Maternity marketing eats my brain

If you need maternity pants for your increasing baby bump, whatever you do, don’t go to the mall. That’s where The Machine works. And it wants to eat your baby.

Yesterday, I figured I’d get some pants at Motherhood, since Goodwill doesn’t have much of a selection and Allen’s pants are getting tight in the belt. So, the girls and I took a trip to Burlington Mall, rode the escalator up to the second floor, and into the very neat and orderly Motherhood store. And that’s when they got me. I was distracted! Seriously, I didn’t have my defenses up because the kids were trying to negotiate with me. And by negotiate I, of course, mean “whine piteously” for a trip to stuff something at the Build-A-Bear across the way.

I pick out the only pants that will fit my robust thighs and proceed to the checkout. Forty bucks later, and the clerk is asking me some questions, and I’m just distractedly rattling off my information. Address, phone number, due date. “Do you want two free issues of Parenting Magazine?” she asks innocently. I nod, and then my brain goes into catch-up mode, and I remember throwing a Parenting Magazine across the room in utter disbelief over some forgotten stupid mothering lore I disagreed with vehemently when my oldest was a baby. And then I wonder why I’m giving out my personal information….

But it was too late!

I asked her to back up and take me off the lists, and she said it was too late. It had already gone through and there was nothing she could do.

The cruft

The cruft

I left, feeling like I had just been slimed. I opened my bag later to look at these pants that cost half my paycheck, and there’s another bag in there. A “gift” bag with a free plastic Playtex bottle, along with about 50 glossy flyers, advertisements, and catalogs for stuff neither I nor my baby will need. Oh, and JOY OF JOYS, notification that my personal information is now shared with companies that want to help me! I’m now on mailing lists for Huggies and Enfamil! Fucking yay!

So I’m left to rant at my dear readers. You poor, innocent few. Because I can’t rage against the marketing machine that looms before me, indifferent to my protestations! THEY don’t really want me! Most of the things I need for a new baby I can get from friends, Freecycle, or Craig’s List for free or close to it. I don’t want any part of the mass marketing frenzy that most people are convinced they need to buy into just because they’re having babies. Think of all the wasted paper, all the glossy catalogs that will now come my way. All the trash that will accumulate in my garbage, all because of this momentary lapse in my attention.

So, this is a warning to the other hippy freak moms out there. Don’t be a target. Refuse to give them your name. Pay with cash. I mean, they still take cash, right? It’s too late for me, but maybe I can save some poor innocent woman out there who doesn’t know any better.

About Terry L. Holt

Writer. Mother. Goddess. President of the Save the Dandelions Club. Climber of trees.
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5 Responses to Maternity marketing eats my brain

  1. Lisa says:

    Try going to and see if you can put your name on the “no mail” list. That might help block the mass marketing about to attack you.

  2. $20 per year! Eh, maybe it’s worth it?

  3. Amy says:

    Crap, they got you too? I was at Motherhood in the tiny cramped Plus section in the back, trying on quite possibly the stupidest looking maternity pants (Which I now can’t seem to stop wearing) and my sister-in-law caught me off guard with her mainstream motherhood ideas. I was throwing out my personal information to the lady before I knew what hit me. I’m planning on breastfeeding – I don’t need formula coupons! I am not (fingers crossed and totally idealistically) buying things made in China. I do not need to be strewn with coupons. Argh. I’ve already gotten a Parents mag. Garbage I say.

  4. Ellen says:

    Eep! I came here to read the comments and found them completely unreadable even with JS turned on — everything below “3 Responses” was overwriting everything else. (Using Firefox 3 on a Mac.)

  5. laurie says:

    I’m still receiving formula and formula mailings from a purchase I made at a Motherhood store (this includes Pea in the Pod and Mimi) last year – I lost the baby. Needless to say I went on a rampage, called Similac, and they gave me the source of the info. I’m happily pregnant again and will NEVER shop in these stores again.

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