They say it takes a village to raise a child, which I always thought referred mainly to family. My family is incredible. The amount of help and love they give is immeasurable.
One of the most amazing things about becoming a parent is finding communities within communities that you never knew existed. There are the wider known communities for advice, like Pink and Blue on Facebook. There are welcoming groups of dad-bloggers that I met online, helping along the way. There are communities everywhere I look, willing to share a hand.
But, the most amazing so far has been the community of friends who just give you “stuff”. From clothing circulated from friend-to-friend, to toys, to machinery like baby-swings, to left over diapers (unused, of course!). Who knows how many generations this stuff has been passed down? The fact is, it is appreciated, and has saved us thousands of dollars.
Of course, the sharing doesn’t stop at us. After we are done with “stuff”, we package them up in giant Rubbermaid containers, and give them to friends who are expecting a baby shortly.
Just to be clear: I am talking about the literal sharing economy, where you actually share stuff – not the fake sharing economy, like AirBnB and such, where you pretend to share stuff, but actually make money off it.
Prior to Haddie being born, I had no idea people did this. I thought we’d have to buy EVERYTHING. In an age of companies gouging customers on baby items, it is great to know that this underground community exists.
So, if you are reading this – I hope you aren’t the first of your friends having a baby. But, if you are, be sure to start sharing. What goes around comes around.