Nesting with an Empty Womb

© 2010 Neil Greenberg

I am being obsessive and maybe a little crazy.

There is this uncontrollable urge in me to clean and purge. I started to worry, but then I found a great article in Parenting Weekly to assuage my fears. I discovered this obsession is completely natural. Here’s a quote explaining what is happening to me right now:

“Females of the animal kingdom are all equipped with this same need. It is a primal instinct. Just as you see birds making their nests, mothers-to-be do exactly the same thing. The act of nesting puts you in control and gives a sense of accomplishment toward birth.”

Except I am not pregnant.

So maybe I am crazy.

Actually, I don’t think I am crazy. I just think this is the natural process for someone approaching the end of a marriage. The divorce is almost final and I have this need to get everything in order before we finalize. It might seem odd, but if you have been divorced, you are probably shaking your head with a knowing smile on your face.

Yes, it is time to clean house. I will be treading water for awhile longer, but I find there is so much to do while I wait for the end of this long, emotionally-painful process.¬†Yesterday involved a trip to Salvation Army with furniture and 6 large trash bags full of items to donate. Last week I organized the safe (yeah, that is on the top of everyone’s list of things to do, right?). The file cabinet has been reorganized, files re-labeled, and papers purged. Tons of books are being donated to the library this week. And, I am happy to report the large garbage bin is full each day we have trash pick-up.

An article in Associated Content stated:

“It is a primal instinct but many pregnant women may look a little crazy when they get swept up in the syndrome.”

Notice the quote states “look” a little crazy. It does not state these women are, in fact, crazy. Since I believe this is quite normal, I am embracing it. And laughing about it. And, loving lists as I do, I made one as a quick reference for others who might think they are crazy, but are simply getting a divorce.

Ten Signs your Divorce is Almost Final:

  1. You have a panic attack when your label maker runs out of tape.
  2. Salvation Army workers know you by name.
  3. Staples has replaced Target as your favorite store.
  4. Soon-to-be-Ex is getting weekly deliveries of things he/she didn’t want, but were left in the marital home.
  5. Kids start hiding things for fear mommy will throw it out.
  6. Monthly expense on cleaning supplies increases significantly.
  7. Children won’t make eye contact for fear they will be asked to help organize.
  8. Child states while handing you something, “Mommy, I am not sure where this goes anymore.”
  9. Ebay replaces Facebook as your favorite site.
  10. You are too busy cleaning to cry.

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