I originally posted this on

The obsessive, often impulsive, stage of maternity that brings about the uncontrollable urge to clean ones house beyond all necessary means, in preparation for a new baby.
While pregnant, I never entered this stage.
In fact, I was quite the opposite.
I still have visions of me laying exhausted on the couch, watching television, with a bowl of cereal propped up on my jumbo belly, wearing the same pajamas for 3 days in a row while surrounded by a pool of my own food wrappers and magazines.

I was about as far away from the “nesting” phase that one could get.
You see, when I was pregnant, the last thing I thought about was cleaning, or organizing or germs.
I was more concerned about surviving,
about getting through a meal without getting sick,
about sleeping through the night without an “episode”.
So, while others “nested”, I “rested”.

I finished my term,
delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy,
and gave myself a pat on the back for skipping out on this obviously crazy symptom of pregnancy.
I was off the hook, right?

We brought our little bundle of joy home,
and I knew there was going to be a problem when I used my shirt sleeve to open my own front door.

And it certainly didn’t stop there.
Rather than adhere to my “bed rest” orders,
I took it upon myself to repaint my husband’s home office,
clean the baseboards with a magic eraser,
shampoo my carpets,
buy all new rugs and towels,
replace all the cupboard shelf liners,
and bleach my walls {yes I’m serious}.

When it came to the baby
I was even worse.
I boiled and sanitized his bottles daily,
washed his clothes using only “special” baby detergent,
wouldn’t let him within 100 yards of a McDonalds play place,
and gave him a bath after every poopy diaper.

If you had so much as a sniffle,
or if I thought you might even appear to be getting sick,
I didn’t hesitate to tell you that you couldn’t hold my baby.
And if you were perfectly healthy,
I still made you apply a dollop of antibacterial gel all the way up to your elbows–twice.
Because that stuff says 99.9% effective,
and I wasn’t about to let my baby catch the .1% of your germs.
And while I never said it to your face,
the burning glare in my eyes was asking you to stop breathing directly onto my infant.

I was a real gem,
all in the name of protecting my new baby.

Eventually, my craziness subsided
and I was left in the wake of my own neurosis.
I couldn’t keep up the obsessive behavior forever,
and I certainly couldn’t protect my baby from all the worlds germs.
Especially considering I had a baby
who grew into a toddler
that eats dirt,
licks the slide at the park,
and chews on his own shoes.

As a new momma,
I would eventually learn to let some things go,
to give up some control,
and to take a deep breath.
Because the reality is,
a new momma’s protection is only 99.9% effective.
He’ll have to learn the other .1% on his own.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

Latest posts by Ashley Stock (see all)

Ashley Stock


  1. haha this is brilliant! i was so the same way with my son! now i have a daughter due in 9 weeks…and hoping i have pulled myself together since then!

  2. I think we all have these neuroses, even for ourselves (especially as cold and flu season approaches!) and you’re right, once we relax and accept that some germs are GOOD we are so much better off! Great post Ashley 🙂

  3. Totally true. You can’t help but protect your babies. Just want to keep them close forever.

  4. You know, I thought I would be an overly cautious mama, but my boy is a BOY and there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop him from being germy and grimey and gross. He crawls through dirt, puts the dog’s kibble in his mouth, rakes applesauce through his hair. I have wiped his snot away with my hand and thought nothing of it. Funny how we change, isn’t it? Loved this post. 🙂

  5. Love this post! 🙂 I was the same way with my first, my daughter… My second is a boy who is eating dirt at the ball park as we speak, and I am well…learning to embrace it. 🙂
    -Tina @

  6. well said. i totally get how you were feeling. i can say it is true, that the more kids you have the less sensitive you are to your germaphobia.

