It's been too long, but only having my phone for a hotspot makes posting difficult at times (add to that a teething, walking one year old and any break I get is spent reading/watching Bones on the couch).
Recently I decided Max needed a carseat upgrade. He was still in his infant carrier and it was clear that he would soon be too big. I was in denial for a bit, but realized we needed to get one soon.
Choosing to have a baby at my age is not usual by today's standards. Most of my friends were happy but a little confused why I would be jumping into motherhood so early in life. Making the decision to start a family was a decision of faith, a decision endorsed through prayer by a loving Heavenly Father. I too was curious as to why I should start a family instead of pursuing continuing education but I figured He knew better.
He definitely knew better.
It has amazed me over the past year (Yes, Max is almost one. Let's all pretend that isn't happening.) how much I have been taught by having a child. Lessons that I feel I could not have learned otherwise.
Back to the carseat.
So I started doing my motherly duty and researching. You can get convertible (5-65lbs) carseats for as little at $50 up to $350 (sometimes even more if you are really excited about carseats). I read customer reviews, scoured the bestseller pages on multiple websites that sell carseats, and asked my mom to talk to the pediatric nurses she works with. I wanted something quality for not too much money.
The problem is that we are on a grad student family budget. It made anything above $200 dollars completely out of our budget. I cried to Kyle about wanting the best for my son, every mother wants what is best for their child, but how do you resolve what's best with the reality of your budget.
I know that all of the carseats are safety approved but I wanted safety and comfort. I also wanted top of the line safety.
So when we got to the store I completely freaked out seeing all the carseats in person and froze my speech even though going into the store we had decided on a specific carseat. When I saw that carseat next to the luxury (read:padded) ones, my heart fell and I didn't know how to tell my husband. So I did what I do best when I don't know how to explain how I am feeling, I stop talking.
Eventually we decided on a higher grade carseat which I still wasn't super happy with but remember I stopped talking.
We got home and set up the carseat and drumroll.....It didn't fit if Kyle was driving.
We talked it over, meaning I finally started talking and getting to the heart of the matter and we decided to go back. Kyle finally understood my desire for wanting what is best for Max and we found a good carseat for $199. Right under the budget (I am ignoring tax..).
Kyle was in line, I was chasing Max around the store when I saw another carseat, we had passed it numerous times wandering around and I had just ignored it but it was standing out to me now, especially its red price tag reading $179.
I yelled out to Kyle, and he came over as did an employee.
Turns out it was a second floor model that they no longer needed. It was top of the line and marked down mainly because people had probably stroked it's plush material and padding. It was also a 3-in-1 carseat, meaning that it is good for 5-100lbs, infant to booster.
At the end of the day, I reflected upon the week, upon the emotions and feelings I go through as a mother. It is hard. There is so much that I want for my son and sometimes I feel so much guilt for bringing him into the world without a budget worthy of exclusive "top of the line."
But Heavenly Father has been teaching me. He has been showing me that my son doesn't need an iPad, he needs my time. He has shown me that my son doesn't need a membership to the children's museum, he has the world around him. We have good food to eat and a library full of books for us to read.
How grateful I am, for the chance to learn and grow in this way, to see my child grow everyday and to teach/show/tell Him how Heavenly Father blesses our lives.