Ok, so I am a project focused sort of woman and if the last three weeks of pregnancy don’t count as the biggest project of my life, then nothing does.
Last weekend the beautiful women in my life threw me and this baby an unforgettable shower, complete with waffles, bacon and donuts,
diaper cakes (courtesy of my nieces),
a watermelon in the shape of a baby (courtesy of my mother-in-law)
an endless supply of baby books
and and even bigger supply of love and support.
And while I sat there surrounded by these incredible women, opening these beautiful gifts, I was in disbelief that this was actually my shower I was attending (even though the bacon induced heartburn tried its damnedest to reassure me it’s true).
But there were other forces of nature working to reassure me. Four capable and handy men, my husband, dad, grampa and uncle, spent the morning of the shower putting together the crib (at last!), installing the light fixture and even hanging the curtains in the nursery so we would be one step closer to getting this place ready for our brand new family member.
Did it really take four grown men to assemble a baby crib you ask?
Yes. Yes indeed it did.
But I was so thankful to see it there when I got home and unloaded boxes of onesies, toys, blankets, bottles, pacifiers, pajamas, a diaper genie…
and socks so tiny I just can’t get over it.
My mom came over on Sunday to help me sort and tidy up, because organizing is like her therapy (and what’s more fun than organizing adorable baby shoes or onesies rolled into the shape of cupcakes?).
And the two of us laughed, oohed and aahhed and marveled at the fact that in a few weeks an actual human will be wearing those teeny, tiny diapers she was putting in the drawers.
When Husband came home from his fireman duties serving pancakes at a local benefit, he set up the chair and gave it a good test run…
And this week I’ve been hanging out in this space every chance I get.
Yes, in between working, writing and figuring out what we have to eat in this place, I’ve been making my way to the nursery to sort and wash baby outfits and blankets,
pack the to go bag, order a rug and a toy box, make plans for some shelves, and channeling my inner 4th grader to create some chalk art on the wall, an idea sparked, of course, by my baby-brained obsession with Pinterest.
I’ve seriously never put as much thought (or funds?) into another room in the house.
It’s ridiculous and I’m aware of it. But it’s been fun to see how each piece I picked out, and each gift given to this baby by people who love her already, fit into this space.
To be honest here now for a minute, I’ve always wondered about my mothering instincts. Even after all of these years of working and hoping to become a mom, I have never been fully convinced that I possess the sort of confidence and know-how that seems to be born in some of the women I know. Where they effortlessly maneuver a newborn, I have been known to nervously and reluctantly cradle the tiny fragile beings while frantically searching for a chair for reinforcement.
Where they are organized with supplies and informed on the latest baby products and how to use them, I over research and panic at the saturation of information before calling it quits and heading to the fridge in search of chocolate.
Almost every new mom I’ve seen lately makes new motherhood look effortless and beautiful while in the back of my mind I try to shut off the images of me and this baby flailing and struggling in a world that I’m scrambling to domesticate in time for her arrival.
I do not have swept floors.
I do not have a meal plan.
I do not have a stocked and organized pantry or a house put together and void of sawdust.
I am most comfortable in the dirt and the wind and out from under a roof.
But I know I can love this baby, even though I haven’t been convinced I’ll instinctively know how to swaddle it, bathe it, feed it and carry it around like a fifth limb while I fold laundry, do dishes, cook a gourmet meal or feed the horses.
But my uncertainty doesn’t scare me as much anymore. Not now that I spent a day surrounded by women who I can call upon to give me advice or direction when I need it. Not now that I’ve started to create this space in my home for this new life.
Not with my mom down the road, a drawer full of tiny baby socks, a room almost ready and a plan to be myself and do my very best by this kid.
Because I might not know what I’m doing quite yet, but I like a project…and this is the biggest project of my life.