My youngest son turned 3 in December so I knew it was time to move on to a big boy room. I also knew I was not going to try to have any more children. Even though I adore kids and would love a girl, I am happy and content with my family. I also knew I was not emotionally or financially in a place to have a third. So why was it so hard to sell, pack up or even just giveaway their baby stuff?
Since birth, I have been saving everything from the hospital bracelet to their first lock of hair that was cut to their first ticket to Disney. I make scrapbooks and I hang things on bulletin boards in their rooms. I have all their baby clothes packed away nicely in the attic and the baby toys in a box in the basement. I have given select things to family members and friends but up until now it has all been nicely tucked away in my house and my heart.
Recently, I started to slowly sell some clothes and toys at Once Upon a Child, and I have donated to Big Brother Big Sister. I was saving a great deal for my sister when she had kids but after she moved to Louisiana, I knew she wouldn’t want to have ALL of it especially not winter clothes. It was hard selling some stuff and other things I couldn’t part with like their first Halloween costumes and that onesie they looked so cute in.
As parents, we become emotionally attached to the things that remind us of our children. We remember what it was like to swaddle them in that blanket or how cute they looked in that Christmas outfit. We hold so tightly to our memories because we know they will only be little for a short time then they spread their wings and fly away. For other moms, it’s hard to let go of the idea of having another child. You think, well maybe in a few years, even though you know it probably won’t happen. My friend Amy from Umbrella Tree Cafe wrote a wonderful article about the Baby Stage Limbo many parents experience.
Selling and giving away your baby stuff is a finality. It is the end of an era. It means you no longer have that little one clinging to your side or needing you every moment. You have moved on to a new, albeit beautiful, but new chapter of your life. You embark on a new journey as a parent.
During Christmas break, I decided to sell my nursery decor. I put a post on Facebook and was contacted within minutes by a friend who is pregnant with her first child. I felt a sense of relief knowing a good friend and fellow Disney fan would be using the Winnie the Pooh blankets, sheets and pictures I dreamed of having for my first child for as long as I can remember. It was heartbreaking taking everything off the walls and packing them up. I realized I would never need a nursery again. I was saying goodbye to the baby stage forever.
The only thing left of what was once an adorable nursery was a crib and a dresser. After much debate, I finally decided to post these items as well. I never expected them to sell so quickly. After the sale was confirmed, I was suddenly overcome with the feelings of sadness, anxiety and guilt. Did I make the right decision? Is this really the end of the baby stage? My heart sank in the realization that I would never again swaddle my child, rock him to sleep or watch the baby monitor as he slept in his crib.
As I quietly cried in bed, I realized what my heart already knew, I made the right decision. I loved my boys and my life. I love the journey we are on and I am okay with moving on. After sifting through all my emotions, I then became excited for what’s to come. I am excited for the bunk beds and sleepovers. I’m excited for baseball games and, dare I say it, girlfriends. I’m excited for our new journey!
So after the mourning has ended, I am able to say, “Goodbye baby stage. Hello next adventure!”