I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.
The love comes from seeing pretty pictures, getting inspired by other people’s recipes/wardrobes/decorations/hair. The hate comes from my mediocre recreations and wondering where my franken-pins went so terribly wrong. (Ok- they aren’t always that bad, but there’s a reason why I don’t post a lot of my meal pictures on the blog).
When it comes to nursery considerations and mom-to-be excitement, this love-hate relationship has really blossomed into some next level stuff. From Disney inspired names to palatial nurseries and maternity fashion that makes me feel like a borderline hobo (summer dresses have been bailing me out lately), it’s like I’m already getting set up for “failure” in motherhood. Even my pregnancy announcement and gender reveal cake(s) would have been laughed out of the boards.
But rather than shaking my fist and cursing the beautiful and often unattainable pins I find, or wallowing in the despair that I probably won’t be a Pinterest-Mom, I’m just going to keep looking at the cool stuff and embracing the fact that it’s okay to do things my way (so long as it’s not blatantly unhealthy or unsafe).
One of my areas of anxiety has been nursery/baby room setup. I look at the baby stuff we have so far, stacked up in a room, get overwhelmed with joy/excitement, panic a little because I have no idea where to start, close the door, and do something else. It’s been a two-month cycle so far. This weekend I did finally make some progress since my family baby shower is this weekend and I figured I ought to organize a little rather than compound the overwhelm.
Here’s the thing: most of the baby nursery and “nesting” urges you read about on Pinterest and online generally can cause some undue anxiety. Like, I can’t have a baby crib/bassinet with a full room of furniture, a rocking chair, and a perfectly organized and stocked closet, with the baby’s name mounted in block letters on the wall. We don’t even have a baby name yet.
The reality is, we’re in a temporary place right now anyway. No matter what, she’s only going to be in that room for >the first year, when she probably won’t be too concerned with the setup. Anything I do is really just for my own peace of mind and comfort. Plus, we are in a fully furnished place, so there isn’t a lot of room for the additional baby “stuff” that most of the Pinterest nursery’s have.
A couple week’s ago at a childbirth class, I confessed to the nurse that my “nesting” urge has been sporadic and fleeting (meaning it goes away as soon as I open the door and see boxes everywhere). She made a dismissive brush of her hand and said “Some women never do, but it’s a modern pressure that women have started to experience thanks to social media. I wouldn’t worry about it.” Now, nesting is a somewhat primal urge and probably not entirely a Pinterest-conspiracy, but I do agree that the heat has been turned up in the past 10-15 years.
Many of the moms I know in real life have told me re: nurseries “It doesn’t really matter, you could just put them in a dresser drawer and they won’t really know the difference.” I probably won’t put my baby in a cardboard box to sleep in (plus one of my mom’s friends generously gave us a co-sleeper that attaches to the side of the bed for the first months of feedings, and we have a crib that still needs assembling), but having a more down to earth attitude about setting up the baby’s room is helping with my sanity.
In fact, that down to earth-ness is probably going to help out in the long run, or at least the mentality that “it’s not perfect, but it works and I’m happy.” For me, trying to keep everything “perfect” and being some sort of master puppeteer with an infant is like a straight shot to misery. There are so many things in life I/we have no control over. Rather than fixating on those things, I want to focus on the things I can control- being a decent human being, trying to be a bit better every day, etc- and worry less about creating the perfect nursery, scrapbooking the sh** out of baby’s first year, and so on. Happy and healthy beats Pinterest worthiness, always (but I’ll still keep pinning 😉 one of these days I’ll frost the perfect cake…)