How the Nesting Instinct Turned Me Into an Old Lady

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profile picture of Abigail Green
March 2, 2017
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Image: 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!

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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?

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