Nesting during pregnancy. ~ Almost a dad

Nesting during pregnancy.

Over the past several months I've heard repeated stories of the "nesting instinct" in the later stages of pregnancy. The behavior typically includes the pregnant woman obsessively cleaning and organizing the home before the arrival of the bundle of joy. The way it was labeled an "instinct" made me think of how my dog digs at the rug and circles before laying down, or how birds collect bits of straw and other materials to insulate a nest for winter. After experiencing nesting first hand, I would no longer be surprised to see my wife doing either of these things.

I never discounted the phenomenon, but when I heard about the "nesting" phenomenon in pregnant women I didn't think it would apply to my wife. My thinking was the she already cleans everything to a surgically appropriate level, so she couldn't possibly clean or organize any further.

I was wrong.

In the past couple of weeks she has been taking a very active approach towards cleaning and organizing our house. She he been throwing things out on a regular basis to make sure we have enough room for the baby. I'm not quite sure how large she expects the child to be, but we have sufficient space just in case she births a linebacker.

My wife now cleans things with greater frequency and gets increasingly agitated if I interact with the sterile environment she is trying to create. I am frequently seen as the source of things that need to be cleaned. I feel guilty moving pillows out of place to sit down.

She has washed clothes and reorganized the baby's dresser multiple times, apparently using some derivative of the Dewey Decimal System to classify every tiny piece of clothing . Each time she makes a change to the drawers she wants to show me what she's done, but it still looks the same to me. The difference is imperceptible without a micrometer, but she knows exactly in which part of which stack of fuzzy items the organic cotton onesies are located and where to find the towel with the duck head. Meanwhile, I have trouble matching two of my own socks, so there's no way I'm going to be able to maintain this level of smooth, cotton perfection.

My wife has also hinted at redecorating and moving major pieces of furniture, to which I say nothing but hope pregnancy fatigue overcomes her before she makes our house unrecognizable.

Nesting during pregnancy is actually somewhat endearing, the things that you expectant fathers should expect, plan for and participate in include

- Increased house cleaning
- Getting the nursery ready
- Reorganization of furniture, cabinets, shoes, your life
- Packing a hospital bag that has the contents for a 3 week stay
- Buying diapers

Just make sure she stays away from caustic cleaning substances that can be harmful to the baby or exposure to paint fumes which have harmful volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).

If any of you have any experiences with nesting during pregnancy, please leave them in a comment, I'd love to hear them.


Ricky said...

Nothing from my wife yet. I'll keep you updated.

Can we see a picture of your finished nursery?

Bill, almost a dad said...

Hi Ricky,

The room isn't 'finish' per se, but I will post photos when it's done. I'm trying to finish up the joint compounding and taping this weekend. Sanding the floors will follow shortly after.

I'm running out of time!!!

I hope your wife is doing / feeling well.


Anonymous said...

My wife is in the 3rd trimester and yes I have seen the cleaning and throwing out and re-organizing.

Unknown said...

I am a wife, ... almost 5 months pregnant with twin girls. I think your post is hilarious...I just had to say.

I'm mostly freaking out about getting the nursery done. We have had furniture for a week, and it is still in the box. My husband works a lot- so i give him some room...but i want it done. I want to organize the baby room & i'm going crazy stressing out.

twins come a month early, and may even come earllier than that- and it says all over online that it should be done by 24 weeks, well...i'm almost there & he just says, "i will".

"i will" take the bed out of the soon to be nursery.

"i will" carpet clean the carpet.

"i will" set up the crib

"i will" do the touch up painting.

we are in a unique marriage. i am almost 5 months pregnant, but we have been together for 6 1/2 months.

we haven't done anything for the upcoming additions to our family, but buy a crib, mattress, and bedding. I'm getting antsy!!

I need some suggestions on how to get my point across to him that if he doesn't do the things i ask..(listed above)- i will hire a hot young thing to come in and do it for me! And he can sleep on the FLOOR. ugh- ok...i'm done.. :)

Anonymous said...

My wife is cleaning the room from top to bottom right now. This is our third pregnancy at 34 weeks. We have two boys and now expecting a girl. Which is what she really wanted to buy cute girlie stuff for. She did the same nesting with boys. It seems that nature is coming full circle.