The holiday decorations have been put away (which consisted of a single wreath), the new year diet has commenced (which looks a lot like the holiday diet), and around this time of year is when life should start resembling some sort of normalcy… except it’s not. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are officially in the Baby Waiting Game. With less than a month until D-Day (or, as I am lovingly referring to it Due-Date Day), the newest member of our family will be making his debut very, very soon. It’s enough to give any parent a dose of anxiousness, even the most Zen amongst us (for example, my husband), but when you’re an already anxious person, this last month can be brutal.
I tend to suffer from a bit of a “New Year comedown.” December / early January is a busy time for us between holiday parties, Hanukkah, Christmas, Nate’s birthday, and our anniversary all within the same two-week time period. This year we also had a couple of baby showers thrown into the mix. So, the first few weeks of January frequently feel like a “ramp-up” to the rest of the year. I’m often waiting for work to pick-up again. Or waiting to finish a draft of something. Or waiting to see results of my new diet and fitness routine. Or simply waiting for life to return to the routines of the before the holidays. But, none of that is quite on par with “waiting for a human.” So, what does one do when waiting feels like a waste of time? Enter the “Holiday Hiatus Hustle.”
One of the things I love most about my husband is his mutual love of lists and checking things off said-lists (we are a Virgo and Capricorn, after all). So, we took full advantage of our time off and accomplished what I’m now referring to as the “holiday hiatus hustle” where we plowed through our nesting to-do list like nobody’s business For those that aren’t aware of the nesting instinct, here’s just some of the things we accomplished during our time-off:
-Turning the back room (which was a combo of Nate’s office / guest room / storage) into a fully functioning and fully adorable nursery
-Installing and inspecting the car seats, as well as getting Nate a new car for said car seat
-"Babyproofing" the house by replacing furniture that was potentially dangerous (our housecleaner referred to our coffee table as a “death trap”), plugging up electrical outlets, installing a baby gate, getting a landline (we’re so retro, now!), and various other things
-Washing the baby’s entire wardrobe and bedding and basically anything else that would touch his precious little newborn body
-Packing a hospital bag and making sure we had all the essentials for it
-Cleaning out various rooms and closets to make space for the new baby stuff and ensure everything is you know… clean
-Taking multiple “baby classes” so we would know we needed to to do all the above
…And that’s just a sampling. The great news about doing all of this is we’re pretty much all set for when the little guy comes (which I might have mentioned is probably soon). It also brought Nate and I closer in a way that’s not unlike when you do a group project with someone and it goes swimmingly well, except your group project is a human being you made together. He has been a champion taking on many of the tasks himself because I just can’t lift things or stand on a ladder, and with enthusiasm and gusto, which just made me love and appreciate him more. When the nursery first started coming together and resembling what I had envisioned, I took a moment to sit back and think: hopefully a few months from now when I’m sleep-deprived, stressed, and have a screaming baby to care for, I’ll sit in this room and think about the joy I’m feeling right now and how we did this together. Hopefully.
But the downside of being overly prepared is there’s not a whole lot to do right now except wait. Well, and make some freezer meals. And wash some more clothes. And double-check my hospital bag and diaper bag. And buy some things that I might still need. But, you get the point. The big stuff is done. And perhaps the scariest part of the waiting game, is not the waiting itself, but the emotional component: the next big thing to check off the list is having the actual baby.