It’s a sweet spot in many relationships. As a couple, you’ve worked out the kinks of sharing a home. Your photographs are framed and on the walls, you found the perfect throw pillows on Etsy, and the Star Wars figures are on display in the basement. Even the cats are getting along.
Then two tiny pink lines appear, and in all the excitement, of course you’re not thinking about your decorative accents. But it indeed is the beginning of the end for your carefully curated living space.
It starts out innocently enough. Burp cloths on the coffee table. A small basket with a few soft toys and rattles. Maybe you set up a diaper-changing station in your living room, because who wants to climb all those stairs dozens of times a day? But the first sign of real trouble usually starts with the couch.
Unless you are still living with the same sofa you shared with your college roommates, worrying about spills can be a part-time job. Spit-up, quick diaper changes, one-handed snacks for you while the baby feeds — all ugly stains waiting to happen.
And just wait until those little hands can wrap around a marker, or god forbid, a glitter pen. Baby can’t wait to start customizing your sofa fabric. Save yourself the grief and throw an old blanket over that thing for the next four years.
Listen, the baby does not care if you were on Property Brothers and they built you a custom coffee table out of an antique window frame.
Once she starts crawling and pulling herself up, admit defeat and move in that padded ottoman with extra storage (for toys, of course). That oversized mirror angled against a wall? Gone. You may still need a stiff drink, but your multi-tiered glass bar cart will come down like the chandelier in Phantom of the Opera.
Before you know it, you’ll be swapping ceramic tiles for foam tiles. Eames chairs for highchairs. Love your floor-length drapes? The cast-iron curtain rod is going to get ripped right out of the wall. Baby recommends covering all your windows with black-out curtains so he can nap whenever he darn well pleases.
And the off-white shag rug for romantic snuggles near the fireplace? The Cheerios will get lost in there. Oh, and the fireplace? Ha. Good one.
Thinking you’ll just save all your design enthusiasm for the baby’s room? He’s got a few special touches to add there, too.
Go ahead and spend your dollars on a beautiful crib crafted with tongue-and-groove joints. Just know that he will chew on that thing like a beaver when she starts teething. You may have visions of bookshelves with strategically placed tin-toy airplanes and photos of the grandparents, but baby has visions of those things on the floor. The soil from the potted fig tree in the corner is now a mid-morning snack.
When do you get your decorating groove back?
For now, it’s better to accept that your design accents will be limited to whatever baby took out of the kitchen cupboards that day. Plus, a few kernels of corn. And toys. (Oh, the toys.)
Things will improve when baby stops walking like a tiny drunk person, but really, your home will never look as polished as it did before you had kids.
The good news is, they add more joy to your home than any throw pillow. And before you know it, you’ll be displaying their scribbled drawings with as much pride as you ever did that vintage Stormtrooper.