[This post was originally published on the Parentonomics blog at Forbes on 28th April, 2012]
There have been all manner of parenting styles from attachment parenting, to helicopter parenting, to free-range parenting. All of them focus on pretty much on the time you spend doing things for or with your children. But what about the time you spend buying things for your children? It seems that there has been a broad acceptance that you just have to shop.
Now shopping requires search. I’ve already written about how Disney would like you to subscribe to family vacations rather than go to the fuss of searching for the right spot every year. And certainly if you don’t use disposable diapers, there are services that allow you subscribe to clean cloth ones. But what other areas of parenting can be take the shopping out of the equation?
Enter an operation called Wittlebee. Their idea is to take out the whole shopping thing for clothes for children under the age of 5. Basically, you give them your preferences(type of clothes, current child size etc) and for $39.95 they send you a box of clothes each month. What’s in that box? 8 items of clothes. (You can see an example to the right that I found on Pinterest). So that’s $5 an item. I can’t vouch for the quality but that’s Target pricing.
Presumably, it isn’t too hard from that point to keep upping the sizes with a child’s growth (probably erring on the larger) but the point is that you may never have to rush to children’s clothing sales again.
That got me thinking about what other aspects of parenting we might like to subscribe to. One possibility is batteries. Toys seem to go through these quite readily. Well, I haven’t seen quite that but these people — EarthCell– will allow you to subscribe to rechargeable batteries. The idea is that as you use the batteries, you put them in a box and then, when it is full, pop it in the post. In return you get fully charged batteries. This notion is interesting but I do wonder whether we have time to even post a box!
But my guess is that perhaps what we’d really like a subscription to is Tupperware. Near as I can tell our Tupperware needs grow with our children and at an exponential rate. The other day I found that we had a Tupperware to store Tupperware lids. It would be nice to commit to a plan and a budget for these things.
Anyhow, if you have any areas of your parenting life that might benefit from a subscription, let us know in the comments. Maybe we can all evolve into subscription parents