‘I’m just going to baby wipe the bathroom, we have guests coming round’
In the latter days of pregnancy, I was all too familiar with the common, and often frenzied, ‘nesting’ instinct.
At 35 weeks pregnant, I managed to convince my husband to repaint every room in our flat because there was; “Absolutely no way I am bringing a baby home to these walls!”.
I rearranged all of the cupboards and ruthlessly threw away all of our unwanted junk. (Whether it was wanted by my husband or not).
I bleached, I vacuumed, I dusted, I mopped, and I steamed with meticulous detail. And then I did it all over again the very next day (whilst simultaneously stuffing French Fancies into my face, watching trash TV, and crying. I was the very definition of ‘heavily pregnant’).
I had always thought the nesting instinct was related to fluctuating hormones. Mother Natures’ way of saying; ‘Right mama bear, clean up for that little cub!’
But now, now I see the real reason.
It’s because in the weeks after bringing your baby home, your pristine living quarters are swiftly turned into dark, dusty, and down-right-disgusting, hovels.
At first, I didn’t see the dust. I saw the clutter. I tripped over the clutter. But that wasn’t an issue. I could see past that (metaphorically, not literally, it was bloody everywhere).
But then one day whilst pacing the hallway jigging Winnie to sleep, I walked into a cobweb. A cobweb. It was then that my eyes opened and this, mixed with my pregnancy hormones and the sheer terror of an unsuspecting spider lurking somewhere on my head, caused a mini meltdown to ensue.
I decided there and then that it was time to get back into a ‘routine’ with regards to the upkeep of our home.
It wasn’t acceptable to kick things under the bed to tidy up, it wasn’t acceptable to pick up the big bits of sock fluff and leave the little bits in the hope that they would go unnoticed, it wasn’t acceptable to light a candle to mask the musty smell of our bin, and it certainly wasn’t acceptable to baby wipe the bathroom and call it clean.
So, the very next day I sent Adam out with Winnie for an hour so I could get to work. I wrote lists, I made up a rota, and I even bought new cleaning products as motivation. (Because who doesn’t enjoy a new scented kitchen cleaner?)
I now try and tick off three tasks per week from my rota, and I treat myself with cookies after each success. Babies take up a lot of time and gone are my house proud days, that’s for sure. I see my nesting as one-last-hurrah in terms of keeping a good home. Now my aim is to keep a happy one.
Before we know it Winnie will be running around, Sharpie in hand, muddy wellies on foot, rubbing bolognese into the cream carpets. And you know what? I cannot wait.