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Do NOT Go into the Nursery!

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Mom-to-Be: I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but my obsession with perfecting my future baby's nursery officially turned me from a Nate Berkus wannabe to Howard Hughes incarnate. At least, that's what my husband would tell you, should you ask him. (I'd advise against it -- for now, anyway.)

nursery room
It began innocently enough. Being the Type A'er that I am, I cheerfully started the nursery when I was five months along. I knew myself; I did not want to be unprepared. In fact, I was so bound and determined to get it done early that I vowed to do it alone -- and actually succeeded in putting together an IKEA dresser without any help. (Dear IKEA: Not an easy feat, pregnant or otherwise!) 

But then the decorating became more obsessive, and suddenly I was overly focused on cleanliness. The wood floor had to be scrubbed, twice. The rug had to be sent out to be cleaned, but not just by any cleaner -- it had to be a "green" dry cleaner. The windows had to be washed inside and out. The baby clothes had to be washed not once, but twice (and I'm debating a third time). And before anyone entered, I made a rule that shoes must be removed and hands must be sanitized. 

So when our friends recently came over with their dog, I panicked. Not wanting to seem "crazy," I tried to silently deal with it while I watched the dog run through the nursery and lick its dirty paws while rocking in my ottoman (the nerve of that pug!). And then someone walked into the nursery with shoes on, and I began to slowly lose my mind. I knew I was having crazy thoughts when I debated re-cleaning the rug and basically re-sanitizing everything because the bottom of a sneaker grazed the carpet. But I couldn't help myself. 

I pulled my husband aside and vented. But I was not met with the sympathy I expected. He realizes I've become kind of crazy, so he handles me with kid gloves. He told me that the nursery was not a museum or a shrine and that one day soon it would be lived in by a baby who would most likely poop all over it. 

I know he's right, but our little talk didn't exactly change my behavior. I'm still obsessed. But I know I need to get a grip, because we have family coming for Thanksgiving. And I don't want to attack someone with a turkey baster because they entered their future cousin or grandchild's bedroom. Help!

next: Is Your Caregiver Undermining Your Parenting?
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Heloise November 8, 2010, 8:58 AM

Your husband’s right that you won’t be able to keep the nursery sterile. It’s just impossible, and a little exposure is GOOD for the baby. However, I wouldn’t want someone’s dog in my nursery, either. Why was the dog even in there? I think pets in the house is a bad idea anyway (and I know I’m in the minority here) but it shouldn’t be too much to ask of your guests to keep the dog out of the nursery.

KS November 8, 2010, 9:13 AM

It’s not obsessing it’s nesting and completely normal. You will not stay in this state long after you welcome your baby. It’s one of those things not many women experience on this level but put it to good use and start organizing all those crevices and closet corners.

Anon November 8, 2010, 9:41 AM

If it makes you feel better, wash everything again in the last month of your pregnancy. Remember, though, some scientists think that kids who have pets and are exposed to a little dirt and dust are less likely to get asthma.

Heather November 8, 2010, 9:46 AM

You have every right to not want shoes or animals in that room. We do not allow either in our daughters room. You are nesting and that is perfectly normal. I use to have breakdowns when I couldnt get done what I wanted done. I’d say relax, but that’s easier said then done. And just put your foot down about animals and shoes in the room. Your home, your rules. My mother doesn’t live with kids and she doesnt allow shoes on in the house period. So one room really isn’t that big of a deal.

beckie November 8, 2010, 10:24 AM

My husband is a doctor. I used to wash my children’s hands constantly after a trip to Walmart, Target, the library etc. One day he said, “Honey the more they are exposed to before the age of 5 the more T-cells they have for the rest of their lives. Meaning that in the long run they will actually be healthier individuals having been exposed to germs rather than avoiding them. Anyway, by my 4th —she is now 16 months old, I just put her in her crib for a nap and I actually forgot to wash her hands after the grocery store. I guess I have calmed down a bit. Good luck.

Rachel November 8, 2010, 5:18 PM

I agree: your house/ your rules! However, the trade off is that everyone is going to think you’re an overprotective nut-case. Google all the recent findings that link pets to a decrease in asthma/allergies in kids. It’s interesting. If you were my friend, I’d say…get a grip! However, you are well within your rights to set limits that make you comfortable. Oh, and I think letting a dog on anyone else’s furniture is absolutely rude!!! No matter where it is in the house.

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