By Mary Catherine Adams
When my first child was born, I remember sitting on the couch in our one-bedroom apartment, holding her as she slept, realizing that all of life had grown a thousand times more complicated. I was relieved to hold her in my arms but also so tired and so fearful that anything should happen to her. I knew that I loved her intensely but also that I did not yet know who she was.
Many of us have experienced something of this: amid its many joys, parenting brings a host of complexities, some wonderfully mysterious and others overwhelming. And it just gets more complicated as children grow up: the relational dynamics, the forays into defiance and discipline, the goal to love them unconditionally and also train and challenge them to be their best selves.
Decorating a house with and for small children presents similarly frustrating dualities. The home must be beautiful—for us and for them. But it must also be durable. It needs to be safe and secure but also…