I have found that one of the main differences in pregnancy this time around is that I am not nearly as fixated with creating the "perfect" nursery. I think it's a result of having less time to focus on baby preparation and just knowing that the cutest bedding set will not make my newborn sleep one bit better!
I also am determined to have the nursery completed long before Emma's slated arrival. I am sure I will continue to fine-tune it, but I would like to have it 'baby-ready' by May 15 (an arbitrary date, but I just felt that I needed a firm deadline).
With Will, I hemmed and hawed about colors, furniture, theme, etc. We still had the nursery done in time, but it still felt very rushed. With Emma, I am a decision-making-diva!
I have already picked the nursery bedding. I found it for $19.99 at TJ Maxx. I have already picked paint colors for the wall. We are going to be blessed by some very generous friends giving us a white crib and changing table. I have an idea for curtains and a rug.
I often wonder why I was such a dilly-dallier with Will. I think there are many reasons for this.
1) As a first-timer, I didn't know what was important and what wasn't, so everything became important. I was almost paralyzed by making the (gasp) wrong decision, so I over-researched everything.
2) I didn't want to do too much too soon and then have to come home without a RLB* and see a beautiful nursery.
3) I didn't realize what life with a newborn would be like. I thought I would have lots more time once I "wasn't working."
Now, with Emma, I have realized the following:
1) Very little about the nursery is really that important. Most of the time I am in that room, it is dark. The cute bedding, perfect paint, gorgeous crib all got puked on, pooped on, and chewed upon. And I will make plenty of wrong decisions as a parent. Painting the nursery the wrong color is a picnic compared to other parenting pitfalls.
2) Of course, bad things can happen. But procrastinating will not prevent that. And being ill-prepared caused me more stress than anything last time.**
3) Life with a newborn is hard. I had very little time that was "free" last time around and I can only assume life with a toddler plus newborn is going to leave me zilch, zippo, nada in terms of free time. If I do have any, I darn well best be sleeping.
So, I think that pretty much covers why my approach is so different this time that last time. And to be honest, this attitude has applied to more than just nursery preparation. I have also pulled the trigger on stroller purchases, names, etc., much quicker this time around. I feel more confident in myself as a mother now and don't worry as much what people will say or think about our decisions.
** I have still made my best friend promise that if something does happen, she will collect extra newborn things, put them in the nursery, and shut and lock the door. When I am ready, she will also help to dismantle that room and repaint it. But of course, she made this promise to me, telling me that I was being "silly." Old habits die hard, I guess.