But we sure as heck are about to put her in the closet.
Yep. You read that correctly.
You see, we recently moved to Charlotte, and have been renting a nice home in a nice neighborhood. There are three bedrooms...one for us, one for E & A who have shared a room since Allie was 2 months old, and one for our guests. We thought about turning the guest room into the nursery, but a few things stopped us:
1) We have overnight guests ALL THE TIME. I think out of the three months we've lived here, we've been home 6 weekends all together. And of those 6 weekends, we've had overnight guests 4 weekends. So that leaves a big, whopping 2 weekends that we've not had overnight guests. And that doesn't even take into account the overnight guests we've had during the weekdays. Hotel Berry. We like having guests and know that we have been blessed to be a blessing, so offering our home for friends, family and launch team members who are looking to move to Charlotte isn't a big deal for us. We know as we get closer to the launch and even into the new year, we should expect to have that room occupied with people from out of town. And that's cool.
But we couldn't imagine having to deal with the awkwardness of rearranging a guest room, incorporating a crib, changing table, and baby decor, and making our guests feel like they are intruding on baby's normal routine when they are visiting. Nope. Strike One.
2) It's expensive to make a nursery. As mentioned before, it would take a lot of planning (and money) to bring our existing guest room decor and baby decor into agreement. In fact, it just wouldn't jive, so either we'd have to switch out the bedding for the baby or the bedding for the guest bed, or both. Or just live with clashing decor. No thank you. Strike Two.
Well, in this game, two strikes is enough. It's kind of like the opposite of T-ball where the players get unlimited attempts to hit the ball. We play hardball around here, yo.
So, looking around for other options, we had two options left. Put baby's crib in our bedroom or put baby's crib in our enormous walk-in closet.
At first we were gonna go with the bedroom. It's a rather large room, and even with a king sized bed and furniture, we could make it work without cramping us too much. But then we would run into the whole "how do we meld these two decor styles together" question again. We looked again at the closet. It has a vent and, again, it's huge. And the fact that we don't have very many clothes (certainly not enough to fill it) made this option a bit brighter.
Here would be an awesome opportunity to put a picture of the "Before" closet. Alas, I suck at thinking ahead these days and we got to work before I remembered to snap a pic. Boo me.
We took out the shelving on the back wall and on the right side, and consolidated all of our clothes to the front left part of the closet.
At first I was a bit hesitant to consider putting baby in the closet, but a few things really changed my mind:
1) Baby doesn't care. She's not going to even know the difference. I came to grips with the fact that most of the time when people spend crazy amounts of money and time on a baby nursery, it's not even really for the baby. It's for them. Not that it's some horrible thing to want to design a beautiful nursery. I remember when Ella was about to be born, setting up the nursery really helped me see the reality of the whole thing. There really is going to be a little person in here one day. But Ella could have cared less what fabric I picked out or the fact that I had her bumpers, crib sheets, Roman shade and diaper holder custom made, or how everything coordinated perfectly. All she cared about was being loved, well fed, and clean. Same with Allie. Neither cared that their room was the second largest in the house, and neither even really used it except to sleep and be changed until they were older. By the time Caroline is old enough to know she sleeps in a closet, we will most likely be in a new house and she'll have a room (maybe).
2) It's close to us, but not too close. We have to go through our master bathroom to get to the closet. And there are two doors that we can close if needed. This is a better option in our opinion than having her in a crib in our room because it does give us a little bit of privacy when we really need it. After she starts sleeping through the night, we will most likely want to have some semblance of rest and retreat sans baby in our bedroom.
3) It offers a separate, quiet spot for her to rest. Said another way, her sisters won't be all up in her grill all the time. And they won't have to tiptoe around because when she's asleep in her crib, she won't be able to hear them anyway unless they are playing in our bathroom (which has been known to happen at times--little girls LOVE to get into Mommy's lotions, makeup and hair stuff).
4) It's a great use of a space that would normally become a dumping grounds for junk. I really wish I had the "Before" picture of the closet. Because "Before" for us really meant "before I unpacked everything". We had lots of boxes and baskets of unorganized clothes that easily could have stayed put for months if I had not had the motivation of "let's transform this into a nursery". So, it forced us to purge some clothes and shoes, organize the others into seasons, and store the unused seasonal clothing elsewhere. When we go into the closet now, we are more likely to put things where they belong instead of just being lazy and dropping them on the floor (gasp...yes, we did that from time to time!)
5) It forces me to keep things simple. Between parenting 2 other angels, being a wife, and starting a church, I have a lot on my plate. And the fact that I love to be creative can actually work against me when thinking of designing a nursery..."Oooh, I saw this on Pinterest, I could do that!" thought a hundred times could really add up in time and money! Yes, I'd like to still make it special, but the fact that there isn't a ton of space will help me stay reigned in a little bit (I hope).
And yes, for those of you who are concerned about stuffiness, there is a vent in the closet that allows air to circulate, and we'll probably put a small fan in there for white noise/air circulation as well.
So that's where Lil' Miss Caroline will be spending her first few months (or until we move). And guests, we welcome you to Hotel Berry!
Do you have any ideas that you'd like to share on how we can make the closet nursery a sweet little spot? Please share in the comment section!