How to Let Go of Baby Gear (and Baby Dreams)
Letting go of a dream is a tough thing. For real. And letting go of the dream of having more children is one of the toughest. It’s a silent struggle many women go through but few talk about.
There comes a point in every couple’s relationship in which they have to decide “Are we going to have more kids?” For some, that decision is black and white. They just know when they are finished, content with their current family. For others, it’s not so cut and dry. And, for many women, this gray area can be hard to deal with.
When you aren’t sure if there are more bundles of joy in your future, you deeply want to keep the dream alive. You don’t necessarily know if you want more kids but you want the possibility of more to be there. Where does much of our hope rest in… keeping our baby clothes and gear just in case.
Letting go of the baby clothes feels like letting go of the dream.
Many women struggle with decluttering their swaddle blankets, bassinets and strollers. I know because I have been there. It can feel so… final. Like you are closing the chapter on pregnant bellies and baby snuggles and opening a new book filled with t-ball games and school recitals. If you are like me, letting go of the pages of those first chapters is the hardest.
Here are some practical ways for letting go of baby gear (aka baby dreams):
Gifting to Others
There are few things better than helping out another person. If you are a mom, you know how expensive baby gear can be and how quickly little ones grow out of it. Saving another person the cost of having to buy that $40 Bumbo chair they’ll only use for three months feels good.
When I decided there were no more children in my future, I started by gifting my baby clothes to friends. It was a safe first step for me. I saw these people all the time so I felt I could easily get it back from them if for some crazy reason I had another child. It was also fun to see their children in outfits my kids use to wear. It was like enjoying the cuteness all over again.
When gifting to others make sure to ask first. Don’t just assume someone wants your “stuff”. Some people would welcome any stroller or crib. Others though have a specific model on their mind. Maybe they envision endless runs with baby using a jogging stroller. Or they’ve already bought their perfect crib and crib sheets. I always ask someone if they would like “fill in the blank” before throwing it upon them.
Storing and Revisiting
Another helpful way to work through your baby gear is by storing and revisiting. I often find that there are two types of baby clutter: those easy things to part with and those not-so-easy ones. It might be a no-brainer to get rid of the expired car seat but hard to let that perfect diaper bag you spent way too much money on go.
If there are items you are having difficulty parting with, try storing them for a period of time and revisiting them later. Pack them away for a specific period of time… maybe three months, maybe six months. Label the box so you hold yourself accountable to the timeline. When the date arrives, reopen the box and see if your feelings have changed.
Time does wonders for releasing the emotional connection we have to “things”. What we would once never dream of letting go becomes a “why did I keep this” when you allow some days and months to pass.
The $100 Mindset
One of the best tools I used for parting with much of my baby stuff was changing my mindset. I always thought that letting go of baby items would mean spending a ton of money down the road if I changed my mind. Why re-buy the stuff all over again.
But a change in mindset helped me release the fear of incurring more cost if I parted with the gear. I came to the realization that, if I did have another baby, it would only cost me about $100 to get what I needed for baby’s first year. I could handle $100 or even $200 to outfit baby. And there were many friends I had that would borrow me those bigger items too!
I changed my mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. There will always be another rummage sale to buy clothes at. Always another person selling a stroller. Always another friend to lend you a helping hand. And all this could be available to me at minimal cost. I didn’t need to hang on to things for “just in case”. I could cross that bridge when (and if) it came.
Have a No-More Babies Sale
Ever heard of a no-more-babies-sale? It is one of the best kinds of garage sale out there. People literally flock to them. Hosting this type of sale means selling everything for baby from bottles to pacifiers to clothes to car seats. You literally clean out your entire stash.
People can make a large amount of cash in just a couple days when they put it all up for sale. What could you do with a big windfall of money? Maybe you take your family on vacation or invest in a new trampoline or pool. The important thing is to get excited about turning all your baby clutter into something you can invest into your current family situation.
Baby Snuggles are Always There
Letting go of the baby dream can also be easier when we think of all the baby snuggles in our future. They may not be from our own little ones but sharing the joy with others can be just as fulfilling. I would dream about my sister having her own kids one day. Sharing long naps with my grandchildren one day. And all my friends currently pregnant that would love for me to babysit for them.
There will always be ways to get your “baby fix”! And the best part is you can hand baby off to mom when they start getting fussy. And you don’t have to wake about at all hours of the night for feedings and diaper changings. Daydreaming about all the future baby snuggles you’ll have with other loved ones can help turn the sadness into hope.
Embrace What Is
Sometimes we have no other choice than to embrace what is. Maybe our spouse is not onboard with any more little ones. Or we are past the age of baby adventures. Or you just don’t have the financial resources to currently support another child. It is important to acknowledge these limits and respect them.
When we embrace what is, we find contentment in our current joys. We refocus our energy from what we don’t have to what we do. And we give more of ourselves with unconditional love rather than tightly gripping onto dreams which may go unfulfilled.
The Joy of Letting Go
If you decide that today is the day you are letting your baby gear go, I have some great news to share. You will soon be enjoying a lighter heart and a sense of release from something that has been weighing heavy on your heart. There is joy that can be found in taking the next big step. The joy of being thankful for everything you have. The joy of seeing your family as complete. And the joy of embracing a new life adventure.
my (not so) little bundles of joy
Need more help? I encourage you to like my Facebook page where I share ideas on how to let go of the physical and emotional clutter.
Family photo credited to Liz Bladorn Photography