A couple months ago I began renovating my house. What was supposed to be a two-week project is now coming to an end after four months. Four long, depressing, terrifying, expensive, frustrating, stressful months.
And I got to thinking, renovating a house is a lot like raising kids. You know, costs way too much money, tons of plumbing problems, and everything makes you insane.
Maybe not exactly, but I can definitely draw some parallels if I try hard enough in order to make my column deadline. I'm totally kidding. A little.
I'll start at the beginning:
Pre-renovation: It seems like such a wonderful idea, full of promise, dreams, and cheerful ambition. It's going to be a piece of cake! I've seen enough hours of HGTV to know precisely what I'm doing, what I want, how it's going to turn out and roughly how much it's going to cost. Relax, I've totally got this.
Pre-kids: The same can be said for having a baby. Excuse me, but I babysat probably hundreds of children from the time I was eleven years-old, I think I know what I'm doing, okay? Relax. I've totally got this.
During the renovating: For example, literally everything.
Kids: You think you'll have an easy birth, huh? 28 hours of labor and two terrible C-section experiences later, I can tell you, without a doubt, you really need to be prepared for birthing to not be easy. I know there are women out there who had lovely, rewarding, beautiful births, but I've just come to the conclusion that they're liars so let's move on.
The cost of renovating: You plan, you budget, you laugh, you cry. In the end, you're poor and grateful for homeowners insurance when you discover at some point the dishwasher blew up and ruined your relatively brand new hardwood floors.
The cost of kids: Where do I even begin? I knew going into it, kids cost a lot of money. At first you kind of ease into it, especially if you're lucky enough to have good medical insurance and breastfeed. But then maybe you have to switch to formula and you're like wait that baby is literally drinking money are you sure it's supposed to cost that much? And the diapers...you may as well be wrapping your baby's butt in dollar bills.
What I wasn't prepared for? A) The food...it doesn't seem humanly possible that two children can eat the amount of groceries they inhale and B) The wardrobe needs of boys. I thought I had it easy with clothing boys! But then UnderArmour happened. And their sports fees, equipment, camps, dental work, braces...ugh, and I'm only through fifth grade!
Post-renovating: In the end, some things are better than you expected, some things aren't as great as you expected, some things you never expected are the best parts of all, and some things you thought you wanted don't seem to matter in the least.
I haven't gotten to "Post-kids" yet, but something tells me it will be about the same when it's all said and done.