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Baby Planners

So, since today is my "day off" (thanks hubby!), I got to go work out at 9 a.m. and watch one of my favorite food network star's (Rachael Ray!) talk show on CBS. I just love her. She's so cute and fun! Anyway, today she had on these two ladies who have started a business together to help new moms plan for their baby, like a wedding planner helps plan a wedding. Sounds like a great idea at first, doesn't it? I mean, you're having your first baby: What books to read? What to buy? How to parent? How to deliver? Which diaper bag to carry? You just have a lot of questions and uncertainties about what to expect.

Well, for $75 you can call these gals and have a 30 minute consultation on the phone! If you feel like you need more help than that then they can meet you to go shopping together and create a baby registry or give you any other kind of support you might need.

$75! I got on their website and they have plans that start at $500 and if you don't live in L.A., they will travel to YOU.

Somehow, these two women are "experts". I'm not sure what makes them experts, I couldn't find anything on their website that gives them any kind of parenting creditentials except maybe having a kid or two of their own. No degrees in anything kid or mom related. They did work in the media, though, so maybe that counts? I'm thinking maybe Kendra Fletcher over at Preschoolers and Peace with, what 7 precious kiddos, yeah, SHE might be an expert. Or what about Ann Voskamp over at Holy Experience with her 6? Yep, I'd listen to her. BUT--

This got me thinking: Back in the olden days, most of us asked OUR MOTHERS. Our moms helped us shop, get the nursery ready, explain labor and delivery and life with a newborn, helped us breastfeed, reassured us that we'd be JUST FINE. Now, you can HIRE someone to do it for you because a lot of us were raised by mothers who were so busy pursuing their own interests that the mundane tasks of motherhood fell to someone else on a regular basis, leaving many women, like me, who spent most of my childhood in daycare, to figure out how to run a household on her own. [disclaimer to working moms: I realize every single situation is different, so don't assume I'm just bashing all working mothers, ok? I'm not. I'm just reflecting on the culture a bit and speaking in generalities.]

There has been this huge cultural shift that has happened right before our eyes. What used to take place in the context of a family is now repackaged into a commodity to be bought and sold. You used to plan your wedding with your mom, but now you need a "professional". You used to have a close knit group of family and friends who helped bear your burdens, but now you pay someone, be it a life coach or a psychologist, to be your friend and listen and give advice. You used to plan for a new baby with your husband and mom and friends and relatives, but now you hire someone to tell you what you should do.

I just find this fascinating. Thoughts anyone?


You are "spot on." When I became pregnant with my first son, my immediate response was "I need my mother." It was so important to me that she be the one to advise me. It's so sad that women have to pay others to nurture them through life's major experiences.

On a related note, for ministers' wives, the role of the "good friend" is hard to fill. I have many moments when I think I need to see a counselor, but I know that if I had a real "heart friend" with whom I could be completely honest, I wouldn't need to pay someone to listen to me. Women at church are nice enough to me, but there is no "heart friend."

October 23, 2007 at 6:56 AM  

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