Ok, so with my first pregnancy and even before then, I would hear this term “nesting” being thrown around all the time. People would talk about it like it was this very “real” and all-consuming thing that happened to expecting mothers as a way of preparing for the arrival of their baby. I did not buy this at all. Sure everyone wants to be ready, but do we really start going into this primordial preparation frenzy?
Described as a very primitive instinct that connects humans to birds, as well as many other animals … cats, rabbits, etc… this “instinctual” process looks something like homemaking in overdrive. Something apparently fuelled by hormones that makes expecting mothers want to deep clean their homes; cook and stockpile food, and decorate the baby’s nursery in preparation for the new baby’s arrival. We all want to be prepared, but what does this all really mean and is nesting the same for all expecting mothers?
While I was waiting for my son to be born, he was overdue by about a week, there was a lot of baking happening in my house, I crocheted him a blanket (which my mom had to finish because I got carpal tunnel towards the end of my pregnancy) and I was very adamant about his nursery being ready for his arrival. This time around things have been a little bit different because my focus is not entirely on my pregnancy. With a toddler running around the house, tossing toys around all day and sprinkling snack crumbs everywhere he goes, it becomes very difficult to spend time prepping the house for a new baby. With that said, I still have a lot of things on my to-do list (or on my husband’s “honey-do” list) that seem to look like the telltale signs of nesting.
Here are a few signs that made me think I might be nesting again:
Getting the Baby’s Room Ready
You have this overwhelming desire for the baby’s room to be ready for their arrival.
This has been a source of stress for me over the past month or so for a few reasons, but mainly because we’ve been trying to figure out how to make all of this (two kids and a tiny two-bedroom bungalow) work. Our solution at this point in time is to switch rooms with the kids (we don’t actually have a ‘real’ master bedroom anyways) and we were able to configure the furniture a lot better this way. We are almost there and I think this could work. I’m actually getting excited about the change of scenery and our little one is adapting to his new room really well.
You’ve become hyper-aware of how ‘dirty’ you house is and want to do a serious deep clean.
We all know how sensitive newborns are and as new moms we have a tendency to become hyper-aware of germs and bacteria so it’s no wonder that a thorough cleaning is something I’ve been trying to do over the past few weeks. This too has become a little bit difficult these days because when you have a toddler your house can only really be clean for those hours during the night while they are sleeping, just to become a mess again the next morning and the cycle continues everyday. As depressing as that might sound, the mess of toys is manageable if the surfaces beneath these toys can get cleaned. I think that’s how I’ve managed to stay sane through this stage of the nesting process. I can still clean the windows; give the bathroom a good clean and empty out the fridge even though there might be a mountain of toys scattered across the living room floor.
Cooking and Baking up a Storm
You’ve decided that making and stockpiling enough food for a zombie apocalypse is a must.
While I am one of those people who has to be in the mood to cook, I enjoy it almost all the time mainly because I love to eat and feed people, but I need to be in the mood to make something exciting. Nesting makes you feel like you have to cook and freeze enough food to get you through the new baby’s first year. So if your freezer is full of frozen soup, chilli and in my, case frozen zucchini loaf and carrot muffins (just in case), you are probably nesting or potentially preparing for an apocalypse.
Handmade Baby Gifts
You’ve somehow rationalized that making something for the new baby by hand is a mission that might be impossible, but completely necessary.
While we waited for the arrival of my son I decided that making him a blanket was something that had to be done. It was a freezing cold winter and crocheting a blanket seemed like the perfect idea. That is until pregnancy related carpal tunnel set in and made things a little bit difficult. In the end, my mom helped me to finish the blanket and I was so happy to wrap him in it and hang it over his crib. Fast-forward to this second pregnancy and with good intentions, but very little time left, this baby blanket might still be a work-in-progress after baby arrives. My husband, always putting a positive spin on things, says it will make a beautiful scarf if it doesn’t get finished. I guess babies need scarves too.
You’ve become aware of how much unnecessary stuff you’ve accumulated and are finding it way too easy to throw things away.
Living in a tiny two-bedroom bungalow means that space is something that is seriously limited. When we found out we were pregnant with our second child and made the decision to stay in our home a lot of that decision was based around finding creative ways to make it all work. Well after months of moving things around, switching rooms, downsizing our bed and some seriously creative solutions that made my mommy brain explode, we came to the conclusion that we just had too much stuff. So the decluttering began. It was incredibly overwhelming at first and we still haven’t tackled the basement yet, but it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and I’m loving this idea of minimal living. Maria Kondo was right; tidying up really is life changing!
Do you think you’ve been “nesting?” Would love to hear some nesting stories from all of you. Please feel free to share below.
Happy Nesting Mamas!