Nesting or neurosis?

by Ginger on June 3, 2009

in Oh Baby!

So for the past however many weeks, I’ve been looking at crib bedding. Searching and searching for bedding I like, that N.C. likes, that we feel like we can stand to look at for the next few years. Mainly, I’ve been doing this so that we can choose paint colors and get the nursery painted before July rolls around (N.C. has 4, yes FOUR, art shows the last two weeks of July–he’s going to be useless around the house during that month and heaven knows I’m not painting the nursery!). But it’s been hard–I haven’t found anything that I just love, and for the cost of baby bedding, dear lord I’m going to love it or we’re not buying it. I’ve looked online, in stores, on craigslist, you name it, I’ve looked. I’ve been an obsessive mad-woman, driving my husband crazy with “well what about this one?”, or “but don’t those colors seem a little off?” or “I dunno, it just doesn’t seem right.” It goes beyond nesting and straight to crazy-lady land.

But I finally realized something last week–I’ve been obsessing about this for reasons that have nothing to do with bedding and decorating. Nothing at all to do with paint, or fabric colors. In fact I’ve been obsessing for two main reasons, both of which are harder to admit than I would like:

  1. It’s much easier to obsess over fabric and paint and decorating the nursery than it is to obsess over pediatricians and vaccines and daycare  and health insurance and maternity leave and HR and paying the bills during maternity leave and omg let’s not even discuss labor and delivery. And of course, those are all things I desperately need to be paying attention to, but, um, they scare me and I don’t wanna. Instead, can’t I just obsess over whether that shade of teal is too blue or that fabric is too scratchy?
  2. I am a control freak over certain things. I like to plan and prepare and know what I’m getting myself in for. And frankly, having a kid just doesn’t allow for that. I can’t be prepared for what it’s going to be like, or how sleep deprived I’ll be, or how easy or hard being a parent will be. I can’t prepare for how I’ll react to this little guy, and I can’t prepare for how I’ll react to our new life. It’s completely unknowable. That’s a lot to give up control over. That’s a lot to realize I just can’t “know” beforehand. So I obsess over getting the nursery ready  instead, because if I can’t control anything else, I sure as hell can control what that little room looks like. If I can’t know what the little man will be like, I can at least control what things I surround him with. It’s stupid, really, but my one little way of feeling like I have some semblance of control over this rollercoaster we’re on.

I’m trying to find ways to stop the crazy train, I am–we’ve finally made a decision (that I’m sticking to) on some nursery decor so that will help–but I’m also trying to just  allow myself to be freaked out about this all. I’m a first time mom, I’m allowed to be a little freaked and a little overwhelmed. It doesn’t mean I don’t love this kid, it just means that becoming a parent is kind of a big deal. And if the way to keep me calm about the big stuff is to care too much about the small stuff…maybe that’s ok. Maybe acknowledging that it’s ok will help me keep things in perspective.

Katherine June 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Bedding from Craigslist?! Ewwwww!

Ali June 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm

You have every right, in my opinion, to do what you’re doing. You’ve earned the right to be anal retentive, scared, controlling…anything you feel, because this is your baby! And props to you for delving deep into yourself and getting to the root of the matter.

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