I was stressing out and up to my elbows sorting through second hand baby clothes in what will eventually be a nursery but is currently more of a giant dumping ground of baby related crap, when I had a stark realisation.
None of this matters. Not really. If things aren’t perfectly organised in time for the arrival of the baby, nothing much will change. It won’t mean that I’m any less prepared to love and provide for that wriggly ball of flubber in its first few weeks with us.
After springing from my womb, I’d be very surprised if the baby manages to wriggle down the hallway, cast a disapproving eye over what is supposed to be its future bedroom but resembles more closely the Calais Jungle, and say to us, ‘Jesus Christ, guys! You call yourselves parents? Where’s my Scandi-inspired gender neutral space of zen that I can call my own? Somebody put a call in to Angelina Jolie for me! I’m off!’
Those first few weeks after giving birth will be about bonding, recuperation, and an endless cycle of boobing, burping, yawning, and nappy changes (for both of us, I imagine).
When I was this far along with Emily, I recall I was hanging garlands and beautifully framed pictures of our family in an entirely completed baby room.
This time round, the nursery furniture is still in pieces and I haven’t bought even so much as a throw cushion in an attempt at interior decorating.
Some of this current lack of preparation might just be symptomatic of ‘second-child syndrome’, but rather than neglecting the new arrival, I sort of feel that this time round, I’ve got my priorities straight.
Quiet time to relax is already scarce, so in the final few weeks I’ll be savouring every 20 minutes I get to put my feet up with a Twix and a re-run of Rupaul’s Drag Race, instead of frantically trying to iron and fold baby grows and spending hours finding the perfect cot mobile on Etsy.
The baby will arrive without a ready-made space to call its own, but it will arrive to a Mum who is calmer and a little more mentally prepared for what is important in the first few weeks after birth.