I went for a walk with a friend of mine a while back and we found a discarded Sophie the Giraffe teething-toy lying in the middle of the sidewalk like it was a free-for-all. We could hardly believe that anyone would just toss this overpriced piece of rubber on the ground and walk away, but we had no idea how to find the owner.
My friend picked up the what looked like a brand-new Sophie and all we could think about was how some mom somewhere must be losing her shit searching for it. I mean, this isn’t something to just drop and lose. It costs a paycheque, after all.
While worrying about the poor mom, the toy got us thinking. Why in all things holy and sacred do we hold so much value on this small crazy-expensive rubber toy?
It's a must-have, but why?
For us – two moms who went through postpartum depression and anxiety – dove into a conversation about the kind of expectations placed on new moms.
You have to get the best of the best because the internet said so, and moms around the world are all in favour in driving themselves mental getting unnecessary costly items for babies.
For us, Sophie became our mascot for postpartum disorders.
I know it sounds extreme, but hear me out.
First time pregnant moms have a shit-ton of stuff to figure out while their bodies change from normal to being stretched out like silly-putty and riddled with everything from retaining water to sciatica to all-day nausea.
Questions like will you breastfeed or what colour should you paint the walls invade your thoughts like a broken record.
I remember telling my mom I needed it. How important it was. How everyone raved about its effectiveness in assisting in the development of a baby’s mouth structure.
My world, how ever did our generation survive without this toy?
I mean, everyone has it, so you should too, right?
Sophie the Giraffe, while adorable, is unnecessary. Not only does Sophie paraphernalia cost anywhere from $19.98 to $149.99, but some kids just simply don’t take to it, like my son.
The first time I introduced the giraffe to my son, he paid it no attention. Eventually, he took the Sophie, twirled it around like a baton, put it in his mouth for a photo op, and then threw to the side, never to be touched again. I kept it in the hopes that one day, he'd pick it up in excitement and use it while creating for himself the world's best mouth structure.
But he just didn’t care for it, and that was an eye opener.
Why is there so much pressure on families to get these kinds of over-priced items for their babies? Whatever happened to simple and affordable?
We put far too much pressure on ourselves and allow others to interfere with our Zen, telling us what we need and don’t need. We lose ourselves in the shuffle and pay ridiculous amounts of money for the best new things when really, simplicity works just fine. I mean, we all turned out well, didn’t we?
A newborn baby isn’t going to grow up shunning its parents for not buying some expensive giraffe, nor will it remember any of the over-priced items you just had to get. All it needs is the basics and your love.
So, the next time a new mom comes to you for advice, unsure of where to turn or what to get, let her know that the simple stuff is more than okay, and Sophie the Giraffe is not a must.