Guest post: SAHD and proud – Stuff
We have lots of stuff. Nice stuff, most of it. Apart from THAT. That’s just shit. And thankfully we bought a big house to accommodate this stuff. But the time has come to consider getting rid of some of this stuff. Mainly stuff that we bought for the babies because, simply, they aren’t babies any more.
We’ve got rid of lots of baby clothes. A friend of a friend works, for some of the year, in a clinic in South Africa where he meets mums, kids and babies who have HIV. We’ve boxed up lots of old baby clothes and given them to him so he can take them to the clinic and people can directly benefit from them. It’s not altruism; I’m convinced there is no such thing. We get a warm glow from doing such a thing and someone else benefits from stuff we no longer have use for. It’s a win win.
But that’s the tip of the iceberg. We have lots of baby toys the kids no longer play with, pushchairs they’ve grown out of or will soon grow out of. Some of them have a considerable resale value. Soon will come the time when we will have to consider getting rid of the Bugaboo Bee, which we bought when T was born. This delightful yellow piece of engineering and design. This pushchair means a lot to me. I’ve walked it for miles, with first T in and then K, were either were unable to sleep. Walked them for morning naps, afternoon naps, trips shopping, trips out at 1 in the morning when they wouldn’t sleep at night. Its silly innit, but this thing means a lot to me. But Dr B is insisting it goes soon.
In the olden days, when it all used to be trees round here, people used to keep their first pram or pushchair, and pass them on. Or, in an idyllic little world, make go-carts out of them. Or is this just in ITV comedy dramas. Or comics.
I’m on a freecycle list. Regularly people offer things they want shot of, but often people ask for things. Cheeky bastards. One bloke asked for a ‘big house with swimming pool, gym and lots of money.’ Another asked for ‘a big boat.’ But recently a woman asked for a Moses basket and stand. She explained in her email that she was due to give birth in a week or so and they were skint. We have one. We don’t use it any more. In fact, we haven’t used it for about 9 months and my daughter hated it and never slept in it. I mentioned the email to Dr B and she said ‘No. I want to keep it.’ Why? ‘Because it means a lot to me.’ I see.
I guess bit of me, doesn’t actually want to get rid of any of it. But then what will happen? When the inevitable next house moves comes, does all this stuff go in the removal lorry as well? In truth, some of it is stuff that merely reminds one of a time you can never get back. When they were babies. Every item has a story, a memory. Of my children. The most amazing things to ever enter this world. And I want to show them these things when they’re older and say ‘Look. This is what you used to dribble on, and I used to change your arse on this.’ What will they say ‘Yeah. Cheers Dad, but this is my 25th birthday meal, and I’m embarrassed you brought a bib and a change mat with you.’
I’m being silly. I am aren’t I? I know this. But, deep down I don’t want to get rid of anything. But, if a family who can’t afford something we have can make use of something, which will probably never see the light of day again, then, that’s good isn’t it? And, eventually, we all have to let some things go.
There are some things I will never get rid of and I’ll go f**king mental if they do go if my back is turned. Some soft toys and the babies first sleep suit. The outfit we brought them home from the hospital in. I’m sure, although they’re washed and laundered, if I hold them to my nose I can still smell my baby son, and my beautiful baby girl.
What would you not get rid of? Ever. In a million lifetimes.
SAHD blogs over at Stay At Home Dad and Proud and you can (and should) follow him on Twitter as .