When I was pregnant with the girls I had moments of urgent need to clean and move furniture, which is commonly referred to as ‘nesting’. Wikipedia explains it as such:
[The] Nesting instinct refers to an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn(s). It is found in a variety of animals (both mammals and birds) including humans. In human females, the nesting instinct often occurs around the fifth month of pregnancy, but can occur as late as the eighth, or not at all. It may be strongest just before the onset of labor. It is commonly characterized by a strong urge to clean and organize one’s home, and is one reason why couples who are expecting a baby often reorganize, arrange, and clean the house and surroundings.
This time round my ‘nesting instinct’ is on steroids (metaphorically). So far, this week (and note we are only up to Wednesday), I have vacuumed the ceiling, had a complete meltdown regarding the chest of drawers in our room and removed everything out of it, shoved the drawers into the corridor and demanded a new one, sorted out all the baby clothes and paraphernalia we have stored over the years (6 boxes worth), washed the curtains, cleaned out half the pantry and written a list of everything else that I need to do. I (and hubby) are hoping that this little burst of ‘necessary’ cleaning will depart as quickly as it arrived. But I’m not so sure it will – I’ve seen my ‘to do’ list!!
While there are some obviously really useful and practical positive’s to this burst of nesting, there is also the reality of exhaustion hitting, and hitting hard, at the end (sometimes in the middle of!) each little project and the effect it is all having on my dodgy pelvis (which is a whole other story). I have to learn to moderate. Hubby left for work this morning after a very stern speech informing me of my greater responsibilities and being careful not to tire myself out – and he is right.
Perhaps because the instinct to nest is so strong this time round, I am also acutely aware of how innate and almost primal it is. In the middle of my ‘chest of drawers meltdown’ I was very aware that somewhere in my head I had made a connection between the chest of drawers and making the house clean and safe for the arrival of bubs. And while the connection may not be obvious, the absolute necessity to make the house ‘bubs appropriate’ is tainting everything I do and is very obvious to me.
I love that part of how we are created includes an inbuilt trigger to make our environment safe for a newborn – it is quite extraordinary. Normally I couldn’t care less about dust on the ceiling, but at the moment all I can think about is removing all dust from bubs soon to be environment!! It is an extension of being a mum – and I like it.