By Candis Meredith
If you’ve been keeping up with our show, Old Home Love, you know that Andy and I have six little boys and a baby girl. Saying we have a big family is kind of an understatement, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Keeping up with all of our kids is a full-time job, but somehow we manage to do it and stay on top of our home restoration and renovation projects, too.
In fact, our kids help us out a lot with our projects, and they’ve taught me how to better approach home renovations. I’ve been thinking a lot about how our projects have evolved over time and how much our kids have shaped how we restore houses, and these are the biggest lessons I’ve learned from our family about renovating homes.
Patience Really Is a Virtue
Whether the kids are being slow getting ready for school or they’re all running in different directions at once while the baby needs changing, I’ve learned just how valuable patience can be. The more patient I am, the better I deal with kids tramping dirt through the house, coming up with crazy ideas, and dragging their feet when it’s time to go run errands, head to a work site, or go to school.
What does all that have to do with renovating houses? A lot. When Andy and I walk into a house that’s been neglected for years, we know we have a lot of work ahead of us. Renovating these houses takes more time than most people have the patience for, but if you can take a deep breath and learn to see the little accomplishments along the way, time starts to fly, and you’re finished before you know it.
Just Do One Thing at a Time
On that note, when you have a ton of stuff to do on a house, from replacing the roof and repairing the floors to replastering the walls and painting everything, it can all feel really overwhelming. With seven kids, your whole life can feel that way if you let it, but it gets a lot easier when you remember that you only have two hands.
Just focus on what you can do right now, and then focus on the next thing, and then the next. By doing one thing at a time instead of trying to do everything at once, you can teach your kids some patience, and you can get your home restorations done with a lot less stress, too.
There’s a Job For Everyone
Imagine trying to do construction and restoration work with six little boys running around. Not only are they all really high energy, but they all want to help. I used to tell them that they could help when they got older, but as we’ve gotten more projects under our belts, I’ve learned that there’s a job for everyone.
Even the littlest hands can help hold small supplies, and if you get them started early helping you out, you can teach them the skills they’ll need to assist you as they get older, all while enjoying more quality time together.
Now our oldest boys take on more complicated work, while our younger ones do the simpler jobs, and Andy and I take on the more dangerous work that isn’t so kid friendly. Basically, my family has taught me how to build a family business, and I can’t wait for our daughter to get old enough to be a part of all the fun!