Parents Perspective

How Our Fixer-Upper House Is Preparing Us for Parenthood

suburban house
I got married about three weeks ago, and everyone has asked how married life feels. I think it feels about 0% different that non-married life. However, five months ago when my husband and I bought our "baby" a.k.a. our house that needed some serious love, it most certainly changed my life forever. Last week, my colleague wrote about how her puppy is preparing her for parenthood, which inspired me to consider some of the ways our house is prepping us to be parents. We may not have pets, but I am confident our home is giving us key lessons in how to raise a baby as a team.

  1. We've made a lot of first-time home renovator mistakes that turned out to be OK. There was that time my husband took a sledgehammer to the tub and ended up bursting open our toilet with his backswing. It was, quite frankly, disgusting and I freaked out. It was like a diaper blowout that we weren't prepared for times 1,000. But as we ran (literally) the surprisingly heavy toilet and its broken parts through the kitchen and out the back door, I couldn't help but laugh. Part of me wants to write a book on what not to do when doing construction on a house, but part of me thinks failure is part of the fun (really!). I hope failure in small doses is part of the fun of parenting as well, because I'm now super prepared for it.
  2. If we could have a giant baby monitor on the house, we probably would. We don't live in our house currently, since we're down a toilet and a kitchen and other essential things for the moment. But we're complete hover parents. Every time we're out we're thinking, "Should we stop by the house?" "Should we check on the house?" "I wonder how the house is doing." As if the house could magically do a cartwheel or something. We just don't want to miss it.
  3. It's really exhausting. I cannot emphasize this enough. All I can think about here is the movie Neighbors when Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne decide to go out to the club with their baby. The movie is really silly, but I think that scene is gold. I highly recommend watching just that scene. Anyway, the night comes to an end early when they fall asleep getting ready. Yep, I can relate. We're mostly sticking to the suburban life these days, which is fine because I'd pick sorbet from 16 Handles over overpriced drinks (almost) any day.
  4. We end up spending the extra $$ to make sure everything runs smoothly. We are totally DIY when it comes to this house and are actively trying to keep costs down as much as possible – think first-time parents with cloth diapers – but sometimes you just have to splurge a little to keep your sanity. Sometimes I have to buy a little chocolate from the Home Depot checkout line when we spend hours in there. I get hangry looking at tile grout, OK?
  5. Our work will never be done, but it's so worth it. Well, that almost goes without saying.

Parents, I don't know how to do it, but I guess I'll figure out some day, because I'm not doing this house for nothing. But seriously, I hope you give yourselves credit for all of the hard work you do every day. And I hope you'll join me in grabbing some chocolate every now and then. You deserve it.

P.S. Our house doesn't actually look anything like the photo above.

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Image via Shutterstock.