So, this month I have sold my beloved cot, changing table, baby wardrobe, travel cot, and finally, and most heartbreakingly, my Uppababy Vista travel system, 2012 model This buggy has been with me since I had my first child, and has served all 3 girls so well. I was kinda attached. I don’t mind admitting. The lady who bought it was so lovely, and I was glad it was going to a good home. As if it was some kind of pet….I wanted to know someone would look after it well for me! I was very emotional as she casually loaded it into her car (don’t worry I waited until she had left to burst into tears!). I didn’t want her to know I am a complete nutter.
Or am I?
You see, it’s not the items themselves that I’m particularly sad about. Although, I did cherish them all. No, it’s what they represent that I’m emotional about. The fact that I’m finally selling these things is a very real, physical reminder to myself that I’m done having babies. The end of the childbearing era. By letting go, I’m admitting to myself that we’re moving on, and I’ve never really been able to do that before now. When we were cleaning and dismantling the cot for sale, my husband decided it would be a good time to joke ‘are you sure you don’t want another one before we sell this?’ I didn’t see the funny side at the time! He’s very pragmatic about things. And of course, I agree that having another child might well tip us over the edge, in more ways than one. But, through no fault of his own, he doesn’t quite understand the irrational yearning to grow more little ones…even though I know there are many reasons why we shouldn’t!
I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to bring my three children into the world, and it feels almost greedy to even consider having another, when there are those out there for whom even a single child would be a much longed for miracle. And I can rationalise all these feelings when I’m in the right mood. But at other times, I weep for the feeling of my tiny babies in my arms, which I loved so much. I get carried away on a wave of nostalgia and hormones, which I’m not sure will ever go away. If anything, I’m pretty sure it will peak when I see them trundling off to their first jobs, or when I’m dropping them off at university halls. Yes, I’ll be that embarrassing mum. Sorry girls.
So, what can I do to stop myself from feeling sad about the baby stage that has (almost) passed? Well, I can keep reminding myself about all the positives that come from my children becoming more independent:
- It is unlikely that I will ever have to change another nappy for one of my own children, as my youngest has recently been potty trained and is now dry overnight. This can only be a good thing.
- The proceeds I have made from selling my baby items has gone into building my girls a walk-in wardrobe in what used to be the nursery. A place for everything, and everything in its place…fastidious, me? Never.
- I can finally work on getting fitter and stronger, knowing that I will not have to pause this process again to have another baby,
- I can now communicate effectively with all of my children. And they with each other, which is a joy to watch. I am going to make the most of this while it lasts. Teenage years are coming!
- We can (almost) go out to eat, or to a show without the baby having a meltdown. Now it’s only my husband I have to worry about.
- There is a certain satisfaction that comes from knowing your family is complete, and your future adventures as a team just need imagining….
The rewards of being ‘done’ are many. And these include having the gifts of hindsight and experience to allow me to see the world empathetically through the eyes of Munchkins and Explorers mummies. And working with your lovely babies gives me my weekly ‘baby fix’!!!
And thinking back to the now relinquished buggy, and all the other items passed on to be re-loved by new families, I have definitely now reached a place of quiet acceptance. And it was my middle (maybe most troublesome) child who got me here. Seeing my tears, and with a level of understanding perhaps beyond her 5 years, she disappeared to draw me a picture:
“This is your buggy mummy” “I have drawn it so you can remember it” “I have put hearts around it ‘cos there was so much love coming out of it”
Cue emotional overload.
But seriously, if they feel loved, then mission well and truly accomplished.