Before the notion of ever starting a family entered my mind, I thought the idea of a nursery was ridiculous. In my experience, the average couple expecting a baby doesn’t have a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands with a plethora of money building interest for their children’s baby rooms. Pinterest would have you think that without the plush rug and the brand new crib (that costs HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS THAT THE KID DOESN’T EVEN SLEEP IN) are non-negotiable and that your kid will feel unloved and insecure as an adult because her room as an infant didn’t have the perfect balance of elegance and child-likeness.Now that I am less than four weeks shy of bringing a baby home, my feelings about the nursery haven’t changed much. When I began thinking of how I wanted her room to look and what I wanted to fill it with, I couldn’t nail down the theme for a while. I constantly fought the urge to want an overly designed room that was fit for an 18 year old while also fighting the urge to leave the room the way it was yet adding the essentials: a crib, a rocker, and a changing table. Part of this struggle for me was (and still is) my fierce objection to raising a daughter to be pretentious and materialistic. If I was already struggling with the pressure to create this magical nursery land from social media and mommy blogs and Pinterest, then how could I expect less from my daughter? I realize how deep and philosophical this is getting, but you know me.
Yet, through carrying this little life for the last 8 months, a lot about who I am and what I believe has changed. She has given me a different perspective on both big and small things, with one of those small things being a nursery. From putting paint on the walls, to covering her mattress with a sheet–as every detail came together–I realized the nursery wasn’t about the baby. The nursery is about the momma.The fog that consumed most of my pregnancy robbed a lot of joy from this season of life. My fears of becoming a mother and all of this happening outside of my own timeline took a part of my pregnancy away that I continue to grieve even now. Without the help of a very dedicated family and a small, yet strong army of friends, my excitement and anticipation for this baby would probably still be clouded by anxiety. The tiny (yet huge) acts of kindness and gentle whispers of love from my people changed the trajectory of this pregnancy.
To my mother-in-law who painted almost every wall in our house in order for me to feel more at home, purchased our baby’s crib, cooked us meals and sent us home with leftovers, wanted to know every detail of every appointment, and so much more… thank you.
To Spencer’s aunt and uncle who tirelessly dealt with my ever-changing mind and picky preferences when it came to painting her accent wall, and then actually painting her accent wall that I believe every baby girl in the world will be jealous of… thank you.
To my husband who put together furniture, hung curtains, washed the dishes, did the laundry, let me sleep, worked long-hard hours, and held me when I cried… thank you.
To my Wayne who mowed our yard, filled our tanks with gas, left money hiding throughout our house, fixed our floors, and cried when we told him her name… thank you.
To my baby brother who kept me on my toes with his shenanigans, reminded me that being a kid is hard and they need so much love, made me laugh when I felt awful about the way I looked, and cheered me up on my lowest days… thank you.
To my friends (near and far) for sending unexpected gifts in the mail, calling and texting to check in, being excited for appointment updates, knowing exactly when to listen and when to speak, and for covering us in prayer… thank you.
And to my momma… for cleaning our house, doing our laundry, doing baby’s laundry, going to appointments, checking in daily, driving to Danville for the night, taking me to IKEA, folding baby’s clothes, organizing her room, hanging up my own clothes, and encouraging me in this journey of motherhood… thank you.Every day when I walk into her nursery, I am reminded of how much work it took for those four walls to look the way they do. I am reminded that when I couldn’t clean or decorate or make decisions, the people above and many more did those things for me. When I sit in her rocker every day, I see the handiwork of family members who drove miles, spent money, and most importantly, gave their time. I’ve heard many times that it takes a village to raise a child, and I have seen firsthand how true that is. In these last few weeks of preparing for our girl’s arrival, I am so thankful for the little village that was created during this pregnancy.
Surely this baby will not remember her nursery. She won’t be eternally affected by the paint colors or decorations or antique changing table. She won’t even care that her clothes are nicely rolled into organizational bins so those late night diaper changes can go a little easier. But I will remember. I am eternally affected. I do care. The nursery just isn’t for the baby. The nursery is for the momma. For the momma who is tired and hungry and happy and sad all at the same time. For the momma who needs a clean, quiet place of refuge. For the momma who needs a reminder that she is loved and appreciated and celebrated, even when her own thoughts and feelings indicate otherwise.It not only takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to create a nursery too… and Pinterest’s got nothing on my village.
photos by: Mallory Johnson