Facebook creative writing

A Facebook friend, and recently babyfied mother, posted a link to The Story of Stuff on her Facebook ‘wall’ this week. The following 20 minute video summarizes everything that is wrong with our consumption of products today.

She watched it with a perspective on how she’s approaching baby products. Namely, she requested only used items for her baby shower and suggested to guests a couple second-hand stores that could easily meet the need.

In this quickie blog post I’m pasting a couple of my comments from the Facebook discussion about stuff…

Comment #1:

They should produce a follow-up video: The Story of Stuff at Birthday Parties. Nothing brings stuff into your home faster than birthday parties — age-inappropriate plastic junk from goodie bags. At our own parties, we do a used book exchange. No junk goes home, and any gifts we dislike are easily donated to charity.

Comment #2 (responding to a request to share additional ideas):

Give birth to several children of the same gender to maximize reuse. Just kidding, but if space allows, don’t get rid of major items until the third birthday, just to be sure.

Gender neutral products help in that regard. I don’t really care, but eventually babies grow hair and their gender becomes discernible by random strangers and the strangers look at you weird. You’d like to think the weird looks are because your boy is still wearing pajamas at three in the afternoon, but really it’s because the boy is dressed in pink from head to toe.

Your innate desire to be socially accepted by society does battle with your disdain for polluting the planet, and the next thing you know, you’re explaining to your spouse that you shaved your boy’s head so as to obfuscate his gender and save the Earth. This works for the first 18 months, and then you have to purchase baby-safe clip-on earrings, which happen to be very hard to find in the used baby product market because most have been swallowed, so begin looking now.

Second discussion:

Another Facebook friend, and recently babyfied father, lamented over the weekend that he would be returning from paternity leave on Monday.

Comment #1:

Canada, my friend. 35 weeks parental leave, on top of 15 weeks maternity leave, and, you know, the whole giving birth for free thing. [Any Canadians who feel I've oversold their country, feel free to speak up. I view parental leave and inexpensive universal healthcare to be both a moral issue and one vital to the functioning of a productive society.]

Comment #2:

On the plus side, you’ll enjoy coming home from work even more. If it’s not done already, it’s time to kick start participation in mommy groups so Mom has a support circle during the week. That’s one thing you’re blissfully spared from — the initial fawning of moms over how cute it is to see a daddy caring for a baby, and then the evil streak of darkness that emerges when they realize you’re better at it than them.


6 Responses to “Facebook creative writing”

  1. mom in Canada says:

    Canadian mom of a 10-month old daughter here – I went back to work 2 months ago which isn’t the norm as I’m considered self-employed and don’t get the government benefits (most moms take their full 50 weeks = 15+35), my husband is taking the parental leave time (and a bit of personal leave) for 7 months until August. My brother and sister-in-law in the US are really jealous (I think she basically just quit her job rather than go back to work at whatever insanely-early time they expected her to).

    April 13th, 2010 at 10:39 am

  2. AJ says:

    Re: insanely-early time. My wife is an OB nurse and her employer expected her back at work after 2 weeks. She had been on doctor-ordered bed rest, and as far as the hospital was concerned, she had almost used up the 3 months the hospital was legally required to give her. We looked extensively into our state and federal laws and lost a state appeal. If she’d gone on bedrest two weeks earlier, they’d have wanted her back at work right after the birth. The lip service politicians give to family issues disgusts me.

    April 13th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

  3. Danielle says:

    That is really disgusting. Especially a hospital. Argh. I also work at a hospital in the US and have been especially annoyed at how crappy our healthcare is when you actually work for a health institution. But two weeks? Is criminal.
    I was lucky enough that the area of the hospital I work is very small and insular and they helped me out a lot when I was on maternity. Our son was born premature and they let me come back early while he was still in the NICU (which was directly above my lab) and then let me take my time when he actually came home from the hospital. Unfortunately it was pretty much all worked out under the table and would have never been allowed if we played by the rules of the system.

    April 13th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

  4. Keith Wilcox says:

    used stuff is a good idea. Never thought of that before. It’s a shame that so much stuff gets bought just to collect dust then be either tossed or painstakingly recycled into another useless item.

    My paternity leave consisted of me never going back to work. Granted I never got paid again, but that’s one way to stay with your kid :-)

    April 13th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

  5. Cindy says:

    I came back at 7 weeks (after a C-section) and cried every time I thought about working… Then 8 months later was diagnosed with postpartum. That’s 8 months of my life I can never redo!

    Please consider writing to this committee for Paid Parental Leave (for Federal employees). It may not help everyone, but the ones it does help (me) will be extremely thankful! http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-626

    April 14th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

  6. Jessica says:

    I am an American who lives in the UK and gets a year maternity leave. When my baby (who is now 5 months old) hit 6 weeks, I couldn’t imagine going back to work then, as most Americans have to.

    Also, about the buying used stuff…that is how we have bought most of my son’s baby items. I research exactly what I want, play with it in the store, then look for it on ebay and other websites and end up buying stuff that is in mint condition for about 25% of the cost…one item I saved 98% on!

    April 14th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

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