We had 72 hours’ notice that we were going to be parents, and probably the most obvious sign that we were completely unprepared was the state of our condo. It was clearly the living space of a yuppie couple. No baby paraphernalia anywhere. Because of the difficulty of our journey to parenthood, we had done zero prep. (In fact, probably the most stressful part of becoming parents, for me, was figuring out what we needed for Teddy. I found the Babies R Us website completely overwhelming. Fortunately, friends were happy to narrow the options for me during the first few days.)
The day before we brought Teddy home, the “nursery” was still a storage room. It was a tidy storage room, but it was a storage room nonetheless, full of the stuff we need but rarely use. And our living room had about one couch too many–there was little space for baby entertainment. This meant that when our wonderful friends started giving us things for Teddy, our condo suddenly looked like a baby had invaded. Into the storage room we stuffed a pack ‘n’ play, bags of clothes, and stacks of books — and we had nothing to organize it all. Mike’s Trek bike was relegated to the hallway–definitely not a long-term solution. Sometimes we forced the stroller into the limited remaining nursery space; sometimes it shared the limited hallway space with the bicycle. In the living room, a baby activity gym, swing, bouncer, and glider were crammed into 450 sq feet with two couches, a coffee table, and bookcase.
And it stayed that way for a few weeks. We were a little busy enjoying our invader to spend too much time organizing the house.
But it’s starting to look more like a baby belongs here now–at least in the living room. We gave away a couch, so the baby stuff has adequate space now. The nursery is still in chaos, but furniture is ordered, so it will look more like a nursery and less like the room of a hoarder.
I sometimes ask myself if we should’ve done more prep work before we got the call. And I’ve read many articles by adoptive parents who advise waiting parents to do just that, even if it’s painful. But I don’t think so. We didn’t know we would only be waiting 4 1/2 months, and we were intent on doing our best to enjoy every moment as a couple without kids. We didn’t want that visual reminder of what we didn’t have.
Sure, it’s a little chaotic now, and I still pull my hair out on occasion at the sheer number of options for baby stuff when I’m shopping online (400 types of cribs on BRU alone — really?!?), but we’ll get it figured out. And as Mike keeps reminding me, Teddy doesn’t care what his nursery looks like.