There’s nothing better than the end of a home repair or remodeling project. Your house looks refreshed and new, and what was broken is now fixed again. Unfortunately, the beginning and middle of home repair projects aren’t quite so fun. These projects can mean losing access to entire rooms, even loss of utilities. That’s not to mention the mess and materials.
Add a toddler or two to the mix and things can get problematic. Dangerous tools and materials become a concern. Changes in routine and limited space to play and explore can become a source of frustration for all involved as well.
The good news is that it’s quite possible to complete home repairs with a toddler about. The following six tips will explain how.
Have a Makeshift Kitchen Ready
When your kitchen is out of commission, that can be a real nightmare. Even if you’ve got the funds to eat out and order in, chances are you’ll still need a place to fix a quick snack. Surely you don’t want to run out again to get food for a hungry toddler who didn’t eat enough at dinner!
Having some way to prepare food, eat, and clean up can be a real lifesaver. It doesn’t take much! A mini fridge with some fruit, cheese, and deli meat can be combined with bread and crackers for a cheap meal. Add a microwave and a crockpot and you’re all set. Although they aren’t ideal, you may need to consider disposable dinnerware and cups.
Get Bathroom Remodels Done Quickly
Let’s be honest. Households become accustomed to the bathrooms they have. Take one away, and things can get stressful quickly. Whether your project is DIY or you have a contractor, emphasize the importance of getting bathroom repairs finished asap.
Whatever you do, don’t tackle more than one bathroom at a time if you can help it. If you must, or if you only have one bathroom at home, it may be worthwhile to spend a night or two at a hotel or with a relative.
Ensure That Tools And Materials Are Safely Put Away at The End of The Day
The end of the workday shouldn’t just signify a time to rest for workers and repair persons. It should also be a time when parents are able to let down their guards a bit and relax. That’s not going to happen if tools and materials are underfoot.
While they may not be able to store everything away every evening, workers should be instructed to clean up as much as reasonably possible. The fewer hazards parents have to worry about the better. Even older kids will benefit from a lack of construction debris laying around whether they’re working on a term paper or playing video games with pals. It’s also much less stressful to spend an evening without a bunch of ever-present construction debris.
Try to Maintain a Schedule
Even small remodeling projects can be disruptive. However, it’s so important to maintain as much of a consistent schedule. Without that, toddlers can truly be thrown off balance. As much as possible try to keep bedtimes, wake up times, naps, and playtime as consistent as possible.
When consistency cannot always be achieved, try to create a new, temporary routine. For example, if the family basement has been converted into a makeshift bedroom for the kids, create sleeping areas and a special bedtime ritual.
Always Have a Designated Play Area
A toddler who can’t engage in lots of play is going to quickly become defiant and out of sorts. Stave that off by ensuring that there is somewhere in the home where they can play. Even if it’s just a small assortment of toys and a blanket that subs as a playmat in the corner of the dining room or master suite, that’s better than nothing.
Obviously, each family has their own feelings when it comes to screen times for toddlers. As a norm, it should be limited. However, there are times when a bit of extra screen time, on a temporary basis, can keep toddlers occupied. This may be one of those times. If you choose this solution, don’t waste a minute of time feeling guilty about it.
Plan For Time Away From Home
If your home is full of construction activity and materials, simply navigating from room to room can be a chore. After a while of this, it’s not surprising that people get more than a little grumpy. One cure for this is simply planning time away from home.
Is there a movie you’ve been dying to see? Now might be a good time for a trip to a family movie. Here are a few other activities that can keep families with toddlers away from home and occupied:
Have a picnic and an hour or two of outdoor play at a local park. Go to storytime at the library. Check out a nearby children’s museum. Go for a hike or bike ride. Plan a day at the zoo. Get a small treat at a fast food restaurant with a play area. Spend a few hours at an indoor play place or trampoline park.
There’s no way to avoid all of the frustration that comes with parenting toddlers through the upheaval of home repairs. However, give some of the strategies above a try. They may help you to retain at least a bit of your sanity.