I feel like I need to preface this post with an apology. None of you moms knew this (or worse, maybe you did!), but I judged you for something. Hard. No, it wasn’t how messy your house was. Or your birthing plan. Or how you ate/drank/dressed/lived during pregnancy. It was how much energy you put into getting ready for your baby.
When my friends and siblings had kids, there was this specific point of pregnancy where they would slip into this vortex of conversation about bottles, bassinets, baby-safe cleaners, and breast pumps. And I was like, “Omgggg why do you guys make this so complicated?” Then they would spend hours picking out rugs and outfits to bring their babies home in and then they would purge their house of everything and set up entire rooms for this 6-ish pound (PLEASE BE 6 POUNDS) creature.
And everyone chalks this up to a very general term: nesting. And I was like, whatever. I would never be like that. I will buy everything used and very cheap and just get whatever. I assumed this focus was a product of consumerism. My mom friends had simply allowed Facebook ads and Pinterest lists to get the best of them and convinced themselves they needed things they didn’t.
I could not have been more wrong. I’m so, so sorry.
In my defense, I’ve never heard or read anything explaining what nesting actually is or feels like. I still haven’t. But now that I’m sitting here right in the middle of it, I’ve had a lightbulb moment. I will not speak for every pregnant woman ever, but I will speak for myself:
Nesting is not a need to purchase all the baby shit and clean or even a desire to do so. It’s the point in pregnancy where you stop trusting your thoughts and emotions. You literally say to yourself, “Oh, my brain is broken and my emotions are certainly untrustworthy, therefore I do not get to make big decisions anymore.” You remove from yourself the responsibility of vital decision making. So you are just as smart and intelligent and wonderful as ever, but you simply don’t trust yourself.
And your brain is left with all this juice and power that it doesn’t know what to do with. So you find yourself thinking, “You know what I do trust myself with? Picking out a handheld dust buster. Surely there is no harm in that.” And 15 hours later you’ve spent close to $1,000 on Amazon for cleaning supplies and organic crib sheets and an ethically made diaper bag.
You probably don’t even want that stuff. But it felt good for your brain to do some researches and make decisions.
You know what else nesting is? Nesting = control. Because guess what? From the very second this little alien starts to grow inside you, you control NOTHING. From gender to temperament to health to arrival time, you literally have no say.
So you clean your house. You buy everything you can afford to make your life easier for the baby whom you have not met. You talk to all the other pregnant women incessantly about which classes they are taking at the hospital and how much they are exercising and also did they maybe eat an entire box of Fruity Dynobites today too? And then you ask all your mom friends about which kind of baby carrier they like the best and if you need this stroller/car seat/bottle drying rack. You know that bottle drying racks exist now; this piece of information is taking up brain space. Isn’t this fun? DOESN’T ALL OF THIS SOUND FUN?
Once more, I would like to say: I’m sorry. To all of the mothers in my life who began this journey before me. I didn’t realize what was actually happening to you and your brain and I give you permission to preemptively judge me for all the mistakes I’m about to make. I would also like to thank you all for answering my questions and listening to me talk about all of this for hours and hours. My brain is broken. I trust myself with nothing besides these topic. Forgive me, love me, thank you.