Before the big B-Day…

My greatest anxieties about having a baby have little to do with sleep, or feeding, or even the baby.  My biggest sources of worry and fear are about us: to accommodate a child, a living, breathing, requiring-a-modicum-of-routine-and-cleanliness child, our habits need to change pretty significantly.

Scary stuff.

See, we’re not the cleanest of peeps.  Sure, we recognize messiness, but neither of us is a natural cleaner.  By the time we’re so fed up with our surrounding we mount a massive cleaning effort, things are pretty well out of control.  And despite my half-assed attempts to improve on this (see: hiring a cleaning service, putting “house company-ready within 30 minutes” on my 30 in 30 list, etc), we’re still mostly not good at it.

And our dogs, while sweet and loving and intensely focused on being near us, are all over us… and our stuff.  Which then smells like dogs. Even if our kid doesn’t notice that (s)he’s covered in pet fur, our visitors surely would.

Stuff’s gotta change.  And I’m a bit worried.  I realized this today — that the buying of stuff and decorating of spaces and researching of theories isn’t freaking me out.  Not one bit.  I’m pretty comfortable that we’ll get around to buying the stuff we need (I mean, honestly, a newborn can sleep in a laundry basket and not know it) and the space will get dealt with (coupla coats of paint, a crib and a glider – may not win awards, but will function).  And though I shouldn’t admit it, I’m planning to rely on the school of thought that says you do what you think is best at any given time and things will be fine.  Also, my mom is awesome and has a degree in child development.

{Short diversion wherein I first tell you I’m not comparing babies to dogs, except I am, but if you get offended, I’ll point you to that italicized bit.}

When we got a puppy, I read all the books and talked to all the people.  I had long discussions with my husband about our strategy and what to do or not to do.  It was awful.  We put that poor sweet puppy through some terrible things in the name of a philosophy.  Look, if you believe in that philosophy, I’m sure it all works out, but if you’re flip-flopping around trying to find something that works, it doesn’t.  With our second dog, we just winged it.  If we felt like hugging him, he got a hug.  If not, he didn’t.  He’s awesome (probably through no fault of our own) and we’re all better off.  Lesson learned: do the thing that feels best/ right.  If it doesn’t, don’t.

There you go.  Parenting philosophy from a non-parent based on an experience with a puppy.  Do feel free to point and laugh.

Back to the stuff I am freaking out about… must. make. a. plan.  So here ’tis:

Decide upon and stick with a service for delivery of purchased stuff (ie: Walmart replacement – because that place is a money suck). Alice.com, Drugstore.com, Amazon all in contention.

Get in the habit of cleaning something every day.

Hire a cleaning service. Regularly, not just that one time.

Kitchen. Out. Of. Control. Minimize the number of plates/ glasses/ forks/ coffee mugs so we can’t just grab another clean one instead of washing the stuff piled everywhere.

Suck it up, admit defeat, and start using Dinner A’Fare again. (You pay tons of money and go prep your food in a commercial-ish kitchen, then bring it all home ready to freeze.  When you’re hungry, you pop the sucker in the oven and in 15 – 20 minutes, you have a pretty darned good meal. As you should, since the meals average $17 – $20 each.)

Institute a humans-only-on-couch policy.  Actually, a no-dogs on couch policy (not starting a battle with the cats – I won’t win).

Get rid of stuff.  Start with furniture, go from there.

Get rid of clothes. Or at least store some elsewhere.  Go through shoes (yes, again).

Figure out a clothes-washing-system that works.  Hamper in bathroom closet? Sure. Laundry baskets for clean clothes only? Sure. Whatever.  Something.

Basement guest suite – make it work or give it up? Time to decide.

Master bed is needed.  Mattresses on floor = college.

~~~

I’ll update this as I go.  We’ll see how we do.

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5 thoughts on “Before the big B-Day…

  1. We are going through the exact same process right now. I’m due April 15th and this whole “nesting” thing has hit me. Which I always thought just meant that you felt this need to clean, but for us, it involves similar realizations.. we need to use one glass each day that we rinse out instead of using 7 different glasses each time we want a drink. It’s involving hanging up a sweater that I only wore for 2 hours instead of throwing it in a laundry basket. We have a similar problem with messiness… it isn’t that we don’t realize that we are messy, it is just that by the time we get around to doing something about it.. it is WAY out of control. Same thing regarding the dogs on the couch.. I’m interested to see how things evolve for you guys!

  2. This post was full of the humour and honesty I love you for. I especially like how you make me feel less shame for being a bad cleaner and having cat hair stuck to myself all.the.time.
    I have found decluttering and getting rid of stuff to be a major help in trying to be cleaner and “company ready” faster. With fewer nick-nacks lying around and boxes of stuff in storage we don’t use, the space feels clearer, and I can tuck things away for company because my closets aren’t as full.
    I’d love to hear any tips you have on sourcing a cleaning service. I’d love to get one but in addition to being messy, I also have trouble parting with money for things that aren’t either 100% fun quality time (ie date night, travel) or 100% necessary (like groceries.). Plus I’m freaked about having strangers in my biznass. So this is my rambling request for a tips post!Ha!

  3. We spent all weekend cleaning our small apartment- it felt so freakin good waking up this morning to a cleaner place- plus we now officially have empty shelves in 2 of our 3 closets. That said, our main closet and desk area is still haunting me. We ordered a shredder in order to successfully tackle that- and to avoid future clutter! I also plan on going crazy pants at the Container Store.
    Oh, and as a dog owner not Baby Mother, I totally relate to your comparison. We talk about doggie poop enough that when we have to talk about baby poop- it won’t ever feel strange.

  4. I really love hearing someone else talk about having the same problems as I do. My apartment wound up looking like a teenager lived there despite my best intentions. And yes, the fewer dishes you have the more often you must wash them! Same thing with laundry. I think I should be a minimalist for the rest of my life just to keep myself from drowning in my own procrastination.

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