It may surprise you to know that we have not decorated Freja’s nursery yet. Aside from clearing shelves and popping her books and stuffed animals where our tools and papers used to live, the back room is still a spare bedroom, complete with a framed Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers vinyl. (No matter how much I love Mick Jagger or the album cover, it feels a bit wrong to have it hanging above our daughter’s cot). We decided to wait to decorate it for a few reasons – I’ll share the top three to keep you from yawning.
1. The need for a functioning guest room
One of the challenges of having a baby in a two bed flat is having space to host people from out of town. We both wanted our parents to come and visit, and feel comfortable while they were here. While Freja sleeps in our bedroom, it simply made sense to leave the back room alone and change it into a fully functioning nursery when we move her cot to the back. The jury is still out on what we do with the sofa bed when that does happen, but for now it’s staying put.
2. An attempt to avoid hormonal purchases
Before Freja was born, I had a lot of ideas about what I would and wouldn’t do. For instance, pink was not going to feature anywhere in her wardrobe or her bedroom. I was desperate to swap the sofa for a rocking chair. I wanted to paint. Then I wanted to leave it white and use stickers or create some sort of mural. For awhile I even thought about hanging the baby blanket on the wall that my mom and grandmother made for me, which is what my mom did for my nursery. Pinterest was a minefield of perfect rooms that didn’t feel like ‘us’ and I kept seeing bedding I loved, only to be reminded that bedding in a cot is a DEATH TRAP and likely to be stained within 24 hours. Cut to 4 months into motherhood and I’m so glad I’ve waited out the pre-natal hormones. Had I not, I’d probably have a back room with an orange accent wall and expensive beautiful-but-not-functional bedding that I would find myself cleaning with stain remover at 2am. (A note for mums to be – sleep is more important than stains. Buy plain white cotton sheets that wash and dry easily, and save the beautiful bedding til they’re potty trained).
3. The reality that this isn’t our ‘forever home’
It was pretty inevitable that with the arrival of a baby and all the baby stuff, we would quickly start questioning whether we could stay here long term. That discussion is still underway, but we’re committed to making it work for the next year, unless the perfect project in the perfect location at the perfect price comes onto our radar. The next question on our brains is whether we keep the flat and rent it, or sell. Keeping a more general appeal with the knowledge that we will be moving on at some point has me looking for options that keep the walls white but still inject some fun. So stickers and murals are back on the list – so long as they’re easy to remove.
This decision not to decorate was easy, once I convinced myself that she wouldn’t have a terrible start to her childhood if she came home to no perfectly finished nursery. Now that she’s here, I love the challenge of creating a space that suits her blossoming personality. Turns out she loves music, so Mick might be hanging around after all… and if we were going to go the animal route, it would definitely be giraffes and not my beloved elephants. The little lady already has a mind of her own, so we may as well embrace it.
What about you mums out there – did you dive straight into decorating the nursery? Did any of you wait? Any regrets either way? I’d love to hear!