Dear Father Hood: our baby’s due in a week and we’ve not bought a car seat or decorated the nursery – are we weird?
I’ve met some weirdos in my time and let me tell you something. You are not one of them. You’re simply a member of Team Deadline. Confused? I’ll explain. Midway through my wife’s pregnancy, without doing any scientific research whatsoever, I came to the conclusion that there are two types of parents-to-be. Type one, or Team Christmas Day, treats the due date like a special occasion, sorting the timetable early, buying heaps of presents, getting outfits prepared, making sure the house is up to scratch, agreeing on a name etc etc. And type two, or Team Deadline, views the due date as a cut-off point, working right up to the wire, squeezing every last moment out of their life before child, buying only what needs to be bought and dealing with issues as and when they arrive.
If I were a member of Team Christmas Day, I’d be launching into a lengthy monologue about the special paint I got for the nursery or judging your insufficient planning right now, but I am not. So all I will say is the following. Buy the car seat, as you need it to take the baby home from hospital, but aside from this, don’t worry. In terms of the nursery, your kid will be in your room for the first few months. And in terms of all the other paraphernalia, you can order everything online or make emergency trips to John Lewis seven days a week. So as long as you arrive at the hospital with a lot of love, and a bunch of sleepsuits, hats and nappies, everything is going to be just fine.