I threw out my kids‘ old backpacks and my son’s winter boots…and I feel horrible about it. Despite the holes in the backpacks (there was barely any bottom left) and my son’s winter boots didn’t do up anymore, I still feel like a bad mom.
I grew up in a family where we believed “help thy neighbour”. It’s probably part of why I became a fundraiser (when I worked outside the home). How better to help thy neighbour than raising funds and/or items for those who need them?
I’m also raising my kids with the same philosophy. Whenever they aren’t using something anymore and/or have outgrown something, we give them to friends we know as hand-me-downs or to a charity. (It really helps me logistically that there’s a Goodwill literally right beside my son’s IBI therapy so I don’t need to make an extra stop, but I digress…)
But the backpacks and boots were so far gone that I just couldn’t donate them or give them away. Putting them in the garbage bag this week and taking them to the dump felt so…wrong. I have thrown away stained clothing before and broken toys, and not felt bad about it but this was a gut-wrenching experience, and my reaction surprised me. I had to stop myself from taking them back out before throwing the bag into the dumpster at the dump.
Even today, 2 days later, I still feel bad about it. I had bought the boots at a second hand store and I got the backpacks off of a “Recycling Kindness” group on Facebook (where all items posted are free, in the efforts of keeping them out of the landfill) so the three items were well-used and had blessed at least two families for the purposes they had been designed for. I also bought replacement backpacks at Goodwill before I threw out the old ones. I’m not going to replace my son’s winter boots until closer to next winter as his feet are growing by the second right now.
I still feel bad though. : (