  7. Love the pictures at the beach! You guys are so cute

  8. Love.Love.Love. THIS! 🙂 Ours are 5 and 9 and I still carry Germ X in every bag, purse, car, lunchbox, backpack, etc. It is funny now because after we leave Target the kids ask ME if I have used the “hand stuff” 😉

  9. So true!!! I was super sick during both pregnancies son I totally understand!
    And my second baby eats dirt like it’s her job!! I once caught her using a bubble want as a spoon! Oh well at leas she’s getting minerals right???

  10. Ha!! I loved this. I can relate.

  11. I never nested either! My Mom came when I had Liam and got everything ready while we were at the hospital. Thank goodness!

  12. This is to cute 🙂

  13. love your honesty about motherhood. I totally appreciate you saying what I’m thinking….

  14. Ha ha! I totally relate to this post! I felt no need to nest, just rest while I was pregnant. And I also had the glare down with a little feeling of panic on the side if someone holding my baby breathed too hard on her. I would also freak out if anyone else tried to give her a kiss. Well that was four years ago and thankfully I have relaxed…some. =)

  15. such pretty pictures, friend.

    p.s. since i’m not a momma yet, i don’t know if i’ll be the nesting type…but i have a feeling i might be. 🙂

  16. Loved this post!!!

  17. Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. I was that way w/ all 3 of my pregnancies. Lounging around, gestating. My last pregnancy I was put on limited activity-which is mobile bed-rest, no cleaning, no exercising but able to move around-b/c of inexplicable pain. Cleaning and nesting was the last thing on my mind. I got cribs and carseats and some clothes w/ each but that was the extent of my nesting. The “bug” didn’t hit until about 3 weeks post-partum. I wasn’t as bad as what you describe but I wanted to scrub my entire apartment-all 3 times! Good to know I’m not the only one who went through belated nesting.

  19. Love this!!

  20. Our baby was born premature and I never got to “nest” while preggers bc I had her at 6.5 months. I am STILL nesting and she has now been home for 2 months. I am REDIC about germs! I just can’t help it bc I am SO nervous about her getting sick or catching something. Reading this makes me giggle bc I am this way RIGHT NOW and know that once she can crawl, walk, talk I won’t have control over these silly little things anymore…

  21. Christina says:

    LMM – I’m expecting my first child Thanksgiving Day (my ‘lil Turkey) and so much appreciated this!

  22. Danielle Krol says:

    I love this! Thank you for telling it like it is..And what’s up with chewing on your own shoes? My 16 month old does the same thing. She literally takes off one shoe and goes to town..Gross! but truly funny…

  23. Oh my gosh!! You are cracking me up!!!!! My fav, “I knew there was going to be a problem when I used my shirt sleeve to open my own front door.” PRICELESS!!! That is so so so funny!
    understandable-but funny!
    I have always been amazed at the nuts-o things new moms did so I was determined not to do them. I was very lax. Proud I was able to do it the way I wanted to : ) But I couldn’t stand the indecency of people who were sick, might be sick, might be slightly sick, etc that they would actually grab my child to hold! I wanted to deck em! If I even think I might have someone else’s germs on me I wouldn’t grab a child. Anyway-I digress. You crack me up and just gotta reiterate that, You rock! All 99.9% of your protectiveness : ) <3

  24. Take your time in doing and planning the kiss. Slowly but surely, create a passionate air between you two and share wholeheartedly.

  25. I just found out my best friend is pregnant. I am SOOO excited (and secretly hoping that she gets cleaning urges and comes over to MY house 🙂

  26. This is so funny I thought I was the only one who didn’t get the “nesting”/”clean like a crazy woman? instinct. I even felt pretty guilty over it for a while. And I am the same my baby is 7 months old and when people try to reach for her I feel like a football player running defense. I always grab her had as if I needed to hold it. In reality I was just blocking theirs LOL. I think it’s just a first time mama thing. I’m a first time mother also 🙂


  1. […] got a little crazy right after giving birth to Lil W. I pushed too hard. Tried to do too much. Didn’t let myself […]

Leave a Comment