How the Nesting Instinct Turned Me Into an Old Lady

ByAbigail Green
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image
Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

Everyone knows that lots of pregnant women experience the nesting instinct, right? The urge to cook, clean, or decorate the baby’s nursery that kicks in as she approaches her due date? Well, that’s not exactly how it happened with me.

Apparently my nesting instinct turned me into a senior citizen, because I found myself very pregnant and completely obsessed – for the first time in my life – with knitting, sewing, and scrap-booking.

I didn’t get very far with the knitting, despite my mother-in-law’s best efforts to teach me. The click-clack of the knitting needles was comforting, but I kept zoning out and forgetting what stitch I was on, resulting in all sort of knots and dropped stitches. I ended up with one very skinny scarf and something that could be a potholder… for a doll.

Sewing went a little better. My mother, a skilled quilter, would have loved to teach me but she lives in another state. So I stopped by a local fabric store and found someone to show me the ropes. Er, threads. Do you know who hangs around fabric stores during the day? Senior citizens.

Luckily for me this one lady, Irene, was willing to take a break from sewing her granddaughter’s princess costume to help me make a quilt for my baby. Three colors, three rows of squares — nothing fancy. I could tell Irene was disappointed I didn’t go for any embroidery or tufts or pleats or anything but truth be told, I found sewing kind of boring. I was happy to let Grandma take over.

Next, I moved on to scrap-booking. Or rather, designing my baby’s birth announcements. I’m more comfortable with paper and ink than yarn and fabric, anyway. So I set about gathering card stock and pastel ribbons and hole-punches shaped like baby footprints. Martha Stewart had nothing on me!

Related Video

I didn’t know my baby’s gender or name yet, so that put a slight damper on the project, but no matter. That didn’t stop me from designing a half-dozen different baby announcements with the name (and date and weight and photo) left blank. Then once the baby was born I could barely find the time to stamp the envelopes.

It’s a good thing my baby was finally born – 10 days late – or I don’t know what project I would’ve taken on next. Making elaborate Jell-O molds? Macramé? Shuffleboard? Whatever it was, I’m sure Irene and her friends could have taught me a thing or two.

Did you experience an out-of-control nesting instinct?

Style of the Week: Hilary Duff’s Baby Luca

Elena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer
Published
04/03/2012

JetBlue Kicks Family of Crying Toddler Off Plane

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/31/2015

Zika and Birth Defects: What Pregnant Women Need to Know

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/19/2016

The Age When Women Start Turning Into Their Mothers, According to Survey

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/19/2019

The Best (and Worst) Breastfeeding Moments of 2015

Jessica Shortall
Contributing Writer
Published
12/30/2015

Ryan Reynolds Explains Why Baby James's Name Was Kept a Secret

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
03/20/2015

Flight Attendants Celebrate Couple Flying Home With Newly Adopted Baby

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/14/2020