What you should you not do when you’re pregnant? Well, lots of things I suppose but, oh my goodness, house renovations should be top of the list!
I’ve come to the conclusion that renovating your house must be up there with the most stressful things you can do in your life alongside divorce, moving house, getting married and all those other stressful life events.
So what did myself and my husband commit to in January, a mere 4 months before our little one was born? That’s right – major house renovations. What were we thinking?! A case of “extreme nesting” perhaps?
In fairness, living in an old cottage that had a roof that was causing major problems and an upstairs so derelict that it couldn’t be used as anything other than storage, we had little choice. We had known for years we had to do the job but it was a case of affording it. Naturally we prioritised our wedding over the house and I have to say that I’m glad we did. But the house was always there at the back of our minds.
So, last summer, we decided that, no matter what, we had to get the house sorted out in 2019. We were also hoping that we would have another big, life-changing event happen to us in 2019, but we were both a little skeptical as to whether that would ever happen. So we focused on the house, after all the old roof was starting to cause major problems that would result in more expensive renovations if we didn’t do something about it soon.
Then we found out that I was pregnant which was the best news we could ever have hoped for. And although it seemed crazy, it also meant something else, we knew that it was now more imperative than ever that we sorted the house out.
The earliest the builders could start was the end of February. Three months before the baby was due. We agreed. Were we crazy? Probably. But it was also necessity. We couldn’t live in the house as it was with a baby. And neither of us fancied renovating the house after the baby had been born. Plus there was the fact that whilst I was working full time it was easier to save up money. So it had to be done.
To be honest I think that those few months of late pregnancy, early motherhood and building work could be summed up by the famous Charles Dickens quote: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
As far as the building work went I think that the worst bit was actually after our little man was born. Most women seem to be chomping at the bit to get out of hospital. Not me. I was quite happy to stay in there. We were living in cramped accommodation on site with our dog, so the hospital seemed like luxury in comparison.
Once we were home it wasn’t long before I just wanted it all finished and the builders gone. The work was originally scheduled to be finished a few weeks after our little man was born. When did we move back in? When he was twelve weeks old. To say those extra few weeks tested me is putting it mildly!
I do lament the fact that I wasn’t able to nest in the way I’d like to have done, although on saying that I did get to do the biggest declutter of my life. I lost count of the number of trips we made to the charity shops and I shredded like there was no tomorrow! I have to say that it felt great! It was almost as though I was shedding away some of my old life to prepare for the new chapter I was about to embark upon.
And it was worth it but I’m so glad we’re on the other side of it. Would I do it again?
I think I can put my hand on my heart and say a very definite: