Advanced Happy Mothers’ Day to all moms in the world! Whatever choices we make as a mother, trust that it’s best for your baby. We surely make our mother of all mothers, Mama Mary, truly happy in this wonderful day!
A few weeks ago, I told my husband how expensive it is to be a modern-day parent.
Sure, we breastfed, we attempted cloth diapering (as in the good ol’ lampin), we made our own baby food and bought only fresh veggies and fruits and meat for our toddler’s meals (no hotdogs, no processed, though sometimes we’ve succumbed to fast foods). And after doing the math, we therefore concluded it’s expensive to be a modern-day parent.
Luckily, I am now able to work full-time, thanks to my mom who volunteered to take care of our daughter (Happy Mothers’ Day, Mommy Luz! We love you!). Even my mom and I have a hard time bridging the 25-year gap of parenting a newborn, but we were able to get through it. At least that’s what I think.
Feeding the baby for the first year: breastmilk vs. formula
A manual pump would cost around P2,000. If you’ve been back after the two-month maternity leave (oh why is it so short?!), you could get a double electric pump which would cost at least P8,000. Add to that the bottles or milk bags, cooling bags and ice bags for keeping your milk fresh as you go home. Can be pretty expensive, right? That’s probably the reason why some families opt to formula-feed, which would cost around P4,000 for the powdered milk alone, not yet counting the bottles, clean water, sterilization of bottles.
Our choice: breastfeeding all the way. I would never have it any other way. I delayed full-time work for more than a year to focus on the baby mainly, but still do things that I love occasionally, like teaching, singing, and pampering of course!
Collecting booboos down under: cloth diapers vs. disposables
My mom wanted us to try it their way: lampin. So off we bought 2 dozens of lampins and almost always, at least almost all of it gets used up within one day. After a month, we totally dissed lampins and went on to use disposables, which cost us an average of P1,000 a month. I know we’re not being environment-friendly on this one, but it was the better solution than washing off all those dirty laundry!
Nowadays, cloth diaper makers have taken a step higher, or even ten steps higher, with all those cute designs and special absorbent powers that come close to a disposable. It could be quite an investment, but many have attested to its convenience. Something to consider with the next baby.
Our choice: given that we live in a small condo unit and there are constraints in washing clothes, disposables it is. Good thing our baby likes the cheaper brand more than the expensive one!
Feeding frenzy: freshly-made or instant?
Nowadays, almost everything comes in an instant, and we have the industrial revolution to thank for that. But we chose to give our daughter freshly made foods as her first solid foods. Every morning, we boil or steam veggies, mash it and mix with breastmilk and voila, better-than-bottled foods!
I’ve seen these gadgets that have been marketed for making baby food fast. They cost expensive and clean up could sometimes take time. What do we use then? A fork, what else!
And now there are also organic bottled foods which cost a little higher than your popular brands. I once tried but my daughter easily recognized the different taste and she didn’t like it. What I buy her is the organic cookies and puffs which she loves (and hey, their prices may be high, but it’s far better than the sugar-filled Marie!).
Now that I’m raising a toddler, her food should be always freshly cooked and nutritious. Our grocery budget sure skyrocketed (and we’re not even buying organic or free-range at that!), but my husband doesn’t mind at all. He’d prefer to spend on food, educational materials, be it iPad apps or books or toys, and vaccines which we get from her pediatrician.
Our choice: cook-it-your-own! I have learned to cook food, bake oven toaster cookies for snacks, and concoct simple desserts all from scratch!
After all these musings, I wonder how life was when it was my lola’s time. It definitely is not that expensive as it is today. I haven’t even mentioned the choice of toys nowadays — iPad or Waldorf toys or dirt on the ground? Take your pick!