5 Tips to Manage Stress
Pregnancy – planned or unplanned – is a roller coaster of joy and stress. Planned pregnancies often have the advantage of predictability. If a couple is explicitly trying to have a baby, they have most likely had conversations regarding the logistics of having a baby. How long do we want to wait to have children? Who will take on responsibilities at home? Where will home be? If your pregnancy is unplanned, these questions can be more challenging to answer – especially if you are in a period of transition.
Whether you are in the process of moving, living in a temporary home, or between jobs, transition can feel nerve-wracking and unstable. If you are like me, pregnancy brought on waves of emotions. Between moving states, experiencing job changes, and having a baby on the way, stability felt like a myth. The most challenging part of it all was wanting to prepare, but lacking the resources.
The compulsory need to prep your home for your child is called nesting, and it is extremely common for expecting moms to experience. According to BabyCenter, approximately 73 percent of moms experience the nesting urge during pregnancy. It manifests in a variety of ways: a sudden need to organize the entire house, decorate the nursery to perfection, or simply fold baby clothes.
The common thread in nesting is building a home for your baby. However, not every mother-to-be has a stable home. So what do you do when you need to nest, but can’t? This is a guide for coping with the stress of nesting while in transition for expecting moms.
My family ran into three issues while nesting. First, we had no space to keep our supplies. Second, we had a tight budget. Third, even if we got the supplies, they had to stay boxed up for our upcoming move. I found these five coping mechanisms crucial to my sanity:
#1: Design Your Nursery Virtually
Creating a “mood board” is my go-to starting point when taking on a new project. Creating a Pinterest page, a dedicated Instagram, or using design apps to virtually create a space can be a therapeutic way to cope. Not only will you get your creative juices flowing, but creating a mood board helps you develop a design strategy.
With the over-saturated market of baby decor, designing online can feel a little overwhelming. When you design your mood board, be sure to include some aspirational nurseries from your favorite designers. Then, when you have a general style picked out, move on to the specific items you will need to bring your dream nursery to life. Picking out specific items online allows you to spend time shopping for the best deals (another great way to distract from your nesting stress)!
#2: Avoid Window Shopping
Patience is key, but it will feel like torture. It is so difficult to refrain from buying every onesie and binkie and bootie (especially when they are SO cute and SO small). Window shopping is a fast track to impulse purchases. Avoid casual trips around the mall, you might just save yourself a mountain of baby gear and buyer’s remorse.
If you absolutely must take a trip to OshKosh B’gosh, go in with a plan. Make a list of the items you need and the items you want. Identify what you can reasonably buy, store, and later transport to your new home. Allot yourself a specific allowance per shopping trip to avoid overspending. Simply having a few small items may bring you a sense of comfort when stressing over prep.
#3: Utilize Buying Guides to Shop Online
When you bring your baby home for the first time, the last thing you will want to do is shop and clean. There are a plethora of online guides that will help you prepare your home and buy with confidence. These guides can offer you advice on what to buy and when to get the best deals.
However, stocking up on the essentials might not be an option if you have nowhere to keep them. What you can do is buy in advance and schedule a delivery date. That way, wherever you are when you get the chance to settle in, you will have your supplies shipped right to your doorstep.
#4: Baby Proof What You Can
Your baby will be in every room of your home, which means every room in your home needs to be ready. If you are in the process of moving, your nursery plans may be on hold. Focus your nesting energy on the rooms you can control.
For example: your bedroom. If you plan to cuddle up with your bundle of joy, you should consider buying a new mattress. Did you know that the average person sweats out a half a pint of perspiration every night? This dark, damp environment is optimal for dust mites and bacteria to thrive. Foreign bacteria poses a major risk to your child’s immature immune system, particularly in the first few weeks of life. Here is a helpful guide that can determine what beds are made with organic materials, minimize motion transfer, and most importantly, give you the rest you deserve.
#5: Craft Special Decor
Crafting special decorations for your nursery is a great way to channel your energy toward items you and your child will cherish for a lifetime. Crafting will take much longer than a one-click purchase and will add a “from mommy with love” flair. You could consider writing letters to your baby, creating a mobile, or sewing his or her first blanket.
Crafting stores like Michaels offer crafting lessons, supplies included, if you don’t have access to the materials you need at home. Just be sure you are using baby-safe supplies that keep your ventilation clear.
Nesting while in transition is tough. You as a mother only want the best for your baby. That includes giving your child a safe, happy, stable home to grow up in. With these tips in mind, and a little ingenuity, you can overcome this stress and build a loving home.