Polyester socks that rip immediately. Battery-operated video game controllers that weigh 10 pounds and give you carpal tunnel syndrome. Adult board games that my husband and I will never play because they require at least three players and we're not very social. These are just a few of the bad decisions I’ve made on Amazon Prime before I was a mom. Once I had a baby, and was duped by the idea that shopping at 2 a.m. while breastfeeding was efficient, my online purchase decisions only got worse.
I can only partially blame sleep deprivation for these poor choices. The real culprit, I realize in hindsight, was anxiety. I wanted to make sure my partner and I were doing everything possible to ensure the safety and contentment of our children. My Type A personality kind of went into overdrive as I spent my time trolling parenting message boards and combing the internet for all the recommended gear that apparently were the answers to all these other moms’ issues with their kids. What I failed to realize is that one woman’s Amazon Prime cart’s gold, might be another’s trash.
I bought trash.
Here are just a few glimpses of my Amazon Prime history. Consider it a peek into the cabinet of curiosities I procured, and bad online purchasing decisions I made, as a new mom:
I have two kids and I try to keep things as fair as possible so it doesn’t look like I favor one over the other (because of course I don’t, usually ). Fair doesn’t always mean equal, though, and I’m trying to teach that to my 6-year-old son who thinks he should have the same (later) bedtime as our 9-year-old daughter. The only exception to this rule is during holiday time, when I better have an equal number of presents wrapped for each of them, or I will officially ruin Chrismanukah.
Cut to the night before the night before Christmas, when I’m tallying up the gifts to wrap and I come up one short for a kid. What can ship in 24 hours? A 3D Mickey Mouse puzzle, that's what. Do you know why Amazon is so willing to expedite shipping? Because these puzzles fail to fly off the shelves, due to their uncanny ability to make you vomit and the dimensionality of these puzzles makes me dizzy. I can not look at the pieces for more than a few moments before getting nauseous. I’m pretty sure these things should come with a hazard warning.
Off-Brand Breast Milk Storage Bags
When you’re running low on milk containers you start getting desperate. Even something as marvelous as two-day shipping will never make up for the fact that these things do not stay closed. So unless you love mopping up puddles of your own breast milk, that you sat in an isolation booth-slash-lactation room to produce, I recommend stocking up on the good, albeit a bit more expensive, brands. In advance.
Clothes With Waistbands
Just because I had dropped 20 pounds literally overnight (by giving birth) didn’t mean I was ready to wear non-maternity clothes so soon. However, that first time on a scale after having the baby filled me with a false sense of svelteness. Before I even attempted to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes (which wouldn’t end up fitting for another eight months), I logged in and ordered myself a bunch of new stuff. None of it fit and some of it remains at the bottom of my closet to this day, because I have kids and no time to pack up returns, even with free shipping.
Damn it, I pushed out a baby. Time to treat myself. I want a delicate necklace with my baby’s initial, just like all the other cool moms. Except, I don’t want to pay a lot of money a]\nd I’m sleep-deprived. So I end up with a piece of junk that lasts exactly three hours before my grabby infant yanks it off my neck while nursing.
These sounded like a good idea at the time. They stimulated the baby’s senses, which was perhaps supposed to make them smart (or sensible?). But they were just little globes with nubs on them, like glorified dryer balls.
I guess I was really fixated on balls of the non-athletic variety for my children. This is no longer the case.
Three Aluminum Water Bottles
Freaked out by the idea of BPA possibly being everywhere, I went all in on aluminum. Except my baby wouldn’t be drinking out of a cup, let alone a rock-hard, heavy metal water bottle, for a while. No matter, friends. I was with three extremely hard to clean (due to their narrow necks) bottles that would probably put a dent in her head if she actually attempted to drink from them.
"The Essential Neil Diamond"
Honestly, I have no recollection of purchasing this album. However, in combing through my order history, there it was. In black and white and gold chain.
An Expensive Bunk Bed
I bought a $400 bunk bed, sight unseen. Guys, it was made completely of metal parts. I mean, I was able to view pictures and product reviews, but that should not be enough research to satisfy a parent’s quest for reassurance that this bunk bed, which will hold both her children, is safe.