There’s a milestone that comes with having children, right at the end. Most mothers say they’ll be okay when it happens. Most mothers even look forward to it happening. Most mothers are also kidding themselves, who think that its easy when it comes to letting go.
I’m not talking about letting go of your children; you raise them in the hope that they are well-rounded adults who want to fly the nest and leave you for a new house they can cover in crumbs. No, what I’m talking about is putting the baby things away for good. Not in the attic, not in the cupboards under the stairs – away, with a company like Storage Giant. The clothes. The furniture. The tiny mobile that has the music that you’ve listened to on repeat for what feels like twenty years. The kids have grown up and moved out and it’s time to start going through their things and letting go of pieces of their lives – or so it feels.
Before you go ahead and start thinning down the baby stuff, ask yourself when you let go of their baby clothes? It’s not likely that you have any of those still laying around the house, which means that you managed to let them go at some point. Letting go of the baby things can feel like you’re saying goodbye to some wonderful chapters of your life. And you are – that’s exactly what you’re doing. But do you know what happens when you empty the nursery of the baby furniture? You get a whole room back. Packing away the highchair that lived under the stairs means that you get your storage space back. Getting the paint out to cover the pastel flower stencils you painstakingly drew all those years ago means you get to update a space to reflect you and not a tiny scrap of life that came with too many things.
You’re saying goodbye to the years of rock-a-bye-baby and the years of wearing the carpet thin with pacing and patting the back of a hiccupping cherub. You’re dismantling the changing table knowing that you’ve changed the last nappy of a child of yours and no longer have a need for it. You’re listing the baby bath on eBay, because it’s in great condition and you have no more use for it. Keep a few things. The first bauble for the Christmas tree. The first outfit that they came home from the hospital wearing. Their first ever blanket. But let go of the big things. Those chapters of your life aren’t to be forgotten, but in their space now free you can fill them with new memories and new photos. Build the gym you’d always envisioned you’d have. Put together the perfect guest room. All you need are your memories and those photos that you took and forgot to develop. You’re not letting go of those things, just the stuff. And who needs all that stuff lying around and taking up space, anyway?
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