Now that I’m more than halfway through my pregnancy, I have to admit that my absolute favorite part is the sudden urge to nest.
“Nesting” refers to the sudden burst of motivation that women get during pregnancy that makes them want to clean and organize in preparation for the new baby. Supposedly it happens in the last few weeks of pregnancy. However for a few lucky women, it can hit much earlier. This time, nesting hit me right at week 19. I have wanted to flip my house upside down for weeks now, even though I have no good reason.
So, since I’ve been feverishly nesting over her, let me share my tips on nesting with you…
1. Start by pinpointing everything you need to do inside your house; and I do mean everything.
It can be as simple as washing the baseboards or waking up in the dead of night to ponder how to get the house pressure washed before it gets too cold out (from personal experience, it’s been a real joy to wake up at 4 a.m. to do this). No task is too great or too insignificant. Make a giant list, then feel overwhelmed, resolving to let the whole mess go. Repeat at least once a week.
2. Enlist the help of your reluctant spouse/family member to listen to you bemoan your timeline.
As we all know, time goes by quickly so at some point you’ll realize you can’t get everything done before the baby arrives. This is when you pick an unsuspecting person (like your spouse or mom) to sit down and complain to until they either grumble that they’ll help or they try to reason that your house will be just fine when the baby arrives. I suggested not even giving them warning, just lay into how difficult it is to clean your grout with your pregnant belly.
3. Get overwhelmed by trying to organize, go on Pinterest for tips, and realize that you just need a new house.
While Pinterest can be a really resourceful place, it can also give you a lot of false expectations. Searching “small pantry organization” can lead to perfectly lit photos of giant farmhouse inspired pantries or ads for glass organization tools. As you scroll, you’ll discover that “small” is a relative term and you can’t believe how you’ve survived with this tiny of a house for so long. Either way, if you find yourself scrolling Pinterest, be forewarned that you’ll want to put your house on the market.
4. Decide you need to hire a cleaning service, get quotes from several companies, then realize you can’t afford a cleaning service.
There are many companies and individuals who would gladly come clean your baseboards for you. At a price. Once you have a few companies to choose from, you’ll call for quotes and realize you can’t afford any of them. This is the point where you go back to talking with friends and family about the grime in your guest bathroom.
5. Take a minute to have a nap and a snack, then realize that you and your house are going to be just fine when the baby arrives.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was when you are feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to have a nap and a snack. If you’re able, give yourself permission to just sit down and rest for one hour. Eat whatever you want then snooze for a bit. Usually this will help reset me when I am focusing on minor things like the dust on my wall or the cat hair on my clothes. When I give myself time to breathe, I realize that all of these trivial things can get done, but they don’t have to be done right now.
In all reality, nesting boils down to an acute awareness of things you feel like you “should” do. I encourage you to stop focusing on the “should” tasks and start resting in the present.
My daughter has started singing to her baby dolls when she plays with them, and I don’t want to miss a second of her sweet little voice. She loves dancing and painting and reading books with me. She’s learning more about her world each day, and I want to be right there with her.
It’s definitely not easy, and I am still working on this myself, but when I stop worrying about what I “should” get done, I’m free to focus on the fun stuff. That’s what I want to focus on, not dusting off my ceiling fans.