Pregnancy brain vs. Daddy brain

Roma Kojima discovers that when it comes to nurseries, her husband has more of a knack for nesting than she'd realised.

Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

 

Roma Kojima is a soon-to-be mom of a tiny, wriggly girl. Aside from growing a human, she works in business development at Rogers Media, loves to travel and cook, and obsesses about leather purses she can’t afford. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

I think I’m missing the ‘nesting‘ gene. I like setting up a space for the first time, but after that I have zero urge to redecorate, add tchotchkes, move things around or even change couch cushions. I grew up in condos where once my dad decided on furniture or where something went, we weren’t allowed to suggest another option.

My husband is the opposite. We’ve had arguments in the past about our approaches to decorating or, rather, redecorating the house. He enjoys periodically rearranging furniture, reorganizing and making rooms look entirely different for silly reasons like “better use of space.” I honestly couldn’t care less. As long as I’m not actively tripping over things, once it’s done, it’s done. I also hate gardening, but that’s a whole other story. Stupid &^*$(#@! weeds.

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In addition, when planning or decorating the home, I don’t like to be told “no.” He insists on bringing logic into every discussion.

Our arguments about home decor generally follow this pattern:

Me: “But I want this in here!”

Him (in his Patient Voice): “But it won’t fit. There isn’t enough room.”

Me (losing my temper at the room, him and the universe in general): “But WHY CAN’T THE ROOM BE BIGGER? Why is there so much WALL?”

Him: “Okay, then we’ll take the other thing out, and you can have this thing in its place.”

Me: “No, I want BOTH.”

Read more: 5 good ways to argue>

Despite all of this, we’ve managed to put the house together to our mutual satisfaction, more or less with everyone’s sanity and limbs intact. Then came this whole pregnancy thing.

Earlier in the pregnancy, I found myself getting annoyed at him for not being as involved with the baby shopping as I thought he ought to be. Our first trip to Babies R Us basically had him tagging along behind me and absently (to me at least) nodding along to whatever I said. It genuinely bothered me, because it’s not like I had any idea what we were doing either. After we bought a bunch of miscellany, I was preparing my speech about how he needed to be more involved, and that I didn’t need a ‘Backseat Dad.’

Just as I was getting a good head of steam going, though, he turned to me and said, “Well, if we are going to get all this stuff into the nursery, we’re going to need storage. I think we should get the Ikea Flugelbjork (or whatever their names are) shelves and put them in this corner, and then maybe move the crib to the other side…” Before I knew it, he’d outlined a whole storage plan.

It actually made me stop in my tracks as I realized that now more than ever, I couldn’t be projecting my brain’s priorities onto his brain. Our thought processes work very differently. I’m more spontaneous, and he’s more of a planner. Without his skill set, I’d end up with a room full of utterly necessary baby stuff living in a pile in the corner. As I grow this baby in my belly, his way of being part of the experience is to use his planning skills and get the nest ready. If I’m going to be a grown-up about this, I have to respect his process—just like I’m expecting him to respect my needs.

Read more: Were you a slave to your hormones during pregnancy?

So when it came time to start building the nursery, I let my husband take the lead while I followed along, trying not to meddle too much in the planning. My only requirements for the room were that we get a single bed in addition to the crib—so I could sleep in there while taking care of the baby overnight—and to leave room for a nice gliding armchair with an ottoman. He’s been trying to logic-talk me out of the chair/ottoman since this whole process began. I told him when he starts to breastfeed, he can remove all the chairs he wants.

I am still in charge of the shopping, but he’s the one who took all the baby stuff I’ve bought and, armed with a label maker, sorted everything into storage containers by age and stage. The nursery’s layout has changed so many times that I’m half expecting it to look different every time I walk by—and it usually does. Can’t say I’m complaining, though; better him than me. And I sure as heck can’t move furniture around experimentally at this point.

Read more: 16 of our best storage ideas for kids’ stuff>

I’ll freely admit that it still bugs me when I feel he’s not engaging enough in the things I feel he should engage in. I have to keep reminding myself that we’re in a partnership, and I didn’t marry a me-clone. He brings different things to the table and sometimes they drive me nuts, and sometimes I drive him up the wall. I can’t expect him to get excited about every single little onesie, or well up every time he sees a baby beanie with a flower on it. He’s working on not expecting me to spend hours contemplating the Ikea Borgsjö over the Ikea Liatorp. It’s a process, and I have a feeling it’s the one where we start to morph from two people in a marriage…into a set of parents.

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