I will be the first to admit that I am an emotional hoarder. I literally keep anything and everything I think has some kind of sentimental value. Some of the stuff is necessary and understandable – like Cohen’s lock of hair from his first haircut or the pair of pajamas that each baby wore during their first weeks out of the womb. But some if it, well, I should have thrown out years ago. I won’t even begin creating that list.
Recently I had an epiphany and realized I wanted to remove all of the clutter. I mean – ALL OF IT. Blame it on lack of sleep or life with three kids, but I wanted it gone and out of my face. I started cleaning out the ridiculously large tubs of baby clothes, and I just starting purging without thinking twice about it. I felt liberated because the clutter was disappearing, and soon I was pinning pictures on my Pinterest boards of ideas I wanted to create in our newly cleaned loft space. It was a huge step for me in my emotional hoarding journey.
But as I got down to the last few items, I noticed the yellow Rock ‘n’ Play folded up in the corner of our bedroom. That’s when it hit me, and I broke down into a mess of tears. This was one of those items that I was hoarding for a good reason – it was full of sentimental value. It was this bed that all three of my babies had slept in next to me in our bedroom. It was the place where I had swaddled and rocked each tiny infant to sleep for the first months of their life. It was the bed I would reach over to get that little baby out for middle of the night feedings. But now, it was the cradle that would no longer hold another Baumgartner baby. Selling the Rock ‘n’ Play meant one thing – the baby chapter was closed.
There was no longer talk about a fourth baby. We contemplated it for about five seconds a month after our youngest was born, but I blame that on sleep deprivation and a hormonal high. She was our last baby, but I had never really taken a second to think about it. There would be no more exciting doctor appointments or sounds of a heartbeat on the fetal monitor. There would be no more decorating a nursery or washing, folding, and putting away tiny baby clothes. I would never experience the anticipation of waiting for a newborn baby to make their arrival. While my heart was a bit sad, I knew it was the right time.
I didn’t think about the emotional attachment I had to this thing until I folded it up and placed it on the porch for the girl who was buying it to come and pick it up. My heart felt heavy as I closed the door behind me. No more babies. That’s what this meant. I sold the Rock ‘n’ Play, and it meant the baby chapter was closed. And now it’s time to start the next chapter with my little family – one that I hope includes more sleep.