9 Month Cure: The Stress

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Time Remaining: 88 days

The 9 Month Zone is a relationship test. Managing the stress of getting a project done when you are in the zone of an impending B-Day is what is going on for us right now.

She feels the clock ticking and is afraid that it won't be done in time. He has his hands full at work and is pulling the pieces together for the renovation, but it is taking time. Renovations - even one as miniscule as ours - require getting a bunch of different people all lined up first.

We have at least four different players: contractor, cabinetmaker, floor guy and painter. And we're not even talking about furniture yet. And since money is an issue, we're being careful.

She doesn't see progress. He has all the plans worked out, they just need to be executed now.

When we sit down to talk now we look at the calendar a lot. Timing is everything and neither of us want to screw this up. When the stress comes up, we are lucky. We pull together like a team getting ready for a game. Neither side wants to let the other down. So far, so good.

The stress is eternal. We've seen it get far worse. Many couples get caught completely unprepared at home for the arrival of a new baby. We've been called in to plan a brand new nursery only weeks before the birth. We've seen couples haggle for months over which room to put the baby in or whether to put up a wall in the living room. It usually has to do with unsuccessful dynamics between the two sides of the partnership.

The 9 Month Zone is a relationship test. If you don't manage this stress successfully it can really be hard on your relationship going forward, not to mention how the baby feels. This is one of those totally unique crunch times.

To deal with this we've been working with a simple nine month plan for getting the nest ready. It is keeping her reassured and it is keeping him on track:

Months 1-3: Dreaming, talking, imagining the new home or nursery

Months 4-6: Narrowing it down to specific sources, final floorplan and shopping list

Months 7-8: Doing it. Getting all the dirty work done and cleaning up afterwards

Month 9: Nesting

By our own schedule we're in the Doing It zone. And we're doing fine as long as we get the work started in July. We DO have a few loose ends in the sourcing department, and we may hit snags if we order something and it takes a long time to come. The next two weeks are crucial. We are acting calm for her, but we are on the edge of our seat.

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The Home Cure

Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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