Guys, I’m feeling overwhelmed.
And, I mean, I’m one of those people who pretty much always feels overwhelmed. By everything. But knowing that I’m going to have a whole other tiny person to look after in a few months time has made me feel even more like a fish flailing around out of water than I usually do. I need LISTS, people: and I need them to be here on the internet, so that when I’m sitting refreshing my Instagram feed for the 19th time that
day morning hour, you can all feel free to give me a virtual slap up the side of the head, and say, “Don’t you have a garden shed you should be building right now, Amber?”
(Answer: YES, I do have a garden shed I should be building. But I’m getting to that…)
I know, of course, that babies need way less stuff than I probably think they do. Any time I mention my feeling of extreme overwhelm, kind people remind me that, hey, the baby won’t care if his nursery is decorated or not, and that’s true, but the fact is… I care. So, getting everything in order is more about my own mental health, and controlling my ever-spiralling anxiety, than it is about Things The Baby Will Actually Need. Like, I know he’ll sleep in our room at first, and could sleep in a cardboard box if necessary (And, luckily for us, the Scottish government will be providing us with just such a box…), but even so, the thought of bringing my prechus newborn back to a room that looks like this…
… is more than my poor brain can handle. (And the thought of then having to tackle the clear-out and re-decorating of this room, while surviving on zero sleep, and when I’d rather be snuggling a baby, doesn’t exactly appeal either, tbh…)
So I have a list. It’s not a very interesting list, to be perfectly honest, but here it is, anyway: 15 things I need/want to do before the baby comes…
Clear out the cupboard under the stairs…
…which, actually, is not so much a “cupboard” right now as it is a Black Hole of Doom, the door of which I’m terrified to open in case the contents just come spilling out and swallow me whole. You know that episode of Friends where it’s revealed that neat-freak Monica has a Cupboard Of Shame, which is crammed full o’crap? It’s like that, basically. And it needs to NOT be like that for very much longer, because it’s where we’re planning to store things like a pram/stroller and various other bits of baby-related equipment that we probably don’t even know we need yet. In its current condition, we literally couldn’t get ONE MORE THING into that cupboard, and I’m honestly not joking about being scared to open the door, so a clear-out needs to happen, and the sooner the better. Before we can do that, though, we need to…
Build a garden shed
Yeah, I know: bit of an odd one to have on a “preparing for baby” list, huh? The thing is, though, if you read that whole ‘Cupboard O’ Doom’ thing, and thought, “Aha! That cupboard is Amber’s Secret Shame! She’s not nearly as much of a neat-freak as she makes us think she is!” then sorry to disappoint you, but I actually AM as much of a neat-freak as you think I am. But I live with Terry. And Terry is very much NOT neat. Ahem.
Now, in his defence, the whole C.U.T.S situation (Yeah, no way am I keeping typing that out…) isn’t actually his fault. The cupboard, you see, is currently mostly filled with the kind of things most people would tend to keep in a garage or garden shed: so, various tools, decorating stuff, etc etc. (And, YES, TERRY, my raincoat and wellies… which are TOTALLY appropriate under-stairs items!) We have neither a garage or a garden shed, and while we’d love to build the former, we can only afford the latter, so a new garden shed is lurking somewhere in our future. It’s all glamour over here, let me tell you.
We’ve actually been trying to sort this out for months now, because this is something we wanted to have done regardless of the imminent arrival of a small person with a huge amount of associated equipment, but we’ve been let down a few times so far: GOD. LIKE, HOW HARD IS IT TO HAVE A SHED BUILT, SERIOUSLY?!
(No, we don’t have time to do it ourselves. I wouldn’t know where to start, and as Terry’s mum is still is still very ill, we’re looking to out-source as much as we can…)
We’ve currently been promised that the shed will be in situ by the end of September. I have my doubts about that happening, really, but I’ve just written four entire paragraphs about a stupid SHED, of all things, so I’m going to shut up now and think about what my life has become. I mean, SERIOUSLY.
Clear out and re-fit linen closet, bedroom closet & nursery closet
I’ve actually already done most of the clearing-out bit (Look, everyone needs a hobby, OK?), but as the stuff that was in the nursery closet is having to be re-distributed to the other two, I’d really like to take the opportunity to re-fit them all, and add some shelves, etc, to make them more organised, and, well, Pinterest-y. Because there’s almost nothing calms me down quite like a well-organised closet. No, I’m not joking.
The nursery closet in particular needs a bit of TLC to make it more suitable for holding a bunch of baby clothes and other stuff, and I’m not going to lie, I am really, really excited about getting to organise it. Yes.
