End of the Baby Era
The chair was a baby shower gift from my mother in law and it was a glorious chair. The color was a dreamy creamy white that softened the room. It rocked. It glided. It swiveled. It was soft, sometimes too soft. Hell, even the ottoman would glide!
I took this pre-baby nursery picture a few weeks before R graced us with her presence. I remember sitting in that nursery chair imagining what life was going to be like when she was in the chair with me.
I imagined giggles and snuggles. Boo boos and band aids. I imagined I'd get more sleep (HA!) and have more patience. I imagined my kids would be perfect little angelic cherubs.
I imagined myself as a mom.
And then, without notice or contemplation, we didn't need the chair anymore.
By my rough estimate, I spent about four straights months (Around 2,500 hours!!!) of my life sitting in that chair, nursing my babies.
Four months of my butt in that chair!
Four months of stroking their hair, feeling their sweet skin against mine and smelling their sweet milky breath.
Four months of binge watching Scrubs at 3am and dosing off while they snuggled in my arms.
Four months of staring at that same stain and figuring out how the hell to regularly clean a chair when the the seat covers aren't easily removable. (Handheld carpet shampooers everyone!)
Four straight months of precious minutes that will never happen again.
I honestly never realized how attached I was to that chair until I decided I should sell it.
I had listed it on Facebook market place over a month ago. All I wrote was "Nursing chair, good condition." Simple and matter of fact. The picture was enough evidence of it's brilliance, anyway. Soon I was flooded by inquiries.
"Will you take $20?" "Does it have any stains?" "Is it comfortable?"
And, my god, I was offended.
"This is a quality chair that comes with 5 whole years of love, breast milk and spit up. I will not sell it to you for $20.00."
"Yes it has stains, I loved and nursed two babies in it."
"So comfortable it's like being hugged by a cloud."
Ungrateful buyers. Who would ask these sorts of questions? Why are they curious? It's a perfect chair. Then, I started to inquire about the buyers. These inquiries came to me like violent guttural punches.
"Who are you?" 💥"What are you going to use my chair for?" 💥"Where do you live?"💥 "Do you know any of my friends?"💥 "Why do you think you're worthy of my chair?"💥
Six weeks later and I hadn't sold the chair. Not for lack of interest, but for the desire to hang onto for just a little while longer. It was me, not them.
Then I got a message from a woman who had just given birth both prematurely and unexpectedly. She had a desperate and immediate need for the chair. And do you know what I realized? It's now or never. Time to let go.
So I shampooed the cushions one last time and set the chair and ottoman curbside for her husband to pick up. And he did. And then it was gone.
And I cried. I cried over a damn chair. Was it the memories that came along with the chair? The warmth, the snuggles, the love? The loss of the baby stage entirely? Who knows. All of it probably.
A few hours later, I received a message:
"Bless your heart. Thank you so much. I have a 6 day old and a 3 year old. It went to a great home, trust me."
It's been two years since I last nursed, two years since the chair had any real use in my house. I'm not one to hold onto things but I've held onto the baby stage longer than expected and longer than needed. And, I think, when that chair pulled away from my house I finally let the baby stage go.
I have kids. I'm a kid mom now. Two crazy, angelic, feral kids.
Julianne Haness is a stay at home mom, artist and blogger based in the Los Angeles Suburbs. Follow her on Instagram for daily musings about mom life, Disney life and creative life.