Believe it or not — putting together a nursery while living overseas has been one of my greatest challenges this entire pregnancy.
We actually went back and forth for months trying to decide if it was even worth putting together a nursery here — knowing how much of a ‘hassle’ it could potentially be — and not knowing how much longer we will even live in Germany.
Although there are many people that wait until they move back to America, I ultimately decided that preparing a space in our home specifically for this baby was very important to me. That the assembly and ultimately, the end product would help better prepare my heart and mind for our little guy to actually be here.
But, like I said, this didn’t come without challenges. (100% “first world problems”, just to be clear.)
We first had to decide on a room. Our home has 3 bedrooms — our room, a guest room, and a “closet room”. If you’ve been following along since our initial house hunt, you might remember me mentioning that there is no such thing as closets in Germany. Our home literally has 0 closets! Therefore, most of the Americans we know here are ‘forced’ to turn one bedroom into a “closet room” to store clothes, shoes, linens, and those many extras that closets come in handy for 🙂
So all that said — we obviously still needed our bedroom and we definitely wanted to keep our guest room (especially for those coming to help us when baby arrives) — so the closet room was quickly identified the weakest link.
It took us a couple of months to declutter and reorganize enough of this “closet” to make a space for baby! Minus our 3 actual wardrobes (and the junk on top of them!) that simply has no other place to go.
Although we somehow managed to make it all fit — we were surprised by how much of an adjustment this has been! We have spent the last couple of months ‘training’ ourselves to not use this room as our (always messy) dressing, laundry, ironing, packing, unpacking, “catch all” room — as we have for the last 2 years! Ha!
BUT little did I know, deciding on a room and getting it cleared out was going to be nothing compared to the challenge of actually finding and getting furniture!
Our options are somewhat limited overseas — or at least from what we know. The crib and mattress sizes are different in Germany — which was something we wanted to avoid. Gliders or rockers are not typically used in nurseries here — and therefore are very difficult to find. And although we have nothing against shopping at IKEA, we really wanted to be able to invest in quality pieces that we loved and that will last through multiple children.
For these reasons, plus some more, we were desperately trying to find a way to have a few specific items shipped to us from the United States. Unfortunately, we hit road block after road block trying to purchase items from almost every American company we could think of. No one was willing or able to ship furniture overseas — for any amount of money! Not even UPS themselves!
Just as we were about to give up — we had a friend announce she was moving to Germany and would be shipping her stuff over in a couple of months. She was beyond kind to offer to bring anything we needed over in her large shipment. As you can imagine this made this hormonal-first time-nesting-mama cry tears of joy!
We naively thought it was going to be smooth sailing from there — but it turns out we still had to get around many more road blocks to actually make this plan a reality. After months of back and forth logistical planning, many late-night, long distance phone calls, back ordered items, expedited extra shipping charges, and a good amount of frustration tears… everything miraculously made it’s way over the ocean and into our baby boy’s room.
Looking back, it’s hard for me not to feel somewhat silly about this entire process — knowing very well that this life has far greater challenges than putting together your “dream nursery”. There were days that I questioned my ability to even enjoyably go into this room after all the stress and lack of sleep it had ‘brought’ us.
But now I find myself sitting in here everyday, smiling ear to ear. Smiling over all of the friends and family that joyfully helped us make it happen. Smiling over William’s patience with my crazy desires and emotions (and watching him not-so-enjoyably put together that crib 🙂 ). Smiling because we finally have a space to dream, prepare, and pray over our baby boy.
And of course… smiling because we’re one step closer to that little American baby boy filling our German home with so much love and joy!