For reasons I’m still trying to figure out, my husband and I decided to join the Fixer Upper train and buy and renovate a brick ranch from 1961. The TV show makes it look so much easier than it really is! We didn’t go into this as newbies, but I think we were wearing slightly rose-tinted glasses when we signed all those mortgage papers. And instead of selling our current home? We decided to rent it out to get some extra cash flow. All good thoughts on paper and in our heads—but nothing ever happens that way in real life.
Did I mention that we had three kids ages 5 and under when this all began? Yup. We were pretty much stupid.
We gave ourselves five weeks to do the renovations. And get our current home ready to be a rental. And find tenants that met our criteria. Again, stupid.
I should also add that I’m homeschooling my two oldest kiddos (preschool and kindergarten), and I’m a stay-at-home mom who pays $0 for help with my responsibilities. That’s right. I’m a full-time teacher to two of my kids, a childcare worker to the remaining child, and I’m too cheap to hire help for any of my other responsibilities. You know—cooking, cleaning, paying bills, making important phone calls, chauffeuring my kids around, taking care of various appointments, laundry, errands, grocery shopping . . . the stuff all of us moms do every day.
Then add all the house stuff on top of that.
My husband, bless his soul, is doing nearly all the home renovations himself. Which means he’s either at work (the job that pays for all of this craziness that we’re subjecting ourselves to) or at the new house. We haven’t had a family dinner in three weeks. I love my kids, but holy goodness . . . when you’re with someone, anyone, for 12+ hours a day for three weeks straight you start to get just a teensy bit irritated with that person (or persons in my case).
And I really don’t like that I’m not able to do more hands on work with the renovation. In the past (aka before kids) The Hubs and I did DIY projects together. It was kinda our thing . . . how we spent time together. Now, I can’t help much because I come with three little kids who don’t understand that power tools = DANGER!
I’m currently potty training my two-year-old, and I swear she saves her poops for when I visit the new house. On more than one occasion, I’ve been wandering around in an empty bedroom holding up paint swatches. Then, I get a whiff of stinky-ness and realize my toddler has taken bathroom matters into her own hands.
Or my two oldest (brothers who are fourteen months apart) are literally wrestling in another room with sawdust and nails all around them. I just can’t even . . .
When The Hubs and I decided we could handle all the nuances of moving, renovating, and preparing a rental? I think we underestimated the power of craziness our kids would aspire to. And that’s why I told him I will never ever do this again . . . at least not until all three kids are old enough to help the next time around.