The Nesting Instinct

While living with their pregnant partners, many fathers-to-be have observed what can only be described as “the nesting instinct.” Often women focus intently on their surroundings and feel a strong need to fix up their home or apartment to get it ready for the baby. Sometimes this feeling can make Mom frustrated with her current abode. If she lives in an apartment, she may want to look into buying a house. If she already lives in a house, she may want to get into a bigger one.

These nesting urges on the part of your partner, while common among pregnant women, may feel like another degree of pressure squeezing in on you. If she suddenly starts talking about moving to a bigger place, this represents an obvious financial challenge. With her about to leave her job for an indefinite time due to the pregnancy, the burden of paying an increased rent or mortgage will likely fall largely on your shoulders, at least in the beginning. You may not be ready for a change of this magnitude, and you need to tell her that.

Your partner's nesting feelings may crop up in other ways as well. She probably does not want to go out very much at night or even on the weekends. This is partly because she is tired and perhaps uncomfortable in her body, but it's also because she wants to stay home, where she feels more comfortable. This tendency will only get stronger the closer she gets to her due date.

Men don't talk about it much, but many of them have nesting feelings too. The instinct is not nearly as strong as their partner's, perhaps, but many fathers-to-be also feel a pull toward home during the final months of pregnancy. To some degree, this is due to the needs of the mother, who wants the father-to-be close by and able to respond if something happens. This is a time when many men cancel or postpone work-related trips that may take them far from home.

These nesting feelings serve a valuable purpose. They motivate both you and your partner to get your home in order. You do not have to move into a mansion or build a new wing on the house because you are having a baby. But a few simple things need to be taken care of and once they are, you and your partner will feel more at ease.

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