I was looking at a newsletter I get via email earlier tonight and realized the entire thing consisted of items, products, and stuff relevant to a stage of parenting I am officially PAST.
Everything in it - pacifiers, nursing pillows, diaper bags, baby carriers - was all stuff I can (happily!) say I'm over and no longer need!
I spend a lot of time being sad about moving out of those baby years. I can spend hours missing the sweet smell, sounds, and "ease" of a snugly baby. So, I think it's helpful (and healthy!) to focus on the positive things about moving beyond the proverbial balls & chains of those early years.
Now, mind you, my boys are only 3 and 5 so we're not completely out of the woods yet, but there is still a lot of freedom to be seen as they get older. Sure, I still grab a (pre-packed) bag with extra clothes and undies in it, just in case. I still have occasion to pack that "emergency" snack and/or toy to occupy and distract a bored child. But the light at the end of that tunnel is BRIGHT.
I recently packed the boys up for an overnight at Grandma & Grandpa's so Dave and I could have adult time at the Fire Department banquet. I used to have to pack two weeks worth of stuff for two boys to take a two day trip. This time, I packed one small bag (with PJs, toothbrushes, and clothes for the next day) and a pile of blankets & Pillow Pets. End. Of. Story. Loved it!
Now I can throw the boys in the car (NOT literally!) and run to the store, visit a friend, grab dinner, or what have you, without a big "to do" (whatever that even means!).
There's a breath of fresh air to be found in their independence (they WALK by themselves, mostly, buckle and unbuckle their own car seats, mostly, and can even help carry things!). I have recently even begun (*gasp!) taking the stroller out of my trunk!! I find I use it so infrequently these days. (I KNOW!)
However, there is still that issue of what to do with all this stuff we've "outgrown"...I have a basement full of "useless" (to us) stuff - changing table, high chair, crib, boxes and boxes of clothes, bumbo, toys - I just can't bring myself to pass it on.
Hmmm...I guess I'm not far enough removed not to have an emotional attachment to this stuff. So, perhaps I'm not as far past this stage as I thought?