Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nesting Your Life

In between my mad flurry of painting and staining and sewing this week, I have had some time to reflect more on the idea that as women we start preparing our nests for children a lot sooner than when they actually arrive.  In the traditional sense, this may not seem to be the case.  I mean, you can walk through my home and notice the conspicuous absence of anything related to children.  My electrical sockets are exposed, my spare bedroom has a bed (with a fabulous newly refinished headboard, I might add), instead of a crib, and you can find a plethora of poisons under my kitchen sink.  The absence of kid things, though, doesn't mean that I haven't been creating space for them in my life.

It is true, in fact, that I have been consciously making decisions in their favor for years.  Like when my husband and I first got married and decided to limit our lifestyle and budget to one income in case I wanted to stay home with them down the road.  Or when we worked hard for five years to pay off extraneous debt that we were carrying so that we would be more financially prepared to raise a family.  Even my decision to use contraception early in our marriage was a choice I made with my kids in mind, because I didn't want to bring them into our relationship when we were still getting used to it (Yes--I think postponing pregnancy can actually be a form of preparing for kids down the road, as backwards as that logic may seem.).  

I know I'm not alone in the planning.  As women, many of us start "nesting with our life" (aka making decisions with our future children in the back of our minds) from very young ages.  We ask "will this man make a good father someday?" or "will this career support me in motherhood in the future?" or "will my weight/health help or hurt me when I want to get pregnant down the road?"  We may not consciously assign these questions to "nesting" at the time, but that is exactly what they are.

My point with all of this is to say that our relationship with the process of becoming mothers doesn't begin with a positive pregnancy test, but much sooner.  And it should start sooner. Being intentional about the choices we make in favor of our children (even if we're twenty and still in college, and our kids are not even a twinkle in our eyes yet) only helps us.

So nest on with your life, ladies!

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