Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nesting dos & don'ts

I'm not an expert and I can't even pretend to be one over the internet but I have some thoughts on nesting.  In the first trimester of my pregnancy I was so ridiculously tired that I can't say the feeling ever hit me.  Not even in a dream.  It was more in the second trimester and carried through the third.  I attacked things like our hall closet and overflowing tupperware.  Nesting can make you incredibly productive but also wear you out.  So for anyone preparing for a little one and cleaning behind the refrigerator, here's some of my thoughts on dos and don'ts. Naturally Mackenzie took notes for us.      
<do make a list> Or as my mom likes to say, make a plan and work the plan.  Decide what chores you need to attack today and what can wait for another day.  Yes, some things can wait.  By making a list, you're attacking what you need to and then hopefully resting when it is complete (or in my case, eating).  Additionally, I became a serious fan of list making when my brain couldn't keep track of everything.  I highly recommend writing things down to avoid/reduce mommy brain.  

<do take breaks> My process has often been to clean something, sit down, get up to clean something else.  Of course this works when you have an afternoon to do laundry, vacuum, clean the kitchen counters, dust and cook.  If time allows, do a chore and then take a quick break.  Even sitting down for two minutes before moving on to the vacuum will give your feet and back just a little needed rest.  And if you can't take breaks, shorten the amount of time you're cleaning.  

<do set a time limit> One night I cleaned for about three hours.  I vacuumed, scrubbed, and organized.  My mom would have been impressed and maybe you too.  But I also killed my back that night to the point where I had a hard time getting in and out of bed.  I honestly started to think that chamber pots should come back in style just to avoid all the movement it required for me to get to the bathroom that night.  So, chamber pots aside, if you set a time limit and take breaks, you'll hopefully avoid wearing yourself out all at once.   

<don't worry about everything> You and your family can survive some dust bunnies or dirty dishes that spend a night in the sink.  Think about it as practice for when the baby comes and you can't/won't spend another minute cleaning something.    

<don't use smelly cleaning products> Although I do the majority of the cleaning in our place, Alan is responsible for the space that requires the smelliest of cleaning products: the bathroom.  Despite my nesting instincts, this allocation of chores has not changed during the pregnancy.  He still handles the purple sponge and bleach to clean the bathroom and I get to use it 100 times a week. 

<don't do it all yourself> I love my husband but he is never going to come home and dust.  But if I ask him for help on a specific task and tell him when I want it completed, he will help.  I specify when I want it completed because I've found that most of us like to procrastinate.  Rather than give Alan the room to procrastinate, I specify the timeline for whatever the task is.  This prevents an argument and gives me some help on my to-do list. 

Nesting is a wonderful thing.  When I'm not completely exhausted, nesting has helped me be very productive at home and tackle tasks that otherwise would have gone to the wayside.  My only point here is that help is a good thing and too much nesting can be a bad thing if it's not in some moderation.     

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