Here's what I've discovered about this "nesting instinct" - it is not an old wives tale or a myth like many of the other unscientific things I've heard about pregnancy. This is a real phenomenon. My hormones are firing off on all cylinders trying to talk me into doing things I wouldn't otherwise have dreamt of doing. I have seen this instinct manifest itself in different ways in different people. I can think of 2 friends in particular where the effects were particularly comical: one ended up with a freezer full of cupcakes, another with an attic full of furniture which she had no space in their tiny flat for.
Having observed this in other mums-to-be, I was well aware of the consequences and so was psyched up to tackle it when it hit me. It first manifested itself back in the early days of second tri rather conveniently in an urge to do housework on my days off like never before. In fact I can't say I've ever felt much of an urge to do housework full stop! I have to say, I have fully embraced this side of the nesting instinct as it has resulted in a (sometimes) tidier house and a happy husband (who is far tidier than me). However there is also a dangerous edge to this instinct which I can feel is threatening to burst forth as the clock ticks on. I now actually want to look at baby things in shops (never before been this way inclined in my life!) Mark reckons I perk up at the sight of nappies in a supermarket when I was previously feeling tired - weird! We have many wonderful friends giving us many free hand-me-downs and yet with just under 6 weeks to go, an urge to buy baby paraphernalia is pushing pretty hard at my willpower. Mark has invented a new phrase for "paraphernalia" which he is exceedingly proud of. He tells me frequently that he does not want to accumulate too much baby "gulumphing golotmar" and to be honest I feel the same way. So we are aspiring to this and I have developed some coping mechanisms to help me resist the formidable "nesting instinct".
1. Fill my time and my head space by making a list of other non-baby jobs which I class as "urgent" to do pre-baby (which they're probably not). These have ranged from the smallest of tasks such as "get haircut" to the slightly more time consuming "learn to drive". I have to say this has been quite a successful defence against the instinct and I would recommend it to anyone.
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2. Channel the instinct into hours (and I mean hours) of extensive internet research into the most mundane of baby products. Reusable nappies have been an absolute winner on this front, being such a minefield of information and confusing jargon that I have literally wasted hours and hours researching in order to make sense of it all. Time that might otherwise have been spent buying unnecessary products on a whim.
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3. Having a lodger has been surprisingly handy in this regard. Firstly he is 18 years old and thus babies couldn't be further from his mind. He doesn't comment on my bump or seem to even notice it more than once a trimester so it's easy not to think much about babies and pregnancy in his company. Plus our second bedroom is and will be occupied by this wonderful lad until the wee one's at least 2 months old and so for now a corner of our room and part of our attic has been apportioned to baby stuff. Limited space + having a husband who gets stressed out by clutter + newly acquired desire to keep flat tidy = NI successfully kept at bay.
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