'm putting people out. I never registered for my wedding because, in addition to really just preferring the cash at that point, I couldn't take the pressure of picking out stuff for other people to buy me. It felt rude, garish, and like I couldn't request the things I really wanted, because they were too much money. I didn't want people to think I was selfish. And, no, I don't mind buying other people stuff from such lists. I'm just neurotic about this stuff. I've never been to therapy, but I'm guessing this, like all things, stems from some incident from childhood. My money's on the time I was punished for taking an extra scoop of neapolitan ice cream. But that's another post.

The baby shower. Yes. Here I am with an impending one, and a list of about 65 items I know people are looking at. Did I register for too much? Do I seem greedy? Are the items I asked for too expensive? Should I have gone with the Pack N Play as opposed to the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib since it's less expensive, even though the latter is what I really want? Would it be so terrible to have the Pack N Play, and all its bulkiness, if it means salvaging someone's opinion of me? Why isn't there an Emily Post book on registering for a baby shower?

And my anxiety and self-doubt don't just come from the prices of items I registered for, they come from what I registered for -- and what other moms will think of me for doing so. For instance, will I seem snooty and over-protective (and like I've worked at a mom site for too long) because I've requested glass bottles instead of plastic? Will my mother's old school Italian friends think I'm a pain in the ass for putting organic blankets on my list? And will my dear friend feel insulted that I decided to go with a different baby bathtub than the one she didn't just suggest, but ranted and raved about? It's a lot of pressure.

From what I understand, though, parenthood is a lot of pressure. And there is a lot of judging that happens. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown by the time my daughter hits first grade. That won't be good for anybody. So, you know what? Somehow, some way, I'm just going to have to get over it. And I'm just going to have to get over myself. Which isn't going to be easy.

Did you feel your registry was judged? Do you ever feel judged by other parents?


Image via saaleha/Flickr

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