It's the kind of thing that keeps you up at night. It gets your blood pumping and your mind whirring. It drives you to distraction. It makes you fidget, fuss, and down right squirm.
Yes, it is the instinct to nest.
I've never felt like this instinct was adequately explained. It always feels like something that is glossed over in books. Maybe no one thought it needed explanation, or maybe I got tired of those books long before the box inset on the instinct. I don't know. All I know is that I wasn't sufficiently prepared for the agitation I'm experiencing now.
Nesting appears to be associated mostly with arranging, organizing, and cleaning. It makes sense that such an instinct would be called "nesting," referring to the preparations so many birds and other animals make before their offspring arrive.
In my head I thought this organizing tendency would refer only to my living space. In reality, nesting means so much more.
As many of us know, there are limits to resources and money. This hampers the nesting instinct. Literally, I can't go out and spend a bagillion dollars on a nursery (ha!) or other gear because A) I don't have a bagillion dollars (you thought I was hiding it!) and B) I don't have the space and C) much of it is pointless!
So what is a nesting mommy to do?
Well first I was channeling this need into my professional life by researching job opportunities and literary magazines. Then it extended to writing and editting short stories. Unfortunately this is a bit like getting a cat to satisfy a baby bug - in short, a bandage that only works for a little while.
I have to wait to overhaul our apartment until we get our saw. I'd already purged some of my clothes and books. I still have to deal with shoes and I could rearrange our clothing to make it more usable/accessible. I will probably do that this week. When I'm particularly "nesty" I clean, which is something that always needs doing. All this helps, however I need something more baby oriented.
Yesterday I wandered around downtown Walnut Creek looking in the kid's sections, much to Christian's chagrin (and my limited satisfaction). The cute outfits and sweet toys just whet my appetite as opposed to helping tame it.
Thus, I went home and started contacting companies. I asked for samples and promotional materials. Some of them I expected would definitely have samples while others I expected would definitely not. Still it was a good way for me to get an idea of the companies out there and the ways they respond to customer inquiries.
So far I've gotten responses from several cloth diaper companies who, as expected, do not give samples. However their email responses were VERY thorough and helpful as to directing potential customers to tips, cheap ways to get started with cloth, and even some sites that do giveaways. Some were better in their emails than others, but overall I was fairly impressed.
Some companies no longer give samples because freebie sites (and stupid people) have capitalized and abused the companies' good will. This really bugged me and I realized many of the companies had probably altered their sample services because of such scum buckets. This effectively ruined it for the rest of us upstanding individuals who just genuinely wanted to give companies a chance to let their products speak for themselves.
I found the biggest companies like disposable diaper and formula producers require some kind of membership/registration in order to get any kind of sampling. Some of this involves giveaways and "contests" while other times it requires some kind of "viral" marketting ploy (I.e. "invite your friends" or "get a sample when a friend likes our page!"). The blatant attempts at astroturfing drive me bonkers, turning me - a potential customer - quite sour against the company.
Of course, I'm not the average customer. I expect many people are able to ignore (or are utterly oblivious to) such things.
Still, I haven't received responses from all the companies I contacted and I have yet to contact many retailers (and many other companies). Already the exercise has been illuminating, and has satisfied my nesting instinct without costing me more than an hour of my time. In fact, it worked so well, I slept THROUGH THE NIGHT for the first time in the second trimester!! That in itself was worth it.
As I get responses I'll report back my findings. I'm sure you'll find them illuminating, educating, and in some cases quite entertaining. The best responses I'll be sure to post directly here. To save companies from being inundated, I'm not going to broadcast specific companies that give out samples (should I actually find them) except for the obvious and common. I will however talk about what I receive (if anything).
I can't wait to see what happens!