Much like the duration and intensity of nausea, I seem to be compounding this nesting urge with each pregnancy. I remember cleaning with my first. I don’t remember scrubbing toilets barehanded for ages and giving myself painful chemical burns. I remember wanting to put away food in the freezer with my second. I don’t remember baking every single day and insisting on toddling repeatedly up the hill in my nine-month-greatness to pick a gallon of berries in each sitting. (One sitting, by the way, which involved squatting on a hornet’s nest, and then the obligatory screaming/flailing/swelling//losing half my berries fun.)
Sunday morning, as I was making my family late for church because I couldn’t stop scrubbing dishes, I realized that I writing-nest, too. I do this multiple times a year leading up to NaNoWriMo events.
It struck me as a little funny (picture me giggling to myself in a bathrobe, suds up to my elbows, and my husband giving me that look), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true. I’ve been stocking my cabinets and freezers with easy-prep foods so nobody starves while I: a) pop a baby or b) write a book. I’ve been cleaning like a crazy woman so that I can let the housework coast to its inevitable nightmare state before things recalibrate back toward functionality after: a) newborn stage or b) frantic drafting stage. I’ve been building up a buffer of blog posts so that I can concentrate on: a) baby or b) book. (A buffer which I’ve been loathe to tap into early, as witnessed by these increasingly rambling, pointless blog posts you’ve been getting lately. Like any good parent, I can console myself with the feeble hope that you’ll thank me later, haha.) I also have this very sad tendency to completely disconnect myself from my lovingly cultivated writing community (which, let’s face it, is the only community I have outside of church) and hunker down at home with my children and my ridiculously full freezers.
Lately, as a lot of my focus has shifted over from life-as-we-know-it to obsessively cleaning and cooking and refolding all the tiny, tiny clothes, I’ve felt like I’m losing it a little bit. Like I’ve checked my brains at the door and am now operating on million year old momming instincts and a burning need for yet another cinnamon roll. But I found this comparison to NaNo prep profoundly comforting.
I don’t draft out novels, or do NaNoWriMo, or any other writing venture, because my hormones compel me. I don’t do it because someone might die if I don’t. I don’t do it because I have to. I do it because I want to. Because I love it. Because it matters to me. Granted, my baby rests a little higher on the totem pole than my writing, but they’re both mine. They both fulfill me. They’re both a part of me.
At times like this, yes, maybe I’m a smidgeon crazier than usual. Yeah, having babies and writing books can take a toll on a smoothly-running household. But you know what? Nobody’s making me do either. I do them because I want to and I love to. So who cares if they make me a little weirder than your average bear? People put their hearts into what they love. Me? I love my family and my writing.
And that’s a good enough excuse for me to put away just ONE MORE pan of enchiladas. After all, my family will thank me later. Maybe.