So it’s well known that when women reach a certain point in their pregnancy, they develop the innate need to nest. They scurry around on hands and knees, scrubbing skirting boards and de-cluttering cupboards… and I was fully prepared for this phenomenon. What I wasn’t so prepared for was the nesting instinct that would take over my husband at the same time… Now I’m convinced – daddies nest too!
At first I thought it was just because we had moved into a new house, and we enjoyed spending time together working on it, and moulding it into the family home we want to welcome our new daughter into.
Since I was on ‘light duties’ during the actual move, Andrew went into some kind of Superman Home Removals mode; taking the burden on himself – head down, focussed, we’re in!
The determination continued as we started to put her nursery together. This was a great bonding experience for us two. We had fun painting and putting her little room together – with only a few heated debates over how to put the cot together!
But even 5 months on, Andrew still hasn’t seemed to shake off that Superman mentality. If anything, his incessant need to ‘get things done’, organise and de-clutter has only escalated in the past few weeks.
Could he be nesting too? I wonder…
A few cases in point…
Andrew works from home. Knowing that this isn’t going to be the most practical when there is a screaming baby in residence, he’s been busy beavering away in the garden, making himself an outdoor office. Great. Makes sense. I kind of left him to it as there wasn’t much I could do and he seemed to have it all under control, and seemed to be enjoying putting it all together (even though we did order the wrong type of wall coverings… twice).
Great – that job’s done now… maybe now he will sit and relax with me – give himself a well earned lie in on the weekends… but oh wait – where’s he gone now, I wonder as a roll over to find a cold empty bed one Saturday morning? Off to the tip it seems. Cool – he’s tidying up the last few bits of rubbish – that’s good. Oh wait, there he goes again – another car load full… and another… (where is all this stuff coming from!?!)
Rubbish finally removed. Office shedquarters complete. Surely now we can have a weekend to ourselves… Nope, there he goes, off into the garage… I hear him clattering around for days. Building shelving, packing, stacking and repacking boxes. Ta-da… one well organised, military precision garage.
Daddies need rest too…
Now don’t get me wrong. I am far from complaining. Bring on this new found cleaning machine – I would say… but at the same time I worry about him. So yeh it’s me that has to go through the labour – but Andrew has to be there by my side at the same time. It’s going to be physically and emotionally draining on him too… so he needs to rest and relax as much as I do.
When I broached the subject with Andrew, turns out he’s just trying to make sure that all the niggling little jobs that have been hanging over us since we moved in, are all taken care of before our new arrival. He wants to make sure he has as much time as possible to spend bonding with ourbaby and developing our new relationship as a family.
So was he nesting?
I say yes… but not in the same way as me…
My need to clean, primp, spritz and polish has all been about getting our home into a comfortable, welcome environment to bring our baby into. For me it’s all been about creating the perfect space to start off family life.
For Andrew, his focus has been time. He’s taken care of all the little things that would chip away at us, so that he (and we) can all focus on spending quality, undisturbed time together.
Seems like the perfect combination to me. In preparing our little nest together we now have the perfect space and time that we need to connect. Now all we need is her…
Did your man get any nesting instincts on the run up to your birth? Do you think Andrew was nesting, or perhaps just a distraction from the reality of things? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, or join us on Twitter @LoveinMindBlog.