The Things I’ve Lost Since Having a Baby!by Jodie Keith
First things first – this isn’t some kind of weird metaphor, or a lengthy monologue of me wallowing in self-pity due to the personality traits I’ve lost since becoming a mother. When I say the things I’ve lost, I’m talking about the actual physical items I’ve had to say goodbye to since having a baby… because you know, baby proofing and all that.
Time to declutter!
When I bought my house, I was warned that no matter the size of the house you own, you’ll always find a way to fill it with crap. As a lover of minimalist and monochrome décor, this posed a great problem for me – I can’t stand clutter. Add a new build house with no garage and literally zero cupboard space into the mix and it was a recipe for disaster. Within 3 years of owning my house, it became a dumping zone, full of long-forgotten kitchen gadgets and more bottles of unused skincare than I can count… and then we got pregnant.
When we decided to start trying for a baby, I think we both completely underestimated how much stuff you need for a baby. I mean, not necessarily for the newborn bit – that’s easy – but the months and years afterwards are a whirlwind of constant Amazon deliveries. Your child always needs more clothes as they grow and they’ll always need more toys as they hit new milestones. More, more, more. Always. There’s this forgotten bit before the baby proofing: the decluttering. Unless you have a spacious loft or a Mary Poppins bag, you’re going to have to somehow make space for all these new belongings… so you start Marie Kondo’ing.
For us, this started off slowly. Tucking things away in boxes. Folding and vacuum packing my pre-pregnancy clothes away (who was I kidding, I’m never going to be a size 8 again). The decluttering is fine for a little while once baby arrives, but then they start crawling and climbing and just like that you have to start baby-proofing and saying goodbye to MORE of your stuff. I’m sorry but your baby doesn’t give a shit if a belonging sparks joy in you or not, they’re going to use it as a baby obstacle course that includes javelin practice, so you sure as hell want to say adios to anything precious, valuable or easily breakable. Plus, as they get older, the toys get physically larger, and you need somewhere to store them.
The belongings I’ve had to woefully discard...
The carefully placed décor and accent candles on your TV unit? CYA. Unless you want them hurdled across your front room or dropped on precious toes, you’re going to have to either get rid of your décor or you’re going to have to put up some high, out of reach shelves. Even still, remember that by doing so, you’re giving yourself more housework and more surfaces to dust. Choose wisely.
2) House plants
Your beloved house plant? Gotta go. Children are naturally inquisitive souls, and in case you didn’t already know: they bloody love mud. The second your baby has the strength to pull up on a flowerpot (which will be sooner than you realise!) they’ll start digging in the mud. Grabbing fistfuls. Throwing it across your favourite cream rug. Eating the mud because doesn’t it look YUMMY? Totally not based on true events.
Babies love books. Babies also love ripping and pulling. Any books within reach of baby are fair game, and sure, you could hide them but… do you REALLY need that many books? Unless you enjoy re-reading the same book (I personally don’t!) then why keep every single fiction book you’ve ever purchased? Byeeeeeee.
4) My hobbies
I’m a serial hobbyist. I pick up hobbies, get obsessed, get bored, and move on. And whilst I still make sure I prioritise time to indulge in my hobbies even as a mum, I’ve had to make some sacrifices along the way. I don’t physically have the space to keep 50 balls of yarn, boxes of fabric scraps, candle making supplies and jewellery making equipment. Over time, I’ve had to make the effort to either use it up, or get rid. And use that space for all of my son’s brightly coloured plastic shit instead. The kid really doesn’t know all of the sacrifices I’ve made for him!
My makeup drawer has gone from being full of brand new eyeshadow palettes and endless tubes of lipstick to just the bare essentials. No – not just because I don’t have the time to do my makeup anymore: because I have a toddler that enjoys to open everything and stick his teeny tiny little fingers inside and dig dig dig at the product until it’s all in his nails. And then draw all over the mirror. Fun.
What items have you lost since having a baby?
In all seriousness, I really hope some of you have had more luck than I have in the decluttering and baby proofing department. I hope you’ve ample storage to stow your personal possessions without having to stick them on Facebook marketplace. I hope you’ve been able to keep your house plants and décor and adequately teach your child what the word NO means. But if you haven’t, and your bundle of joy has rid you of your physical possessions also… come and chat to me about it! Let’s pour ourselves a big glass of wine and cry over everything we miss from before we had to baby proof. Who’s with me?!