The Unfinished Nursery

I used to stand in awe at mamas who posted beautiful pictures of there soon to be baby’s beautiful nurseries on social media.  Oh, I thought that would be me.  I had these beautiful visions of nesting in my mind when I was newly pregnant with my son.  I would get everything organized.  I would have matching this and that, and it would be so coordinated and beautiful.  However…

Close to my delivery date I was experiencing swelling in my legs and feet due to a job that required me to be on my feet all day.  The last weeks of glorious nesting that I so envisioned were spend nesting on my sofa wearing compression hose with my feet propped and eating chocolate brownie ice cream.   My plans to make a beautiful nursery for my son were going by the wayside.  I lacked energy and creativity that even Pinterest couldn’t inspire.

The nursery at this point was essentially a guest room with a queen bed and crib in it (hence, not much room).  The rocking chair went in the living room (by the TV for late night nursing sessions), and eventually we got a changing table and put it in a doorway near the hall. We put towels up in the windows to block the light because I could not find cute room darkening curtains that were of the right dimensions.  My son had no dresser because there was no room for one.  There was no theme, no wall stickers, and no real cuteness factor.  Luckily, the room was already painted a sunny yellow color.  At the time I was bummed.  Why did it matter so much to me?

The day I went into labor I decided to go to Target that morning to buy some sort of baby care station that could hold diapers, wipes, and other items.  I got it because the nesting instinct kicked in that day really strong.  I needed it.  That evening I tried to assemble it myself, only to find out it was not what I wanted, and I didn’t have the tools to finish assembling it.  With the baby cart half assembled, we left for the hospital around 10 or 11 PM.  This baby would be coming whether or not the nursery was done.  Baby was coming two weeks early!

So what became of this dream of a beautiful nursery?  Not much for a good year.  For most of my son’s first year, I worked full-time outside the home.  The nursery was purely functional at that time.  Then, it started to slowly come together.  We decided to move the queen guest bed out into storage, and that freed up the space.  I moved the rocking chair back into the bedroom, and the changing table was moved back into his room as well.  A friend of mine had sewn a quilt with animals on it, and another friend gave me a quilt rod and clips to hang it decoratively on the wall.  I bought a green clothes hamper and continued to tolerate the towels as curtains until I thought of something better.

I soon realized that my son’s room was not becoming some themed matchy matchy nursery out of a Babies R Us ad but rather was reflective of what I slowly wanted it to become. When he turned 1, I made a framed collage of photos from newborn to year one that I mounted on his wall.  He points to it often while I am changing his diaper.  My son LOVES Elmo, so guess what?  Elmo decals are plastered all over his walls.  He loves them so much.   I also finally solved my curtain dilemma.  The rings and clips from the quilt hanger could be used to hang onto the curtain rod, and I used four matching receiving blankets to be clipped on as “curtains” .  I found out that I really did not need room darkening curtains in that particular room.  The animal quilt could now be used as a functional quilt.

When I am in my son’s bedroom, I love being in a room that was never picture perfect when he was born, but it has come to be perfect for him.  I realized I was mistakenly giving myself unrealistic expectations about what it meant to be ready for the baby.  And the nursery is still not done.  I am still on the lookout for a  little rug that’s just right for him. And that’s okay.  Who says you can’t take over 2 years to finish your child’s nursery.

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2 thoughts on “The Unfinished Nursery

  1. Christine! Your admission of how important it was to you while pregnant to have a perfect nursery, all ready for your baby, has freed me up to admit that I was the same with our first. People tried to assure me, “babies don’t need much.” To which I silently responded, “that’s a bunch of hooie, even if it’s true.” I finally admitted that regardless of the TRUTH of how much/little babies need, I WANTED to have a cohesive room ready for my little girl. I got a lot of help getting it ready, since I was on bed rest. It was really only half of a room, as the rest was office space. That was one of several compromises I made along the way. I bought a gliding ottoman at Goodwill the day before I went into labor. So I totally get that last minute nesting instinct, too! And do you know what, we barely used it for the first half year. She slept in our room! Still, I don’t regret that I insisted a little on getting it done. There’s a reason we have a nesting instinct. Know why? I don’t. But there is a reason, and I think even the Cave Women had it. No matter whether we express it gradually over a year, or madly while on bed rest, I feel that it’s important to follow through on. It’s natural.

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  2. I LOVE this! And I had no idea. I cried. I cried becuase it is so sweet and I love how perfectly everything is falling into place. It is just what this mama needed to hear as I prepare to move into a new house and have a sort of nesting instinct to “get it all right”. It will come together, and it will be perfect for those who need it to be 🙂 Love you guys!

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