Thursday, July 31, 2014

Real Life Through a Reno

The reno is all encompassing. It's all I think about and it's all Jordan does. It's exciting and fun and stressful. But outside of the reno, real life is still happening. And because I'm a big fan of "keepin' it real" here on the blog, I'm going to fill you in on a little secret.

The reno is hard. Hard. Hard. Hard. Hard. Here's why:

Jordan is never home. Ever. He works first thing in the morning, leaving before the kids are up, and then goes to the house until long after the kids (and sometimes me) are in bed. If he happens to be doing an evening shift, he still leaves just as early to go work at the house before work. I am not exaggerating when I say the kids have seen their dad an average of about 10 minutes every two days since the summer started. I luckily get to see him about 20 minutes a day in those precious moments between when he walks in the door and when he falls into bed. I have a brief window where he is consuming mass amounts of food to replenish the calories he's burned all day, plus getting his stuff together for the next day. What do we talk about in those 20 minutes? The reno. Everything that's gone on that day, plus our to do lists for the following day. It's hard not having him around, for him as well, and we all miss him very much.

Because Jordan is never home, I am a single parent. Hard enough at any time, but throw into the mix you aren't living at home and it gets much harder. The kids are starting to adjust to life at my sister's but it has been tough. For as flexible as they all are, I realize how much kids really need routine, even if that routine is as simple as going to bed in your own bedroom. The reno has been stressful and difficult for them to process, and none of them, including Rio, really have the means to express that in a meaningful way. So there have been a lot of tears and a lot of tantrums. A LOT of tantrums. Not the best behaved kids this summer and not the best mothering. I will freely admit I have yelled more in this month than I have in 8 years of parenting. It's exhausting. Sadly, the kids are not the only ones having tantrums. I may have had a complete meltdown one day at our house when I needed to find something that was inadvertently buried under a pile of furniture and several inches of dust. Mama is holding on by a thread most days, I'm not gonna lie.

In addition to the stress of managing the reno and our still busy life outside of it, there's one other big stress: finances. We are essentially building a new house and someone's got to pay for it. Oh that someone is us? Yikes. That's some stress right there, especially when the cost of most things are out of our control.

So this all adds up to a very tired family. A tired dad who is working himself to the bone (but loving almost every minute of it). A tired mom whose children are working her to the bone. Tired kids, who as much as they love living with their cousins, would probably give anything to go back to their own house and just chill.

All that said, this stress was inevitable, and things could be going so much worse. The reno itself could be a sinking disaster of work and money, but instead it is quick, efficient, and so far no major hiccups. Our living situation could also be a nightmare. What if the nine of us cooped up under one roof were at each others throats? Now sure, I'm purposely not including any quotes from my sister's family asking them how they feel about us living here, but in general I'd say we're all doing really well. We have fun, we try our best to stay out of each other's way when appropriate and we're all getting along pretty swimmingly.

So yes, the reality of living through a reno is tough right now, but it's all a means to an end. And the end is going to be a great one, there is no doubt. So we'll just keep on trucking on until the end is here.


  1. It will be so worth it in the end.

    What is the time frame for the reno? Weeks? Months..??

    1. My hope is to be (more or less) done by the end of September, with the exception of the kitchen which won't be installed till October. Not entirely sure if MY plan aligns with anyone else's though - we'll see how the other trades make out on their timelines :)

  2. Oh wow - right... not easy. but you are so hanging in there and I am confident that the outcome will meet exceed your expectations :)

  3. It will be so so worth it! ( just keep chanting that every 5 seconds!)