I have a confession: I haven't been keeping things. In fact, I've been purging them with something like a vengeance. I took four boxes of baby clothes to Once Upon a Child, and when most of them were rejected because they were overstocked on spring clothes, I took them to a Goodwill drop off truck and never looked back. Two weeks before, I did the same thing with two trash bags full of my own clothes. Now, the fact that I had two trash bags of clothes I could lose (and still manage to clothe myself the next day) is indicative that there's a larger problem at hand, but that's another post for another day (where we won't talk about my penchant for hoarding books. I didn't go to the Borders closing sale; that's progress. Right?)
No, what I'm interested in talking about here is the fact that many people seem surprised that I'm getting rid of baby stuff. "Aren't you going to keep them for the next one?" they asked, eyebrow raised.
No. I guess not. I'm not sure there will be a "next one"--another baby would be appealing, if I could stomach the thought of doing those first three months again. Maybe with a little more distance, the memory of exhaustion won't be so crisp. But even if I have another baby, it most likely won't be for years. And even if it was going to be next year, I just don't think I could hold on to all of those things.
This is on my mind because I read a budget tip in Parenting magazine to buy gender-neutral clothes so that you can keep them for future children. It made me wonder if I'm being wasteful. It's not like I have tons of money to spare, but I have even less time than money, and possibly even less extra space than time. The psychic toll of keeping, storing, and tripping over stuff I can't use seems overwhelming.
Do people really keep all this stuff? So far, I've kept one newborn-sized sleeper that she wore all the time because I love looking at how little it was and remembering those first few months (yes, yes, those same ones I'm trying to forget--the mind is a weird place). I'll probably keep my breast pump and maybe the crib because those were more expensive purchases, but I can't see myself hanging onto many of the clothes or toys she outgrows.
Besides, if I get rid of the clothes, I have more room for books.