A lesson learned from the nursery

By Published On: January 13th, 2012

Written by: Christopher January 13 2012 Our guest room has […]

Written by: Christopher

Our guest room has officially been turned into a nursery now. This is good news because I think all the baby furniture we bought works better outside of its box. The problem is that I wasn’t the one who set up the nursery. I was the one put in charge of putting together the crib and making sure everything was assembled. I knew that my wife had a clear vision of where things would go, but it was my job to do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, I lost my Ring of Power in the wash and would need someone to help me do the arranging. I was waiting on a friend.

It looks like my friend won’t need to come over to help anymore. My pregnant wife got tired of waiting and has now set up the entire nursery with the help of her sister. I’m a little torn because I’m glad the nursery is ready to go, but I’m less impressed my very pregnant wife decided to do this without my help.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. This isn’t a case of my macho man pride being wounded over not being able to assemble the crib. I know some men believe it is their job to do all the building and assembling that takes place in the house. I don’t have such a philosophy. The biggest proof that I am not the builder or handy person in our house comes from the shed that is in our backyard. My wife built the thing from scratch and with minimal help from anyone, including me (I think I lifted a few boards so that she could screw them in … or was it hammer them in?). So this had nothing to do with pride or any actual desire to want to toil away trying to set up the crib. I know my wife would do a better job even if she is 9 months pregnant.

The problem is that it was supposed to be my job. We’d agree she wouldn’t touch it, and I’d get a friend to help me. I may have ended up hammering myself to the wall (which would be quite the achievement since a hammer wasn’t needed to assemble the crib), but I’d eventually get the job done (or use several bags of chips to convince my friend to do it for me).

I wanted to put the nursery together because I’m not a big fan of my 9 month pregnant wife moving around heavy objects. My protective instinct has kicked in, and I want to keep her and the baby healthy. She knew this. She agreed to this. But I missed the fine print that stated, “Wife will end up doing all the work if she deems you’ve taken too long.” I should also defend myself by saying that my friend was coming the very next day after my wife decided to put the nursery together. We may not be able to get to doctor appointments on time, but once Emily decides something must be done there is no delaying.

To be fair, I know this about my wife. I shouldn’t have assumed she would be willing to wait around even when she is waddling about (but it such a gorgeous waddle, dear—thanks for reading) and has about half her normal energy (which again to be fair, now puts us at about even strength). Maybe I should have been more proactive in getting the nursery together or found a different friend when the plans kept on getting postponed. It’s been a pretty crazy fall season for a variety of reasons, and I’ve been pulling some long hours with my writing career. I think my excuses for the prolonged wait for the creation of the nursery have been justified. The reality is, when Emily wants something done, it will get done right that moment even if the delay has merit.

This little nursery event is a good reminder for when Baby Spicer joins the clan. I’ll still have my freelance job to do and many other distractions, but if I want to play a major part in the early months of development than I need to be proactive. I need to make my time with Baby Spicer a top priority. If I don’t, then I’ll turn around to notice my wife has done everything with our baby and I’m just some random guy that occasionally wanders into the nursery to gawk at the baby.

I really do want to change diapers and rock my baby to sleep and try to burp my child and do all the duties expected from a parent. I want to be deeply involved. I feel that will allow me to build that connection and bond with my baby. Plus there is my wife who, despite being Type A, probably would not like to do the entire baby raising by herself.
It is going to be a busy year for me as I land several new clients and work hard to provide for my family. It is going to take more than your typical 8-hour work days, and this is something we’ve both discussed and agreed will happen. I also need to remember that important word “balance.” Work is important, but it doesn’t mean anything if I don’t have special moments with my baby. It doesn’t matter how much I make if my child isn’t properly looked after on a daily basis and my wife doesn’t get an occasional break from the “baby chores” to remain sane. A family needs to do things together and bond together or we just end up being an odd collection of roommates.

I will use the nursery as a reminder of how important it is to achieve that balance in my life and try extra hard to block out times to spend with my baby. Though I do have to say, the nursery looks really nice without pieces of my shirt hammered to the wall.