Today we’re sharing a guest post from Allyson Downey. She knows a thing or two about prepping for baby as the founder of weeSpring, and now she’s sharing her expertise on how to keep your career on track through pregnancy and beyond in her new book (released today!) Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood. Today she’s sharing some tips to keep from stressing when nesting time comes knocking at your door. Thanks, Allyson!
There comes a time, usually around mid-pregnancy, when expectant moms get overtaken with the nesting instinct. You’ll know it’s officially kicked in when you’re re-organizing the linen closet at 2am or have a robust Pinterest board specifically for elephant prints. But in between those spurts of productivity, you’re probably juggling a lot of big to-dos at home and the office. Aside from your actual day job, prepping for parenthood is a lot of work, too.
With my work at weeSpring (think Yelp for baby products), I’m especially aware of just how much time pregnant women spend preparing their lives for a baby. From researching car seats to finding a glider that’s just right, the pressure to get everything you need (and have it in perfect order) before your baby arrives can be overwhelming. But here’s the good news: your baby won’t notice if the nursery has bare walls or that the bookcase you love is still on backorder when you first bring him or her home.
Nesting is a work in progress that goes far beyond your baby’s due date. So whether you’re organizing your inbox or a closet, choosing crib sheets or managing spreadsheets, these tips will help make nesting more manageable as you prepare for maternity leave.
Tip 1: Surprisingly, you can get a lot of decorating done once you’re on maternity leave. Spending time in the nursery with your baby will give you a true feel for the space and how you actually use it (I stumbled upon some of my favorite finds while surfing décor sites during middle of the night feedings!), so don’t feel bad if the nursery isn’t perfect before baby arrives.
Tip 2: Do some career nesting, too. As your maternity leave nears, invest in your work relationships, get ahead on projects, and communicate what you want upon your return to the office. So back away from the baby registry—or at least, the obsessive research—and take some time to keep your career alive (and thriving) even when you’re going to be out of pocket for a while. What you plan for and focus on now can make your transition back a lot smoother.
Tip 3: Let people help you! Feeling clueless about color schemes or how to find the perfect wall art? Create inspiration boards and direct your family and friends there for ideas on what you like. They’ll be happy to dig into nursery prep and take something off your plate.
Tip 4: Ask for gift certificates. If people want to know what you need—and you’re not sure yet—don’t stress, ask for gift certificates that you’ll be able to use for the décor and gear you’ll discover as your baby grows.
Tip 5: Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re an awesome, caring mom even if some of those picture frames still have stock photos in them.
The last one is by far the hardest. We all want everything to be perfect for our new babies, but remember, your baby isn’t going to mind if you haven’t updated the wall color yet or are still looking for the perfect window treatment when your toddler turns two (like me).
You can learn more about Allyson’s new book at www.herestheplanbook.com.