Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Father's Guide to Nesting

My wife and I are expecting our second little boy any day now.  I'm pretty excited!  Two little dudes to share my manly knowledge with, what more could a dad ask for!  With this anticipation comes my excitement but also some very strange behaviors on the part of my wife.  For those of you who have not yet had the experience of becoming a parent, this time for your partner is referred to as the "nesting period."  meaning that suddenly your wife becomes very hyper focused on making sure everything is ready for the baby like a mother bird preparing a nest.

We recently remodeled our basement which is where the baby's room will be.  Since it is downstairs, and that is a long way to walk in the middle of the night, the baby will be spending the first few months in our bedroom in a cradle.  So I have not felt a huge rush to get the baby's room painted and put together.  I figure I have a couple of months.  Well in the world of nesting mothers to be, this is not an appropriate assumption.  I have learned quickly that this bedroom needs to be completed by the time the baby arrives.  Many might say that having the baby's room ready is a rational expectation of my wife, but this nesting goes far beyond this.  Everything must be clean and organized.  I've been pretty busy at work during this pregnancy so my wife has been amazing and has not made many cleaning requests from me even though I know this is difficult for her.  However, during her last pregnancy she would ask me to do very random chores that suddenly became a major priority.  During the last pregnancy one day she informed me that the fireplace needed to be cleaned  this had never before been requested but suddenly it was something that "needed" to be done.  Another time as I was crawling into bed at 10 or 11 my wife asked if I would help her clean out the bedroom closet.  "sure" I responded  and then she stood there waiting for something.  Then I realized she meant NOW!  I was very confused as to what was going on.   Now remember that my wife is 8-9 months pregnant and not really in a place to be lifting boxes, so this "we should clean the closet" is actually a "you should clean the closet and I will direct you."
In addition to the cleaning and organizing there is a financial strain that can occur during this time that you should be prepared for.  IT doesn't matter if this is the first or tenth child, there will be a some sort of money needed.  We have one little boy who was born about the same time of year as this one will be.  So we have all the clothes and baby equipment that we should need for this new one.  Once again I was mistaken.  This new baby needs some new things as well.  I guess all the old stuff won't work.  What would the poor baby think if we just gave him all the hand me downs.  This doesn't mean all things are new but he does "need" some new things of his own.

Now, I know it sounds as though I am complaining but honestly it is very cute to see my wife get herself all worked up trying to make things nice for our son.  the truth is that I'm glad she is doing it so I don't have to.  I am happy to help her and to be honest I am just as excited as she is.  We guys show it a little differently but we need to realize that this is our partners way of showing her excitement and we need to be understanding of that. 


  1. I like this post a lot, Danny. But why are you writing and not painting the baby's room?? Happy New Baby and love from Melanie ;-D

  2. Melanie,
    I would have been painting but I was at work and a client didn't show up so I had an hour with nothing to do so I wrote. Thanks for the well wishes!

  3. Great post Danny. I remember coming home from work one day when Suzie was 8 months pregnant and she was out staining the deck...because obviously this baby couldn't live in a home with a weathered deck attached. Best of luck to you two!

  4. Yesterday (with the help of my wife, her brother and his wife) We painted 3 rooms, set up the baby's room, put in two light fixtures, painted Jude's new bed so we can steal the crib for the baby, spent 3 hours at IKEA looking for a new bed and spending a fortune on who knows what, and made 4 trips to the hardware store, all in preparation for the baby. Man nesting is exhausting!