My husband had just switched the TV to a new series that one of the guys at work had recommended to him. In the first five minutes there were more blood and guts than I was comfortable with so I felt no guilt trading the large shared screen for the small one next to me in my recliner. As someone six months pregnant with her first child I have grown ridiculously at ease with terms such as “my recliner”. The thought of claiming a piece of furniture so... "bleh" as a recliner would have been impossible a year ago; now, I have no shame. With my growing belly I am learning to take whatever small bits of comfort I can find and if that includes chairs that resemble those which my grandfathers' preferred I will take it.
My laptop perched on my knees as I squirmed to find a comfortable place in my big fluffy chair. Though Facebook isn’t my normal layover during my online time, I had just survived the last stretch of holidays and had used the coinciding free time to catch up on all my favorite blogs. This was the main reason I was scrolling and scrolling and scrolling mindlessly when I saw the picture that caused me to curse.
“Curtains? She handmade nursery curtains? With matching bedding? Including a quilt? What kind of pregnant woman does that?!?!”
On my side of the screen I was struggling against time, energy, and motivation to simply complete my registry and find the mailing addresses of those I wanted and needed to invite to the baby shower. Just the thought of putting in the hours needed to hand furnish my unborn child’s bedroom exhausted me.
nd here some watch was making curtains.
As I continued to look further into my Facebook friend's nursery decor progress, I would occasionally mutter “curtains” under my breath. I assume it was this sign that my husband read and realized I wasn’t simply checking out blogs. When he asked what was wrong I explained that this (perfectly smart and nice) woman had the (skill, talent, time, energy, and) audacity to spend her time on handmade nursery decor when there were other pregnant women out there who would kill to have that kind of stamina. But what I was really thinking was, “What has happened to me? Why am I not doing any of these things? Don’t I love my unborn child as much as she does? What am I doing to show that?”
In short, I was feeling guilty, and as if, before even beginning motherhood, I had already failed as a mom.
"Well, I guess that’s what she chooses to do with the time and energy that she does have,” was my husband’s response. This, of course, made me ask myself: "How have I chosen to spend my time?"
- Instead of sewing I have chosen to make elaborate meals with my husband over the holidays. Both of us are aware that one of our favorite activities together, and the corresponding time involved, will most likely be coming to a close in the next three months, so we made a special effort into creating some memories.
- Instead of making decorating decisions I have chosen to make decisions about my career and how I choose to handle the career focus / family focus debate while in the midst of potentially making a cross country move. (Details on that move at a later date.)
- Instead of spending hours behind a sewing machine, I have spent hours on travel sites researching flight and tours and other arrangements to see my younger brother on the East coast before the baby comes. Because, though I look forward to the many hours of life that will happen in my newborn’s room, I realize that my pre-child years are quickly coming to a close. Travel and exploration are one of the many things that won’t be as easily available to me in the upcoming years, and I have consciously chosen to pursue these things while I am able.
And just like that recliner that I would have never reveled in a few years before, I realized that my definition of comfort and preparation has changed. I should not feel guilty for taking care of myself the best way I know how, now or in the future.