Nesting is not a new concept by any means. There is something that turns on inside of a woman once the pregnancy really sets in. It takes her over like a whirlwind and all of the sudden…everything in the house has to change! There is a baby on the way…we have to be ready!
I believe it is nature’s way of making sure there is a bed for the newborn. Without it…we would probably just lay him on the counter.
Nesting From The To Be Dad’s Perspective
While nesting within women is well documented, what is talked about far less is what happens in the mind of the dad as he gets ready to be responsible for another human being. As men, we are wired to provide. The hunt and gather instinct is still alive and kicking even if we are not grabbing the nearest sharp stick ready to stab a big buffalo.
At least for me…the instinct to provide and the need to make sure the heavy lifting is done before the baby was born kicked in as soon as my wife “popped” (sorry babe…I know you hate that term!). Once she was really showing, the pregnancy suddenly became real and my list of things to do increased dramatically.
In a first natural reaction, I started thinking about how the hell we are going to afford to care for another human for the next 18 years?! This isn’t one of our two dogs that just needs 2 cups of food twice a day. This baby is going to need diapers, clothes, schooling, college, a car, his own room…and the list goes on and on. We are used to providing for ourselves, but now we are taking on a very expensive addition!
Luckily, other than the diapers and immediate needs, we will take on each event as it comes and try to plan for the future (ie: an early start on the college fund that will probably cost 500 grand by the time he is 18 with the way tuition is heading). But…the thoughts that are running through my head as my wife gets ready for being a mom is what my plan is for income production over the next 18 to 22 years. Are my career goals in place? Do I have a plan if something happens?
As the man, a lot of that responsibility weighs on my shoulders as the mom needs to be able to focus on being a mom for the first years of our son’s life. Is she going to work through the process? Absolutely…she would go crazy if she didn’t, but the reality is that I need to have my plan in place regardless of that.
After the shock subsides, I started looking around the house thinking about what needed to happen before the baby was born. We had a room…but it was not ready. So I used the colors my wife picked out and painted/fixed the room so it was ready for furniture. My wife ordered the baby’s furniture and it got delivered. That day…I assembled it (with the help of the dogs of course) and made it ready for decoration.
The way I see it…I am putting the structure in place…my wife will make it home. Heavy lifting…check. Decorations…I wouldn’t know where to start…
Ironically, I also started thinking about what needed to be done to the house that required a lot of construction. The last thing I was going to want is a lot of loud noises during the first 6 months of my son’s life, so if we were going to do anything, it needed to be now.
For awhile now, we had planned and saved to redo the kitchen my wife has hated since we moved in and the backyard. Last month, we found a great father/son company to redo the backyard and next month we are biting the bullet on the kitchen. Whoever thought white on white was a good idea for kitchens should be shot.
Some of these things are coming a little bit earlier than we had planned, but they were going to be next to impossible with a baby in the house…so now was the time to do it.
Life Restructuring Nesting
Like it or not…life is about to change drastically. It will be a great thing and we are extremely excited about it, but there needs to be plans in place in an effort to maintain sanity through the process for both myself and my wife. We are both planners (slightly obsessive about it), so we started talking about our needs and how those needed to be incorporated into life with the baby.
I firmly believe that a baby should not be your life. It is just my opinion and others might disagree, but there is life outside of the house…and without it we will go insane. The beginning weeks of a child’s life are extremely intensive from what we have we and experienced with friends and family. Without experiencing it first hand, I am not going to even pretend to know what it is like, but there is one thing I do know…I do not want that intensity and 24/7 need to parent to take away from who my wife is as a person. I married a wonderful woman and I do not want that to change.
Lately, my wife and I have been talking about what we are going to do when the baby is born. While I completely realize that plans change and adapt once you are in a given situation, we are planning on having small blocks of alone time or time with friends for each other during the beginning stages of parenthood. Even if it is just 30 minutes for lunch with a friend or an hour for me to ride out of the driveway on the bike, we need to be able to decompress to insure our own mental health.
This will be a change from being able to do what we want when we want…but I feel it is necessary throughout the process. I do not want us to feel like we are prisoners in our own house. That will not be good for either of us. So we have a plan! Now we’ll see how that plan plays out come October.
See…We Do Nest In Some Form
If you would have told me I would be having these thoughts today a year ago…I probably would have laughed. If you told me dad’s nested…I probably would have laughed even harder.
But the reality is that we have as much of a role as the mother in this…and it is a partnership. So we have to do our part in making sure the house and our minds are ready for this new addition that is on its way and ready to change everything that we consider reality at this point in time.
It is exciting and stressful at the same time, but we are looking forward to it.