I have nursery envy. But not for the reasons you may think.
Lately, I’ve been using Pinterest like a mom obsessed – pinning everything from chevron orange and gold girl’s rooms to nurseries with floral wall decals (seems so much more convenient than wallpaper) to navy blue and cream boys’ rooms with elephant everything-else. No, I’m not secretly harboring a desire to switch careers and become an interior designer. And I’m not a parent who believes her child should only be surrounded by the latest and greatest in home furnishing décor.
I’m nursery hunting out of desperation. I’m nursery hunting to convince myself that my husband and I will be able to buy a house before my son arrives and that we’ll finally be able to get our toddler daughter out of our bedroom so that we’re not sleeping with – gasp! – TWO children under the age of 3.
Unlike all of the parents I know who live in suburbs or are fortunate enough to make a million dollars a year and own two-bedroom apartments in New York City, my growing family resides in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn and we are jam-packed to the gills with baby toys, furniture, and sippy cups. We bought the place when we were single and swinging (well, single and dating exclusively) and it seemed like a really smart investment at the time. We’ll sell and move somewhere less urban and crowded by the time we have kids, we thought. Easy breezy.
But kids can come quicker than you think. And three or four years in real estate is like three or four minutes – it’s not a lot of time to allow your investment to grow, especially during the bad economic downturn we’ve all dealt with in the last few years. So we stayed longer than we thought we would. And the following items are now sitting in the bedroom my husband and I have shared with our two-year-old since her birth: a tremendous crib with Tinker Bell blanket and Minnie and Pluto plush dolls, an extra dresser, two piggy banks, a monstrosity of a toy bag shaped like a white dog, another Minnie Mouse plush ball, and a blue plastic turtle that projects colored star shapes onto the ceiling (this is actually one plus of having a small child in our room, I’ll admit).
I needn’t explain what it’s like to try and have normal, uh, relations with your partner when you’re two feet away from your baby, right? For anyone wondering, unless you’ve been trained in the art of ninjery or cat burglary, it’s impossible. So you get used to the living room couch, only the couch has weird grooves in it that you never realized were there until…well, you get the point.
Aside from the obvious sex issues that might occur, the actual act of sharing a room or a small apartment with a baby is challenging. Everywhere you look, there’s an easel or fake pink kitchen. Your lovely ottoman is now always open and bursting to the seams with stuffed animals. Baby wipes are never in the drawer where you want them to be.
You go to the bathroom to unwind and escape pink and purple plastic. You take exceptionally long showers whenever possible. And, if you’re 22 weeks pregnant like I am, you don’t even let yourself think about the possibility that, if you don’t sell your space and buy a bigger place within 10 minutes time, your tiny living space could soon be filled with additional baby bibs, bottles, and breastfeeding accessories galore.
It’s just easier to hide in the bathroom and pin more nurseries.