Lately I’ve been fascinated with the whole “nesting” instinct that can take over women. In case you’re wondering, yes, I am expecting. But before you get too excited (or shake your head in wonder), it’s not a baby. I’m expecting my oldest son—who has been gone for 15 months—to return from his first duty station overseas in Turkey.
He is coming home on leave in a week—31 glorious days that I get to enjoy his presence before he departs yet again overseas. This will be a two year assignment in Japan. And let me tell you, the nesting gene has kicked in full swing!
I’m learning that it’s not just soon-to-be new moms that experience this. It’s any mom who is expecting her child—even if he is about to turn 20 years old.
There are two key elements you see in a nesting mom. One is preparation and the other is productivity. A new mom prepares by making sure her baby’s room is ready. It’s decorated, the crib is made up, clothes are folded and diapers are nearby. She is productive in that she’s also getting to areas of the house that have nothing to do with the baby—but feels a need to tackle anyway. Like grouting the bathroom tiles.
Preparations have been made for my son’s homecoming. His room is freshly painted, the bedding is updated (less boyish and more manly), and his familiar belongings are in place. I’ve also been productive in many other parts of the house. I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets, linen closet and bathroom drawers.
In doing some research on nesting, I’ve learned that some of these behaviors are instinctual. But it’s also a way to help pass the time. Waiting can be hard. As difficult as nine months of pregnancy was each time I was expecting—these past 15 months have been grueling. And in the final weeks and days of his expected arrival, it’s done me a lot of good to keep busy.
Women can take nesting to some pretty drastic measures. Some have been known to go beyond cleaning. In what I’ve read, women have been known to use a toothbrush to clean from top to bottom. Some have gone so far as to dismantle all the hardware on their cabinets (even doorknobs!). Other stories have included putting books in alphabetical order and redecorating the entire house.
I don’t think I’ve done anything drastic. But I do think my “deep” cleaning has extended to areas that could have waited. What about you? Do you have any fun nesting stories to share?
© 2014, Stephanie Romero