I love DIY (check out a few past projects). I love figuring stuff out. I love demolition. I love the way my body feels after a great day of hard work.
My husband and I are beginning the search for a home, and we are talking about a fixer-upper, but …
Do we have the time?
Do we have the patience?
Do we love each other enough to make it through the process?
In the very limited time I’ve been a parent, I have come to the conclusion that raising a child is the ultimate DIY project. It is, in fact, one of the biggest DIYs one can take on.
So get your gear, and load up your tool box. Let’s dive in:
1. Designs can change
You see it on shows all the time. They were going to take out this wall, or leave that element in place, but then there is a load bearing beam, or mold behind the bead board. Ah! Designs change.
If you are planning a huge family gathering after you come home from the hospital, but you realize only after you’ve sent out the invites that…
…wow, you just had a baby!
You need to heal!
You can’t take your infant grocery shopping! You can't even put pants on yet.
Change the plan. Cancel the party, or have it catered – but you don’t have to be the host with the most. It is okay.
2. Measure twice, cut once
Whether it’s a board or a piece of drywall, materials cost money, so before you decide to make a piece of anything smaller, measure your space twice so you know your cut is perfect.
With babies, you never know when they are going to have a diaper blow out, or a puke explosion.
Take stock of your supplies.
Do you have enough diapers? Wipes?
Do you have a burp rag?
Do you need to throw in a snack for you or dad if someone starts to get grumpy?
Check it out so you won’t be marooned with poop up your baby’s back, or puke down yours.
3. Clean as you go
Demolition may be fun – the smashing, crashing, and physical nature of tearing something out. But then you have to clean it all up before you can move on to the next project.
Just like you have to get the rubble to the dumpster, when your baby starts to grow...
it may be helpful to clean out their things as you go.
Do you have a plan for what to do when clothes get too small?
Are you keeping them in storage? Donating them? Passing them to a friend?
Think out where these items will go, because your baby is going to grow faster than you think!
4. Ask for help when you’re over your head
As brilliant YouTube is, some things require extra physical help. Are you trying to hang a ceiling fan? You might need a second set of hands.
Same with parenting.
Some days you just need more help.
Call your friends or make a new one. Family is a great resource too. Don’t fell like you have to do it all yourself! It is DIY, but perhaps it should be DIYS – Do It Yourself, Sometimes.
5. Sometimes you need the help of the professionals
Perhaps your friends just aren't enough. You are just in over your head. Thinking you could re-wire your whole house was a bit much for a first timer. Call the electrician.
Perhaps you really would benefit from a landscape architect coming to help you with a long term plan. Perhaps you need a contractor.
Same for parenting. Sometimes calling a professional isn’t giving up, but instead just getting over a few speed bumps.
For parents, many would benefit from hiring a postpartum doula.
A person that can help design a plan, or get you over a rough spot. I am happy to provide this service to parents looking for just a few hours, or a few days of care. Looking for long term? I can help there too.
Need some rest? I can come for over nights.
Need help for those hours when it seems your child has been bewitched?
Do you have logistical questions about equipment, organizing a nursery, or breastfeeding with work?
Let me help you.
Adding professional care to your DIY plan isn’t you throwing in the towel – I promise. You will be an incredible parent, and sometimes that means knowing when to call in the reinforcements.
Authored by A Swift Doula.