If you’re close to the end of your pregnancy or ready to bring your new child home for adoption, chances are you’re entering a nesting period. Nicely put, this is a time most moms (and some dads!) go through to prepare their home and other things for new child to arrive. More realistically put, it’s a time when you find a hair in the food you cooked and begin hyperventilating thinking about how you’re going to choke your child to death through a hair in their food and how that’s a reflection of every other way you need to get your act together, and painting a Mary Poppins mural in the nursery is the only hope for you to be successful so you have to give up all sleep right now to finish all 832 items on your checklist.
No matter what your husband, friends, or other family members may say, you’re totally normal. At least your nesting is. No need to see a therapist about this particular issue. Probably…
Nesting tends to be a higher energy period, and it can be a good opportunity for you to get some important things taken care of so you’re set up well to get to know your new child and rest for a period. Here are some ways I find to nest well:
Make a Plan
Before you just wake up like Rapunzel ready to accomplish two weeks of work in two hours, sit down and write up a realistic plan. Write out everything you’d like to accomplish and how much time you think it will take. Then look at your calendar and decide when you have time to put the work in. Make sure to consult those who live with you. They may have different ideas, and they most definitely can help you have more realistic expectations past your current energy.
If you’re pregnant, remember that some things shouldn’t physically be attempted by you. You shouldn’t lift anything heavy, climb, or do anything else too exerting or that could lead to you getting hurt. But everyone needs help nesting, whether we want to ask for it or not. In your checklist, write down names that come to mind of at least one person who can help you with each task. And try to make this different people. Many people love the idea of truly helping in some way, and having one project brings them the joy of serving without feeling too overwhelmed. It can also be a sweet bonding time with friends and family before you hole up a bit in your new family dynamics. And you can do this one even if you’re on bed rest!
Take Care of Your Health
You’re about to be sleep deprived, to grab whatever you can find to eat (hello Pop Tarts!), and to consider a good week one in which you got to wash your hair. So sleep as much as you can at night. Your project can wait until tomorrow. Eat nourishing food, drink tons of water, take walks outside. It can also be a good time to pamper yourself if that’s refreshing for you. Take a bath, get a massage, have your nails painted, get an easy-to-style haircut. A biggie here is to plan days to rest and play. Take this time to simply bond with those you love. Time with them will be more sparse after child arrives, so these restful times during nesting are just as important to plan in.
Rest in Grace
Jesus was fine to walk through the crowds and not necessarily heal everyone. Don’t try to be better than Jesus.
You won’t get all your nesting plans done. And even in the rare instance that you do, it will fall apart soon enough. You’ll want to believe you’ve failed and go ahead and begin a therapy fund for the future counseling you’ll cause your children to need.
That hopeless feeling of failure isn’t from the Spirit. Only Satan gets pleasure in making us take our eyes off the One who swapped places with us. Your failures were turned to perfection the day he took His Daddy’s wrath on your behalf. Your perfect nesting can’t make your children good enough for God, and your failure in your nesting period or anytime afterward can’t separate your child from the love of Christ Jesus. You’re literally powerless. Your checklist can’t help or hurt your child. There’s One who is far more powerful than you, and he nested perfectly through the death and resurrection of his Son to perfectly prepare the way for your own adoption into his family. Your hope for your child is in his nesting, not yours.
Some Ideas to Do While Nesting
If you’ve been granted energy to get some things ready, here are some things I would suggest. Did you catch that last word: “suggest?” Cause seriously, feel free to throw this list out, maybe down the garbage disposal with a lemon (the lemon feels like cleaning your garbage disposal, which feels like progress—though not sure the paper in the disposal is gonna work out…). This may not fit your needs or personality. Really, suggestions only.
- Deep clean the parts of your house that are most used
- Unpack and set up everything needed for baby—fold and put away clothes, stock up on diapers and wipes, set up crib and other furniture, etc.
- Stock up pantry and fridge and maybe even make some freezer meals that can be quickly prepared
- Laundry past clothes and sheets—rugs, blankets, pillows and decorative covers—this frees you up for the mass amount of laundry that are your future as a result of poop, pee, and spit-up
- House projects—baby proofing, changing lightbulbs, WD40 on squeaky doors so you don’t wake baby, minor repairs, regular maintenance (i.e. have air conditioner serviced, gutters cleaned, water heater flushed, etc.)
What are some ways you tend to nest when you’re preparing to bring a new baby or child home?