Meet the Moms: Introducing Megan
Meet Megan, one of our UpChoose moms from Florida. Megan is a life coach and first-time mom of Connell Roy who is nine months old. She joined UpChoose just before Connel was born. You can follow her on Instagram @megangillman
What’s your name? Any nickname?
Live in? Grew up in?
Currently living in Tallahassee, FL. Grew up in Ringwood, NJ
You’re the mom of...
Connell Roy Gillman, 9 months old.
What made you want to be more careful about the things you buy for yourself or your family? Was there an “aha” moment or a specific event?
My "aha" moment came about 5 years ago. My husband and I had just gotten married, and I was beginning to have panic attacks about our home and the amount of stuff inside it. We rented a house that was much bigger than we needed and had two or three rooms full of things we didn't use, plus a whole garage full of stored items we rarely touched or thought about. I did a Marie Kondo-inspired purge of the house and started practicing ways to be a better steward of our space and the world we live in. When we moved into our new home, we had much less storage space, and so we began to be even more practical. When there's no space to store, for example, an extra case of paper towels, you figure out how to use fewer paper towels! In the past three years, we've gotten more intentional about what we bring into our home, and how we dispose of our waste.
How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?
One of the first changes I made was to invest in a few items that made sustainability feel really enjoyable for me. I bought a big market tote from Apolis, an embossed water pitcher from a local boutique, and a set of white linen napkins. For me, making the experience of living sustainable a little more luxurious made it fun, and made it more likely I'd remember to actually use these items I loved. I invested a little more in high-quality items that would last since I'd save in the long run not having to replace them. And then I kept reminding myself that it's also not sustainable to buy, like, 20 different fancy reusable water bottles. I've tried since then to be really mindful of how many things I need, if the ones I have still work well, etc. I try to not buy new things just because a new style or color is available.
Megan and Connell Roy
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
One of the benefits I've noticed is that, by buying fewer things we've been able to keep our space feeling big, even though we downsized to a much smaller house. We've also been able to save a lot of money. It was particularly noticeable during Covid when I lost most of my income and we were able to make due on just my husband's salary. Something that has worked really well for us is buying secondhand, especially for larger items. All of our furniture (except one item) is second-hand (either from friends and family, thrift stores, or Facebook Marketplace), or homemade. We were able to save tons of money on baby items by buying our crib, bassinet, car seats, etc. from secondhand sources.
❝ UpChoose is helping us live in line with our sustainable values, and show our baby from birth on that you don't need much to be happy❞
Any tips you'd like to share with other expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?
Try not to read any lists about "baby registry must-haves"! I've found there aren't very many actual must-haves for a baby, especially if you're able to breastfeed. Instead, think of what you would really like to have for your baby, and see what you can find secondhand or free. If you're on the fence about something - don't buy it just yet. Luckily we live in the age of next-day shipping, so if you find you're really needing something and you can't borrow it or source it locally, it will only take you a few days to get it.
Can you tell us a bit about the set(s) you received from UpChoose? What did you pick and how have you used the platform so far?
We picked the clothes-only set for our first shipment and decided to use the pre-loved option. We knew we wouldn't need too many accessories, because with Covid we're not really leaving the house, and didn't need extra blankets or toys because we have been blessed with so many handmade items from friends and family. Since we've got a washer and dryer in our home, we knew we'd be able to do laundry as needed, and so far we have never EVER run out of clothes for baby, even with only the 24 or so items that come in our shipment. We've had a great experience sizing up. We got our first set of the smallest size just before our baby was born, and we had to size up within the first month as he grew so fast! We were able to easily go online and reschedule our shipment. Then, the next time we started noticing his 3-6 months clothes were fitting pretty snugly, we went online and sized up again. We've always gotten our clothes on time, even though we sometimes only gave a week or so notice we needed more.
Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set?
We've been really enjoying the L'Ovedbaby bodysuits! The wrap-style shirts are so comfy and soft, and stylish too!
Connell Roy in his favorite L'ovedbaby bodysuit from his UpChoose set!
What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?
The most exciting thing to me about being in the UpChoose community is how simple it keeps our life! Even packing for travel is easy. We went on a week away to the beach and didn't have to think about what to pack for our baby. We just put the whole UpChoose set in our suitcase and we knew we were set for the week! UpChoose is helping us live in line with our sustainable values, and show our baby from birth on that you don't need much to be happy.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
I'd love to be able to teleport!
Favorite activities or games you play with the kid(s)?
I love doing baby&me yoga with our virtual yoga teacher. Baby loves the songs and movements, even through Zoom!
The Princess Bride (yes, still)
Invisible String - Taylor Swift
Dream place for a vacation?
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