Looking to unload baby items and emotional baggage

I’ve been cleaning the basement this week, the main part of which is getting rid of baby stuff. I’ve spent hours sorting, tossing and packing things up to give away.

Not surprisingly, I’ve got mixed emotions about giving away SP’s baby stuff. Of course there’s a little bit of sadness. By getting rid of this stuff, we’re making concrete our decision not to have another baby. It’s the right choice for us, but I can’t help but feel a little melancholy that SP’s hypothetical sibling will never become a reality.

And of course I feel nostalgic. Even grown men get a little mushy when they hold up a 0-3 month onesie with tiny ducks on it, so of course I completely melt. It’s hard to believe SP was ever that small, despite the many pictures and memories that prove she was. Of course then I think about the bazillion awesome things she can do now that she couldn’t when she was a baby (speak, feed herself and make complicated drawings involving pom poms, feathers and sequins, to name a few) and I’m glad she doesn’t fit in those tiny outfits anymore.

As I sorted through the multitude of boxes and bins, I also had to laugh at myself. We had so much stuff—a lot of which we barely used. I’m a bit of a control freak, and one of the ways I tried to maintain my sense of control when SP was a newborn—and completely impossible to control for—was to buy every single product for newborns. Every. Single. One. Did I need all of it? Heck no. That’s why I have so much stuff to get rid of now. But it truly did set my mind more at ease to know that I was prepared for almost any situation that could possibly arise.

And finally, as I loaded up the last odds and ends into my car to take to Goodwill, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. Partly because we raised our daughter to be strong, healthy and basically well-adjusted. But mostly because my basement is so clean now!

– RBVH

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