The Nesting Instinct
Don’t mess with a pregnant woman who wants to get things done. There should almost be a disclaimer of pregnancy before speaking with a tradie/retailer that in cases of extreme mood swings, mind changes and irrational deadlines, blame the bump!
I don’t remember the nesting and cleaning urge being quite so strong on pregnancy’s one and two, but this time round I feel like if everything doesn’t get done before D-day, Armageddon will most certainly come.
Being self-employed and slightly OCD at the best of times, the unknown ahead that comes with having a third baby (who is it? how will we cope?) is enough to drive me around the bend.
I have NO idea when my next pay cheque will come in after birth, but rather than save for a rainy day, I’m spending up a storm. Just in case. I’ll be poor, but at least I’ll have nice lighting and clean skirting boards. I’m sure that’ll make me happy and relaxed while stuck in a breastfeeding chair.
What is in a pregnant woman’s hormones that decides that everything needs to be done – NOW, whether it’s 4pm or 4am.
From de-cluttering cupboards to excessive cleaning, booking the oven or window cleaner or scrubbing the shower at 2am, These are the things that currently keep me awake, oh and the incessant baby kicks too of course. My to-do list is perhaps the longest it’s ever been.
After some scientific research (a.k.a googling), it would appear that there IS scientific evidence that hormonal fluctuations are to blame. Namely, Progesterone and Prolactin.
The fact of the matter is, all mothers like to make a nest, even if Human mothers wouldn’t have a clue how to build an actual nest. We want to make our homes safe and clean and organised and ready for the prized newborn to arrive into, and end up doing sometimes the silliest of things.
What possess us to alphabeticise our books and move pots and pans from one cupboard to the next might seem absurd to outsiders, but to us nesting mum’s, it’s just part of the preparation process.
Non-pregnant people say “rest up”, Pregnant mum’s brains say “must keep busy, must get ready.”
It can be a beneficial thing of course, although those around you may disagree, but bad habits can be changed to good during this period too.
If you’re lazy in the kitchen there’s a high chance you’ll end up with cupboards and freezer filled to the brim, and for me, who can be a bit tardy on keeping windows shiny, well they’re currently sparkling.
For the past five years since my last pregnancy, I haven’t looked at the skirting boards, thought about dry cleaning the curtains, or indeed taken boxes and boxes of perfectly good stuff to other homes. But that hormone surge is a thing, and goodness help anything or anyone that gets in the way of it.
Want the new curtains and couch to arrive before Christmas? It better. Want the house painted first thing in January to avoid paint fumes in the nursery. Done. Those non- LED lights that have been bothering you for 18 months – gone. Replaced with the LED versions, with dimmer on nursery for the next round of sleepless nights.
Speaking of that, replacing the lights has been a stroke of genius on my part. We’ve gone from 54 lights in the house to 20.
54 lights that blew every other week and drew enough power that according to our power bill, was enough to charge a small community, to 20 lovely lights that not only give off a nicer ambience, but are energy efficient too.
There are no bulbs so the lights don’t blow out and our weekly power monitor has told us we’re saving on average 33% each week since the new ones have been installed. 33%!
Even with taking the plastering into account, the new lights will have paid themselves off in about a year through power savings alone. And there are less of them so when I lie on my lounge floor each night and think about mustering up the energy to do yoga, it doesn’t feel like I’m lying at a train station.
A little bit of money now means we’ll be better off in the long run right? With the cost of building and renovation surging, everything seems to cost more than you would expect. But believe it or not, I’ve thought very carefully about our expenditure ahead of my pending unemployment and am convinced it’s going to save us money overall.
By the time you read this, I’ll probably be sitting on a newly arrived blue velvet couch feeding number 3 sprog. The house will be clean underneath the mountains of washing and baby mess, and I’ll be plotting my next house spend to save us in the long run.
Solar panels, before the winter months I reckon, I’ll get that power bill down even further yet. =)