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Nesting Already?

My second trimester feels so much better than my first. No nausea, fewer aches and pains, the end of the extreme exhaustion. However, those fabled "superpowers" have yet to kick in after 14 weeks. What has kicked in (already!!) seems to be my nesting instinct.

Before I got pregnant, writing was SO much more appealing to me than housework. I rationalized not doing laundry for two months straight so I could reach a writing goal. I let the dishes pile up until (gasp) the men in the house washed them. I admit, I was not always a very good part-time housewife. I wasn't terrible--it never got the the point of biohazard or small animals getting lost in piles of junk--but still, I'm no Martha Stewart. I had to push myself to sweep the floor, and I couldn't wait to sit down at my writing desk.

Now that my energy has returned, it's the reverse! When I sit down to write, I think to myself, "I could be wiping out the cupboards right now." Seriously, wiping the cupboards?? I have an impulse to do this. Also to straighten the sloppy pillows on the couches, do another load of laundry in the "new" (refurbished, but warrantied) washer/dryer set we recently purchased, and rearrange furniture. I even cut a bouquet of fresh roses for the bathroom. It's insanity.

Moms, did you experience (or are you experiencing) weird impulses during pregnancy that keep you from writing, even when you have the energy? Is this not going to be the perfect time to finish up my manuscript after all? Now, Mr. G points out that I am working on producing something more important than a book anyway. But still, I don't want to let all my grownup interests slip out of my life entirely as I enter parenthood. Did anyone out there write productively through pregnancy?


  1. I am the world's worst housekeeper, but during my pregnancy, I, too, was tempted to straighten and reorganize. It has to be biological.

    I think I started feeling like superwoman around week 16, so maybe that's still to come for you. :)

  2. Oh! Wanna come clean my house? I am a pretty bad housekeeper -- for the same reasons as you. I'd much rather be writing.

  3. Your dress is adorable. See? Maternity is cute. As for the nesting instinct... methinks I could use a dose of that myself. *swipes at dust on desk*

  4. I'm a terrible housekeeper. Even now, while I'm at home all the time, I still have totally lackluster cleaning policies.

    I didn't get really big on the nesting until the last month of my pregnancy. I once woke up at 3AM at 38 weeks to rearrange my living room and the computer cords.

    That said, I got so little writing done during my pregnancy. It was lame.

    Also, totally agree: adorable photo!

  5. I was on my 5-year hiatus when I was pregnant, so I don't know if I would have been able to write or not. Probably not. I even quit my job early I was so lazy and uncomfortable. I did get the nesting syndrome, though. It really was pure insanity, but I've heard it's normal, so no worries. :)

    Your life is about to change drastically, so that probably means your writing schedule and habits will have to squeeze in somewhere other than you're used to. Mine are always changing as my daughter's schedule changes. It's kind of crazy, but I've adapted.

    Good luck! And happy cleaning. :)

  6. I'm having a sympathy pregnancy, I see.

    I cleaned the kitchen today. You know my ass DOES NOT CLEAN THE KITCHEN ON A WHIM.

  7. Melissa: Wonderful. I eagerly await week 16.

    Meika: You are writing ABOUT a pregnant woman! Does your character get weird cleaning urges?

    KM: Thank you! For the first time ever, empire waist dresses look cute on me.

    Ashley: That is nuts! I'd better get my husband to help me rearrange the furniture sooner so I don't try moving heavy things right before labor. I've heard of so many pregnant women doing just that.

    Michelle: Ach, I wish I didn't have to work a day job. At least mine is slow during the summer. And it gets me out of the house. Did you take a 5-year break intentionally or is that just how it happened?

  8. Jeannie, my 5-year break happened after I graduated from college. I just couldn't write. That was right when I got married, too, so my life was just in upheaval with change. Hard for the Muse to stick around. :)

  9. You know? That didn't occur to me till I read this post! Good thing I'm still editing, huh?
    Btw, you're quite the adorable pregnant lady!

  10. I'm glad you're feeling better, and yes, even though I am not the world's best housekeeper, I did feel the compulsion to clean and rearrange and prepare for each of my kids. I think it really is hard-wired. :) And BTW, you look really cute pregnant.

  11. Soooo happy to hear that your 2nd trimester is better than the 1st!

    I'm sure it's all about finding the balance between instinct and your will. I have plans to cling as tightly as possible to my "grown-up interests" when I'm a parent. I know this will be harder than I think.

    I recently heard Louise Erdrich read a poem "Advice to Myself" (I love her tenacity in all aspects of life):

    "Advice to myself."

    Leave the dishes.
    Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
    and earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
    Leave the black crumbs at the bottom of the toaster.
    Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
    Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
    Don't even sew in a button.
    Let the wind have its way, then the earth
    that invades as dust and then the dead
    foaming up in gray rolls under the couch.
    Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
    Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzle
    or the doll's tiny shoes, don't worry
    who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
    matches, at all.
    Except one word to another. Or a thought.
    Pursue the authentic.
    Go after it with all your heart.
    Your heart, that place
    you don't even think of cleaning out.
    That closet stuffed with savage mementoes.
    Don't sort the paperclips from screws from saved baby teeth
    or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
    again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
    or weep over anything that breaks.
    Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
    in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
    and talk to the dead
    who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
    patiently on tops of food jars and books.
    Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
    except what destroys
    the insulation between yourself and your experience.

    She offers other words of wisdom in the interview.

  12. Esperanza: Whoa. You are freaking me out.

    Michelle: Ah, yeah, that time of life. I wasn't such a productive writer at the graduation/marriage time either. I hope I can keep it up with a child, but I know I'll have to be creative about finding the time!

    Meika and Sarajayne: Thank youuu! And I'm glad to know I'm not the only un-Martha out there. Haha.

    Molly: That poem is GREAT! Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors, but I've never read this. I'll check out the interview.

  13. I can't do a damn thing. Period. I told myself that I was going to write this weekend and it didn't happen (even though I had a good weekend). I cleaned like a MADWOMAN today. Threw out old paystubs, bills, old shit from my previous job...I was on a roll. ManLosch came by and said "Operation Get Ready For Baby, Part I." I'm going to struggle to find a balance I think. I wished I wouldn't.

  14. Hey, unsolicited advice....clean,organize,get everything ready.( wash the baby clothes, do as much as you can) After the baby comes you will have wierd midnight hours, sleep deprived time pockets, and a sedentary life style to write. For a few months at least while you HEAL ( it takes a while), nurse/feed, and just rest,that baby is going to TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE and you will do nothing but be in a hormone sleep deprived in- brand -new -love euphoric state( I wrote a lot during this time).
    The second trimester nesting is natures way of helping you, bc the end of the third trimester you will be zapped and huge. I hope this wasn't a downer, I just find that most of the time people don't prepare first time pregnant women for what they are in for. It is beautiful, amazing but HARD, and ALL consuming in a way that you can't imagine.
    BTW you look gorgeous!!!


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