Clear out the “nursery”
Or the junk room, as it is at the moment. It goes without saying that this room needs to be totally cleared out before we can do much else in the way of baby preparin’. Some of the things in it will be getting sold (Like my treadmill, for instance. I’m actually pretty gutted about this, because I do use it often – or I did until I got pregnant and lazy, anyway – but there just isn’t anywhere else it could go other than the bedroom, and I *really* don’t want a giant treadmill in the bedroom, so it has to go, and I guess I just have to get used to running outdoors…), but others will have be to moved somewhere else in the house, which is going to be a challenge, to say the least. At least all of those hours spent playing Tetris should come in handy, I guess.
Decorate the nursery
As above: I know he’ll sleep in our room for the first few months, but I also know I won’t want to tackle a decorating project with a newborn, so…
Buy everything a newborn could possibly need for the first few weeks of life
Add to this, “Find out what a newborn needs for the first few weeks of life”. Gulp.
Sell our car
This one actually makes my heart hurt, because I get very, very attached to cars, and I LOVE our current car, seriously. Buuut it’s a two-seater, and that’s not going to be very practical for a family of three, so it has to go, taking with it the last vestiges of our lives as the kind of people who drove two-seater convertibles, and didn’t have to worry about what car seat to buy. BRB, just having a small breakdown..
Buy a new car
Well, OBVIOUSLY, duh.
(This is what Terry has been focusing HIS attention on, naturally. In fact, I’m not totally convinced that this whole “let’s have a baby!” thing wasn’t just a giant ruse to get a new car, now I think about it…)
Write blog posts for after the birth
One of the major disadvantages of being a full-time blogger, is that I won’t get a proper maternity leave. My friends all got a full year of paid leave: I’ll be lucky to be able to swing a few weeks – and that’s only with a huge amount of preparation beforehand – because even if money wasn’t an issue (I think some financial help is available here, but I’ve yet to check it out), I obviously can’t just stop updating my blog for a year (or even a month or two, really) without it having a huge impact on my future earnings. I know readers would understand, but advertisers won’t, and having no new content for an extended period of time would basically mean that I wouldn’t have a business to come back to…
I’m not a big fan of guest posts, and although I know I’ll want to pop in and write some updates now and then, I don’t want to have any pressure to blog when we’re fresh out of hospital, so that means writing posts in advance, which can go up in the weeks following the birth. I’ve already written these for my other blog, but I really need to knuckle down and get some content written for this one, too… just as soon as I figure out a way to write about my life several months before it actually happens.
Pack hospital bags
Yes, I know it’s way too early to be thinking about this yet, but shameful confession coming up: I’ve actually had a bag packed for myself since before I was even pregnant. *blush*
This is 100% a health-anxiety thing, by the way: my bag isn’t a “going to hospital to have a baby” one, it’s an, “I’m totally convinced something catastrophic is going to happen at any second, and I need to be prepared for it,” one. Which, no, is not a very positive attitude to have, obviously, but as I’ve said before, a lot of my anxiety is about lack of control, and feeling prepared is one of the ways I can manage it.
In this case, I’m dealing with a really bad fear of hospitals (Which has been hugely triggered over the last few weeks, as my mother-in-law has been in hospital, and we’ve been visiting her daily…), and have been spending a lot of time worrying about how I’ll cope – not just when I go in to have the baby, but also if something were to happen before then, that led to me being hospitalised. I was worrying about a bunch of stupid stuff, like not having appropriate pyjamas, and having to wander around in my usual skimpy/worn-out nightwear, so I packed a bag, and have been updating it as the pregnancy progresses, and I’ve started to need maternity PJS rather than regular ones, etc etc.
I’ll obviously have to update this again before the birth, and I’ll also need one for the baby too: that’s much further down the line, but it’s on the list anyway, because stuff like this has a tendency to weigh on my mind and keep me awake at night. Yes, I’m getting counselling. Apparently.
Buy and wrap approximately 5,000 Christmas gifts
Yup, way, waaaay ahead of myself here, but while I know first babies don’t generally arrive early (or even on time), I also know at least three people whose first babies DID arrive early, so I know it’s not totally impossible either. My current due date is January 4th, which means that, if he does arrive early, it’ll be smack in the middle of the Christmas period – and, even if he doesn’t, I know myself well enough to know that I’ll likely spend all of December in a state of complete and utter panic.
I’m not a Christmas person at the best of times, but I know I’ll be feeling even less festive with a hospital stay and childbirth looming, so I really want to tackle the Christmas shopping early, and, ideally, to have it done and dusted by the end of November at the latest. Which REALLY doesn’t seem all that far away, does it? GULP.
Work out what it is that I’ve forgotten on this list
Because I’m sure there were more things I had to remember than this. BUT WHAT WERE THEY?!