I, like many pregnant women, have experienced nesting as I enter my third trimester. Nesting has always been something positive in my mind. What I’ve learned recently is that it can sometimes be more harmful than helpful.
The idea of nesting is to prepare your home and space for the baby on the way. This is a lovely idea and allows you to get excited for the new arrival! I have been cleaning out my house in preparation for our little one to arrive in July. This has involved decluttering, recycling, going through all of our closets, and more. This need to organize, clean and minimize clutter is not at all uncommon, but has not always been positive for me.
I learned quickly that my body was okay with these efforts for a little while, but if I pushed myself, I would suffer the consequences. (And by consequences, I mean incredibly uncomfortable hip and back pain.) I have never experienced this before, but could clearly tell when my body was telling me to SLOW DOWN.
So, for all those mamas out there who think they must do it all before the little one comes, here are some things to keep in mind:
- You have to listen to your body. If your body is telling you to slow down, do it. It’s okay if you have to let the house stay dirty or wait on that run to Goodwill. It is not worth overextending yourself, for the sake of you and the baby.
- You have the BEST reason to ask for help. Your parent, friends and family are probably chomping at the bit to get to be involved in the baby planning. Whether they want to build the crib or deck out the room in festive décor, the desire to be involved is evident. While you may only want help with certain things, give these eager beavers a task or two!
- Put your feet up. Just because your body is telling you to slow down doesn’t mean you can’t get some things done. I try to take advantage of those moments when I get to sit back and put my feet up to get some other tasks off my plate. This could be answering/sorting emails, working on the baby registry, looking into college savings accounts for the baby, etc. There are lots of things to do that are “nesting” related that don’t involve you doing too much manual work!
Probably the biggest thing to keep in mind is that it is okay if you don’t get everything done. The baby will not care if all of their clothes were cleaned, ironed and perfectly folded. (He or she will likely explosion poop or spit up on those lovely clothes anyways.) The most important thing you can do in your “nesting” stage is to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself and your partner for the new addition. Make time for each other to ensure your partnership is strong. Focus on bonding with your bundle of joy. Take care of yourself by sleeping as much as possible, eating well, and exercising if you are able to. And, most importantly, enjoy this time!