Pre-Baby Challenge #2: Use It Up

Pre-Baby Challenge #2: Use It Up

At 27 weeks pregnant, I am doing a lot of thinking about how my life will change in just a few short months. I’m also considering the ways in which I want it to change: what behaviors do I want to adjust before becoming a parent? This is how I came up with the idea of the Pre-Baby Challenge. We all have things we want to change about ourselves, and I personally have often struggled with executing that change. My husband and I have discussed that being responsible for another human kind of forces your hand. If you’re not behaving in the best way possible for you, how on earth are you supposed to set a good example for someone who’s just learning what it means to exist in this world? Based on that notion, I am putting some challenges in place for myself in the weeks leading up to the baby’s arrival, and I intend to detail my successes (and potential failures) right here.


 

For a person who is relatively low-maintenance, I own a lot of products. I go through phases with my beauty routines, and when I have a whim (natural, high-end, etc.), I often end up purchasing new things before I’ve used up the old things. I’m far too lazy to put on makeup every single day, but that lack of makeup means that skin care is very important to me. I want to go out without makeup and not feel bad about myself, you know?

While testing out new products can be  a fun hobby, it can also be an incredibly expensive one (I don’t even want to know what I spent at Sephora last year…). I have given a number of things away to friends so that products wouldn’t go to waste, and I’ve tossed anything that passed its expiration date. But I still have a few small plastic containers of products that need to be used up or passed along if they truly don’t work for me.

Pre-Baby Challenge #2 - 1
The current hair/skin care/body product collect

Sadly, this habit of buying new before old is gone does not strictly apply to skin care and beauty products. I have also developed a habit of purchasing cleaning products before the old ones are gone. Better scents, no scents, cooler packaging, more natural… I get sucked into this crap ALL. THE. TIME. It’s costly and wasteful and needs to stop.

Pre-Baby Challenge #2: Use It Up

Before I buy any more hair care, skin care, makeup, or cleaning products, I want to use up what I already own. Here’s why:

  1. This stuff is expensive, but not as expensive as a baby. Any disposable income we currently have will be going toward diapers, wipes, butt paste, formula (maybe), and other baby necessities in the very near future. It seems like a good idea to get prepared for that now.
  2. I want my child to know the value of money and that being frugal is a good thing. In order to effectively teach my child these lessons, I need to be practicing them in my own life. We should aim to meet our needs, save for the future, and help others whenever possible. While I believe in that statement wholeheartedly, I’m not currently living it.
  3. In terms of the beauty products… while I enjoy playing with makeup sometimes and taking care of my skin, I often feel very superficial when I dedicate so much time, energy, and money to those things. If my child is interested in that world, I will be supportive. But I would rather encourage reading, the arts, science, and sports to be the focus of my child’s time and energy. Taking care of oneself physically is important, but I do not want outer appearance to be my child’s driving force.
Pre-Baby Challenge #2 - 2
The revised medicine cabinet – time to use these up!

So, what happens now? Well, I’ll use up what’s in my bathroom now and then move on to the stuff in storage (I can’t believe I have beauty product storage… who am I?). From this point forward I will keep track of the products I deplete and recap my success or failure in a future blog post (maybe 2-3, depending on how long this takes).

 

Pre-Baby Challenge #2 - 3
Overflow Storage

I intend to apply this strategy to my cleaning products as well, but I find them to be much more boring so I don’t have photos to share. But I will include progress with those (and maybe empties, too?) in future posts.

Pre-Baby Challenge #2 - 4
Empty Future Empties Storage

Do you have any items you “collect” or constantly repurchase? Let me know in the comments!


 

PS: Apologies for the poorly lit iPhone photos. We have a DSLR, but I’m a novice at best with the professional equipment. I intend to work on that in the near future… perhaps another challenge?

Pre-Baby Challenge #1: Reduce Screen Time

Pre-Baby Challenge #1: Reduce Screen Time

At 26 weeks pregnant, I am doing a lot of thinking about how my life will change in just a few short months. I’m also considering the ways in which I want it to change: what behaviors do I want to adjust before becoming a parent? This is how I came up with the idea of the Pre-Baby Challenge. We all have things we want to change about ourselves, and I personally have often struggled with executing that change. My husband and I have discussed that being responsible for another human kind of forces your hand. If you’re not behaving in the best way possible for you, how on earth are you supposed to set a good example for someone who’s just learning what it means to exist in this world? Based on that notion, I am putting some challenges in place for myself in the weeks leading up to the baby’s arrival, and I intend to detail my successes (and potential failures) right here.


 

I spend a lot of time looking at various screens. A LOT. I am on a computer all week at work, and also do some part-time work from home on my laptop. In addition to all of that screen time, I watch so much television. I mean, it’s stupid how much TV is watched in my house, especially since most of the shows/episodes are things we’ve already seen a million times. And if I’m not watching actual television, I’m staring at YouTube videos. Sometimes it’s new content, but sometimes I’m re-watching videos I’ve seen 3-4 times.

Could I possibly be wasting any more of my time or making my vision degenerate at a faster rate?

I read on an infographic that any screen time before the age of 2 can potentially delay or impair a child’s language development. Interacting with babies and toddlers and speaking to them, even if they don’t comprehend the words, really helps to build their brains, nerve endings, and future vocabularies. So, just by having the the TV on in the background (which we do so frequently), we could be reducing the future intelligence of our child (Disclaimer: I understand that nothing is a guarantee, one way or the other, but this feels like something worth trying).

16geniusig

In an effort to improve my own brain function and eyesight, as well as those of my future child, I am going to reduce my screen time. There will be limits to this because I still have to work. However, I don’t need to scan Pinterest or Instagram all the time, do I? Additionally, I’m not going to include my Kindle as a screen, since I only use it for reading eBooks.

Instead of having the television on in the background while cleaning or cooking, I will listen to music. When I get bored, I’ll pick up a book or go for a walk, not turn on an episode of Psych I’ve seen 5 times. And I won’t check my phone first thing in the morning, except to turn off the alarm.

5m6ja

Do you spend a lot of time looking at screens? Do you feel it’s a problem for you? If so, what steps are you taking to change this habit?

Want to Read Wednesday: Still Life

Want to Read Wednesday: Still Life

When it comes to mystery novels, I am my father’s daughter. And my mother’s daughter. And my grandmother’s granddaughter.

Reading mysteries is kind of in my blood. It’s not the only genre I read, but I’m finding as I get older I’m gravitating toward these titles more and more.

The fantastic blog Modern Mrs. Darcy is the first place I learned of Louise Penny’s mystery series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, and the first book, Still Life, has been at the top of my reading list ever since.

338691

Penny’s novels take place in Quebec, Canada, which is a setting with which I’m unfamiliar. But I love the idea of a story in a foreign-but-not-so-foreign place. It just adds another intriguing element for me… you know, beyond the murder mystery. This introductory novels follows the Chief Inspector as he investigates the death of small town woman that, on the surface, appears to be accident, but Gamache has reason to believe there are darker forces at play.

This is starting to feel like an episode of Murder, She Wrote, but with better writing. I can’t wait!

What do you want to read this week?