Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

Shifting Needs

on April 13, 2012

It has quickly become apparent that the house we are currently living in will not be suitable to bring a baby into. While the building itself is a classic family home, and the yard is complete with a sandpit and a swing hanging from one of the trees, there is more to a suitable environment than some grass around four walls.

Our bedroom is small, and with the furniture crowded inside I am already struggling to navigate easily. I can only imagine what it will be like by the end of the pregnancy. I have stared at the dimensions, considered bringing out a tape measure, and given up. There is no room to put a bassinette, let alone a cot. Our options will be to co-sleep or banish the baby to my office.

The few small things that we have bought for the baby are in our wardrobe. It is so narrow that it only has a single door, and my boyfriend and I have had to move half our clothes to the wardrobe in my office. He owns a set of hanging shelves, which has helped the space problems considerably, but we are only starting out purchasing things. Babies seem to need a lot of stuff, and I don’t know where it will go.

We have already found ourselves having discussions with the other couple who we live with. At first we had hoped that they would be fine with the pregnancy, but within minutes of telling them the awkward conversations began. I was asked to not change the baby’s nappy on the couch. What were our plans to ensure that their sleep was not disturbed? Were we going to buy a proper family home and move out? The second most hurtful: how could we do this to them? The most hurtful: who would bring a baby into a share house?

Their questions brought a few home truths that we did not see coming. There had been a moral judgement, and we were apparently deemed inadequate. She knew about our baby clothes, which were in tucked away in the privacy of our wardrobe, and when questioned had the gall to lie about how she came to find them there. The power dynamic in the house has shifted, and it is clear that we are not in any position of bargaining power in our own home.

My boyfriend has agreed that we have to move out. We had come into this house with dreams that it would be our home until we left Canberra, and those dreams have now crumbled around us. Neither of us want our baby to be born into an environment with toxic emotional energy. Our options are to shift now, before we go to Europe later this year, or shift when we get back and I’m potentially too far along in the pregnancy to help with moving. Either way, I don’t want to deal with the stress of this, but it seems I have no choice.

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