Nesting Isn't Just for the Birds | Seventh Generation
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Nesting Isn't Just for the Birds

Author: mjb

Robin's NestIn the early part of my pregnancy, a bird made her nest on the upper frame of our nursery's window. Our home's orientation allowed me to watch the whole process, from supply missions to incubation to the much-anticipated hatching. The mother bird noticed my interest and we locked eyes on numerous occasions as she tended to her four newborns. I could tell she was in a fragile state. Her nest was solid but its foundation was weak, teetering on the one-inch window frame for months.

Then one day I noticed it was messy and abandoned; I pray they all took flight. I will never forget having the good fortune to watch a bird nest being built and lived in above my little one's nursery. It was an incredible gift and reminded me how delicate pregnancy and motherhood is. It also triggered my own primal instincts to nest.

I am now in my 30th week of pregnancy and my urge to clean and organize has kicked into high gear. Never has our house been so sparkling clean. And I mean really clean. Pull-the-furniture-out-scrape-the-gutters-clean. I find great satisfaction in scrubbing and prepping for my little one. Windows, vents, floors, laundry, you name it...I'm on it.

Our baby is due in November and I know we will be spending a lot of time indoors this winter. I'm thankful for non-toxic cleaning options like Seventh Generation that will allow me to fluff my feathers, sigh, and get to really know my new family member. I'm not that naïve, though. With a newborn around I'm sure my nest will be torn apart in no time, but for now I will enjoy the clean slate.

Anyone else turn into a crazy cleaning machine while pregnant?

photo: pleasantpointinn


Weatherlight picture
This post isn't about the ethics of breeding, but I believe this applies to wanting better for others than we're motivated to get for ourselves in general, and preparing a better environment in anticipation of welcoming a new, helpless, fragile, dependent member of the family in particular. It's not restricted to breeding. I remember as a child, my mother insisted on getting things extra clean before guests came over. This may well have been mostly a social status, impress-the-company type of thing in most cases, but when her very close friends were staying, I think she really wanted them to be comfortable and happy there. I went through that when adopting the furkids. Sometimes there was weeks or months of preparation while waiting for the right one. Once my partner fell in love with a cat at the shelter we volunteered at and had 24 hours to get a litterbox, bowls, etc before bringing her home. Puppy-proofing, cat-proofing, cavy-proofing the areas they seemed most likely to get into trouble, lifting wires and cables, putting away any cleaners, making sure there's nothing breakable or swallowable on the floor and vacuuming all over--remembering to not miss the corners and along the walls, scrubbing things I'd ignored for months, rearranging preexisting furniture and blocking access to dangerous areas where a curious cat might jump in and get stuck. Researching, reading, talking to knowledgeable people to avoid major and preventable mistakes. Setting out all the newcomer's furniture, crates, towels, grids, hideys, beds, and whatnot. Thinking about where to leave chew toys, balls, food bowls, litterboxes, scratching post/board, etc. Keeping interactive toys in a safe place for later use. Picking out which types of litter, food, treats, toothpaste, etc to use. Filling the water bowls/bottles on The Big Day. Even once the novelty wears off, I think the tendency is to maintain a standard above what one would otherwise stick to. You might not vacuum the house five times a day for life, but still twice as often as if you lived alone, you know? It's also exciting every time one gets something new to enhance quality of life. Saving up enough to buy that multi-filter air purifier for someone who developed allergies, or that oversized cat tree. Learning about clicker training and effective, fun, coercion-free, force-free, aversive-free communication and discipline. Starting to cook all the cats' food. Making a garden of which the guinea pigs eat more of the harvest than the humans do--several types of romaine and looseleaf lettuces, many varieties of cilantro and bell pepper and tomato, parsley, a few leaf brassicas, a few varieties each of summer squash and cucumber, two types of green beans and two types of yard beans and two types of snap peas, kale, two varieties of chard, some strawberry varieties for both fruits and leaves, mitsuba, you get the idea--and having tons of fun doing it. Buying one's first house and basing the purchase decision based on proximity to small animal vets and exotics vets, size of the yard, enough bedrooms for the guinea pigs to have their own (away from the cats and large enough for them to run around in freely). Many of life's decisions are profoundly affected by having dependents. They can be more joyful, thoughtful, stressful, limited, difficult, frightening, loving, exciting, valuable. Everything from how often to clean the kitchen floor, to which city or town to settle down in--or whether you can spend that $12,000 on other things or medical fees, whether you can go out or have to nurse a sick little one at home. For many (responsible) people, incompatibility with their dependents is a dealbreaker for potential lifemates, institutions for higher education, new dependents, or careers. Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent! I just think dependents trigger a lot of great behaviors in us that wouldn't be there otherwise and as long as the behaviors don't turn bad, it's something to celebrate :D
bookworm81 picture
The last few weeks of my pregnancy were like that. The worst was about four days before I gave birth when I decided in the middle of the night I needed to wash the windows. So there I was at 2am standing outside in my pajamas washing the windows. For those who are wondering the middle of the night is a terrible time to wash windows since it's really hard to tell if they're really clean. I wound up having to go over them again later that day and the next day I started prodromal labor.
Bronie picture
I woke up a few days before my due date with mild contractions. I didn't do much in the morning but as the contractions progressed I went a mad cleaning spree of our bedroom. My husband kept trying to get me to take it easy but I absolutely had to get that room ready. By the evening it was the cleanest and most organized it had been in awhile and I was able to relax for a few hours before the contractions were all consuming. My daughter was born around 5am that morning :)