Postpartum Shopaholic?

In June’s edition of BabyTalk, there is an interesting article: Becoming a Postpartum Shopaholic by Janene Mascarella

The writer raises a topic that frankly, isn’t mentioned very often, and she writes with a smart, easy tone. Most moms would not find themselves identifying with the addictive qualities or perhaps not even with the concept of compulsive shopping. But the piece does a nice job of highlighting a new mom’s susceptibility to issues related to: loss of previous self, boredom, body image, pressure from social groups or blasts of advertising.

“Not just reward myself, but reclaim myself. Despite all the wonderful cuddling, kisses, and belly laughs I shared with my new baby, I couldn’t help but cringe when I looked in the mirror: “Who are you, and what have you done with the old me?” my reflection asked. So I hit the cosmetic counters in search of my pre-mommy face. I found something else: some savvy salespeople who sized me up in full transition-wear attire and marked me as an easy target. I have pretty hair? Oh, thank you, thank you. I’ll take two of whatever you’ve got. Somehow, spending sprees reminded me of the girl I used to be — that fun girl living in the big city who would spend an entire month’s rent on a new shirt. I wanted so badly to be her again.”

“…Compulsive shopping is considered an impulse-control disorder, says Deborah Serani, a clinical psychologist in Smithtown, New York. If you go on a spree or overindulge occasionally, there’s probably no need to worry. But if you’re shopping regularly because you feel sad or angry, and your spending has put you and/or your family in financial danger, it could signal trouble. She suggests simple strategies: Get rid of all credit cards except one (use cash instead), don’t shop alone, and make a shopping list of only what you need and stick to it. Ultimately, though, compulsive shoppers need to find other ways to feel empowered. A skilled therapist can be greatly beneficial.”

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