Does a mother of three expecting her fourth child bother with nesting? Does she have any control over it?
Naturally, I expected that for this fourth and final baby's arrival, my nesting phase would consist of ordering my big kids to clean their room, and something a step above the usual evening cleanup. The kind of clean you do when you're expecting dinner guests, but not quite weekend guests: House tidy, floors vacuumed and mopped. Bathrooms clean. No basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded. You know, a more ordinary clean. Something manageable for a working mother of three, plus a birthday cake to be made at the last moment, and maybe something nourishing like a pot of sancocho de cola waiting to be warmed up for my postpartum recovery meal. Not so.
This pregnancy has come with a highly critical, dirt-and-disorder finding eye. At 37 weeks, my to-do list consists of what can only be called "renovations", in addition to the more predictable cleaning, sorting, purging, and labelling. I haven't even thought about extra cooking for the freezer yet. It's like the knowledge that life is about to reach new and extreme levels of chaos has pushed me into an order-seeking frenzy that will not be quelled.
I've already applied fresh grout and caulking to my upstairs bathroom, replaced the window blind, and painted to the door and trim, which has only highlighted for me how badly I want to repaint the hall. I have also become mildly obsessed with re-grouting the front and back entrance tiles and the powder room, now that I've seen what fresh grout does for the look of your tile. (Apologies if I've just added something to your own list).
The rugs and ducts are getting professionally cleaned tomorrow. I attacked the workshop and storage areas in the basement last week, and now it only needs two more bins and for Josh to get the "donate pile" off to the appropriate charity. (Yes, I wake up thinking about that pile, and must resist waking him to tell him I need it gone, like, now.)
My list is endless. How will I ever relax enough to go into labour? I may have to go to 42 weeks just to complete it. My sister's old car sits dead in my garage, awaiting her yay or nay for donation to kidney research. (That one may not happen in time.) There are countless walls and trims needing paint touch ups, and the bedroom doors, I've decided, need a full repainting. Two book cases are on order to accommodate our ever-expanding collection (mostly attributable to my tween daughter who hates e-books), and I NEED Josh to get the trampoline disassembled and put away for the season. (How can we welcome a new baby with a trampoline in our backyard in October?)
I'm getting lots done, yes, but each new improvement only serves to highlight chipped paint or disorder somewhere. How serious is this pregnancy-related side-effect? (Do I page my midwife about this?)
Even as I go along making my progress, I can see the madness of it, but I'm powerless to stop myself. Does this have an astrological explanation? Something to do with expecting a baby in a Rooster year? Is anyone else going through this?
I'll let you know how it ends, and if I end up going into labour with paint in my hair, and a roller in my hand. Please share your own nesting stories in the comments if you're in (or have been) the same boat!