Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How To Live Through A Major Renovation With Small Kids

Two words:  child labor

I mean, come on.  My toolbag isn't gonna bring itself up the stairs.

Nothing brings a family closer to wanting to strangle each other than only being able to live in 1/8th of your home.  Nothing.  Every time the builder started working on another room on the main floor, we had to frantically gather every. last. thing. inside that room and either move it to the basement or to our bedroom.

Those two areas were our 'safe' places since they weren't going to get renovated until the very last.  I hesitated to move a bunch of stuff into the boys' room because I was trying to keep their environment as clutter-free as possible during this tumultuous time.

It didn't work.  
As our living space dwindled to almost nothing, we had to come up with ways to keep the kids occupied and happy and unaware of the fact that mommy was losing her everloving mind at times.  I found that LOTS of park time was always an excellent escape.



A new surrounding that they could run around in without me freaking out about them getting electrocuted or stabbed by a giant 5-inch nail.  Or having a sledgehammer fall through their bedroom ceiling onto their playmat.  Yes, that happened. And it left a giant dent in their floor. The boys had *just* left their room and went looking for me in the basement when BOOM. Apparently, the builders were busting out some ceiling joists above the bedroom and one of the sledgehammers went rogue.  The 'what-if's' of that whole scenario shook me more than when it actually happened.  I still shudder when I think about it.

When we weren't doing the park thing, we scheduled some family trips to help get us out of the construction zone and into clean, dust-and-debri-free environments.

And then, of course, there was always shopping.

Thank goodness he's finally tall enough to start pushing the darn cart.
Now I can eat my hot dog *and* hold my drink while I shop.

Not surprisingly, the big winner in all of this?  Danger.  Yup, just plain ol' keeping an eye on them and letting them have at it.  It's their house, too, and they've been so sweet about just sitting quietly in their bedroom while they get to watch the fun stuff happening right outside their bedroom window.

So, I let them enjoy the experience their own way.

We let them draw on the subloor of their soon-to-be bedroom.



  1. We are about to embark on some major renos and I'm already creaking out lol I have two boys 2 and 4. The 2 year old still naps which is my biggest concern luckily he doesn't mind sleeping in the car or stroller. My other major worry is eating out too much especially since we have food issues with dairy and wheat our options are limited. Yikes!!!

  2. You bring up two incredibly important points. I wouldn't say we ate out a TON while we did this, but I certainly prepared less labor-intensive, healthy meals. Our kitchen was more or less functional, but I was definitely rockin' the nitrate-free hot dogs and fries on more than one occasion. Will your kitchen get ripped apart during your reno?


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