There was a time in my life, not long ago, when I thought I’d never be more excited about something than I am our home renovation. I absolutely love working on our house. I’m not very skilled (although I’ve improved tremendously) and I don’t have a history of doing this kind of thing – but somehow it found me and I became enamored. From scraping paint off windowsills to finally buying the curtains – I love every step of the process.
This renovation, and the million projects within, have taught me so much – I’ve grown as a person. I’m a harder worker. I’m more patient. I’m a better wife. I’m more knowledgeable. I’m more savvy. I am a good neighbor. I am better with finances. I appreciate the little things. As my house has changed and matured – so have I. We’ve grown together and it’s been a happy harmony, even when it was stressful, overwhelming, and full of growing pains – we always did it in unison, learning along the way.
But now a new journey is about to start and this one must end. As much as I’m overjoyed with the thought of becoming a mother and as much as I (surprisingly!) love being pregnant – it has already changed so much. I am no longer able to work on the house. I can’t join my husband in doing our nightly and weekend activities. I can’t work hard for hours and then collapse against a newly primed wall and enjoy a beer break with him. I miss that feeling of accomplishment. I miss that connection.
I can still discuss plans with him. I can still decorate once all of the work is finished and cleaned. But that’s about the extent of my participation these days. I send him off with a to-do list and quarantine myself in the attic with the furnace off (no circulation), door closed and gas mask on. As much as I didn’t always enjoy the not-so-glamorous projects, at least they offered me a sense of accomplishment and attachment to my home and husband.
This past weekend Ian scraped, wood-filled, and sanded the trim in the dining room. Later this week he will attach quarter round, prime, paint and caulk the trim before he is done with it. I can’t touch, breathe in, or be anywhere near any of the products he uses for this relatively simple project – one I would have been able to do myself six months ago. I so appreciate all of the work he is now doing solo. I’m sure he’s not having very much fun all by himself either.
There is so much to do before the baby arrives and Ian has to do it alone. I’ll help out when and where I can but it won’t be the same. In a renovation full of challenges – this might be the hardest one yet. But it’s also the most worth it. We’re motivated now more than ever to create a perfect home for our baby. From the beginning we have imagined starting a family in this house that we built and we’re so close to that happy reality. The future was always part of the plan.
Progress is never easy and change is always accompanied by unforeseen woes. But that’s the point. That’s how and why we grow. And it’s always, always worth it. As much as I miss the way things used to be I know they are nothing compared to the blissful days ahead – in our beautiful, hand-built home.