Is anyone else guilty of rummaging through their garage in the midnight hour during the third trimester trying to find a hammer and nails? Just me? That's OK, I own it.
Nesting -- the longing to get your home in order before your baby comes -- is in fact real for many women. Sometimes, it's hard to resist the urge, but you don't want to stress yourself out or take on too much. Here are some tricks I've learned to keep some of your sanity during the pregnancy nesting phase.
1. Be realistic. There's a difference between trying to paint your baby's nursery and busting out the ladder to give your home's exterior a fresh coat. Some things just aren't gonna happen right now. Accept it.
2. Know your limits. Don't forget you have a bun baking in your oven. You're going to have certain limitations. Listen to your body and stop if it's telling you to.
3. Ask for help. There's certainly no reason for you to think you have to do everything yourself. You're pregnant!
4. Try to formulate a "to do" list. This is a working punch list of things you'd like to accomplish before the baby comes. Divide it up between "must-finish" and "okay-if-I-don't-get-to-it." Hopefully this will help you prioritize and stay focused.
5. Space out your endeavors. Nesting tends to hit women close to the finish line of their pregnancy, and that can mean chaos just before labor and delivery. Don't forget you have 40 weeks (give or take) to try to do the things you want. Pace yourself.
6. Plan to stop at least two weeks before your due date. The further along you are in your pregnancy, the more rest you're going to need before "D-Day." Stay off your feet when you can.
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7. Give your electronic devices a bedtime. No pinning past 10 p.m., unless you want to stay up until the next morning!
8. Have your partner hide the power tools. There's no reason to need a ladder, saw, and power drills every weekend.
9. Watch the chemicals and heavy lifting. It goes without saying, pregnant women can clean but need to stay away from harmful whiffs and from exerting themselves to pick up things.
10. Work in parts. Rather than trying to tackle everything in one day, split your tasks up into more manageable steps.
11. Consider a DIY party. There's nothing wrong with turning your nesting dreams into a celebration. Call up some friends and family to help you decorate the nursery and hang out.
12. Stop pressuring yourself. You have enough stress to deal with; don't be the one to inflict more.
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13. Stop trying to be Nate Berkus. Honey, it's OK if your nursery isn't magazine ready. Stop rearranging the furniture and give yourself a break for not springing for that fancy designer glider.
14. Establish a daily quitting time. Unless you want to do "this will only take a minute" activities for the rest of the night, make a point to cease all nesting projects by a certain time.
15. Go with your gut. Second-guessing yourself will only lead to time-consuming and costly (re)purchases.
16. Take breaks. Hey, everyone needs a snack. Especially you and baby.
17. Stop adding tasks because you feel you have energy. The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out before you have to deliver a baby -- that's a ton of work right there!
18. Realize there's still time. Your life doesn't end after you have the baby. Yeah, it might be harder to find the time after this new person enters the scene, but it's still possible to hang a mobile and scrub a toilet.
Did you experience the urge to nest? What was it like?
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