Since getting pregnant, we have started to think more specifically what type of parents we want to be. I have also been stressing about gathering all the equipment, gear and stuff that babies require....car seats, strollers, crib, cradles, pack and play, swings, bouncer chairs, bottles, changing table, clothes, baby toys, monitor, custom quilts, boppy, carriers, diapers, wipes, just to name a few.
What would Faustina do? This is a questions I ask myself a lot these day. Faustina is an amazing mother of 5 who lives in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, Guatemala. I first met Faustina when I was on a BYU Anthropology Field Study in the summer of 2000. I lived with her and her family in a small Mayan village in the Guatemalan highlands. Faustina and I became good friends and I have returned to visit her her several times. I took Lonnie to met Faustina in May of 2005.
Faustina does not have a lot of material possessions. She lives in a very small adobe home and cooks her meals on an open fire. I am quite certain that her children never had any of the list of the things that I consider necessary for a baby. Yet she manged to raise her beautiful, happy children. Of course, many of the things available to me will make my life easier and the babies lives safer. Also, Faustina lived in a different type of society than we live in; her sisters, mother, and extended family all live within feet of her home and all took part in raising and watching over her children. Still, it seems like we become convinced that we need so much stuff in order to have a baby living in our home. So where is the balance? What do we really need? What can we do without? How do we find the balance between consumerism and necessity? Can all of that baby equipment distract us from the actual baby and deny our natural abilities as mothers?