How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids

How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids | blesserhouse.com - 7 simple solutions for how to do home DIY projects when you have kids, plus ideas for how to get them involved to learn the value of hard work.

Once upon a time, in a far away land, my fairy godmother gave me the gift of becoming a stay-at-home mom. (I know. Normally, fairy godmothers make you into a princess, but work with me here.)

And then my little mice and bird friends painted furniture and operated power tools and decorated rooms to my exact liking. That’s how this DIY blog really began, and we all lived happily ever after. (snicker snicker)

Y’all, really. Doing DIY projects when you have kids is HAAAAAARD! Some of you guys have sent me emails and comments before asking how to make time to do the home improvement thing when you have those cute, messy pint-sized people running around under foot, and I figured it was about time I talked about it to share some of the solutions we use to get things done.

I mean, Olivia totally looks like the best contractor you could ever hire for any project, right?

How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids | blesserhouse.com - 7 simple solutions for how to do home DIY projects when you have kids, plus ideas for how to get them involved to learn the value of hard work.

How does much sass fit in such a little human being?

Despite the meltdowns and chaos that comes with being parents, Robert and I have been able to complete a whoooole lot of DIY projects in our house with her running around, so if you have little ones, this post is for you. (Solidarity, mamas and papas.)

7 tips for doing home DIY projects when you have kids:

  • Take shifts.  Between the two of us, Robert and I have learned how to team up to juggle watching the kiddo and doing home improvement jobs. On most projects, he does the power tool steps (cutting and nailing wood for window trim, shiplap, shelves, etc.) while I play with Olivia in the backyard or in the playroom. For painting, caulking, staining, and sanding, that’s usually when I take over.

How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids | blesserhouse.com - 7 simple solutions for how to do home DIY projects when you have kids, plus ideas for how to get them involved to learn the value of hard work.

  • Use projects as teachable moments.  A lot of times, for the non-dangerous tool tasks, we let Olivia get involved. We show her how tape measures, chalk lines, and levels work. We let her use a little hammer to help us drive in nails, and we’ll put her on our lap to pull the trigger on our power driver to insert screws. We supervise everything, of course, but it’s always a valuable lesson in showing her how things work and how to be proud of working with your hands to create. Because that’s certainly something she’ll never get from watching an iPad.
  • Give kids their own DIY projects. Some days we’ll give Olivia her own piece of wood to paint or a pretty craft to do at the kitchen table. (Thank goodness for the bajillions of kiddy craft ideas on Pinterest.) 

How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids | blesserhouse.com - 7 simple solutions for how to do home DIY projects when you have kids, plus ideas for how to get them involved to learn the value of hard work.

  • Use ABCMouse.com or educational apps.  If we do need to buy some extra time, we will give her our cell phone to distract her for a little bit. We really like ABCMouse.com’s app or we’ll let her play on her LeapFrog LeapStart. We try to stick to the educational things as much as we can, and we make up for it later after we’re finished with our project by taking her to the park or a bounce house place to get plenty of exercise.
  • Surprise them with a “new” toy (or cardboard box).  Fact: A kid and a cardboard box is like a match made in heaven. How is that always the best toy ever? If you live in a neighborhood or have other mom friends, you can do toy swaps to keep your kiddo(s) occupied with something “new” while you work without really having to spend a dime.

How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids | blesserhouse.com - 7 simple solutions for how to do home DIY projects when you have kids, plus ideas for how to get them involved to learn the value of hard work.

  • Arrange a babysitter ahead of time.  We’re very fortunate to live near both sets of Olivia’s grandparents, so we’ll arrange with them ahead of time to take her out somewhere for a play day while we knock out a project. If they weren’t around, we’d probably hire a sitter to take her out since we work faster without her being home. Totally worth it.
  • Make DIY your date night!  Robert and I usually crank up the music and dance around and sing and act silly while we do our DIY projects anyway, so some nights we’ll just make it a date if Olivia spends the night with grandparents. We’ll indulge in some take out, saw and paint like crazy, and sit back to gaze at our hard work afterwards with a glass of wine. Then, whenever we walk by that feature we built in our house for the days to come (like our fireplace or playroom built-ins), we think of our fun date.

How To Do Home DIY Projects When You Have Kids | blesserhouse.com - 7 simple solutions for how to do home DIY projects when you have kids, plus ideas for how to get them involved to learn the value of hard work.

(How much of a ham is this kid? Seriously.)

Maybe one of these days we’ll find out for ourselves what wrangling more than one kiddo is like while we go all Bob Vila status. I’m sure it’s much, much harder when you have multiple little ones running around, but I’m hoping this helped a bit.

Do you have any solutions you use for keeping your babes occupied while you work around the house? Or have your kids helped with any of your projects? I’d love to hear about them!

signoff

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12 Comments

  1. Aww, such a sweet little girl that really will grow up to be a contractor someday. I think it’s great that y’all involve her in your projects some. Kids do want to be involved. I’m sure doing shifts are a great way to get the job done.

  2. We have 4 kids, and basically have committed to working on our projects on the weekend afternoons (and sometimes mornings) when they go down for naps. Even if they don’t go to sleep, they have to stay in their rooms until 4 pm. My husband will also take them out on Saturday morning sometimes to go to the park, etc. so that I can get some building done. It moves much more slowly this way, but we can still get things done.

  3. Cutest Contractor I’ve ever had the pleasure to see! I love her rainbow suspenders! I had some of those growing up and have never seen another pair. She really is adorable!

    1. Thanks girl! Those rainbow suspenders broke right after I took these pictures. Sad! It was fun while it lasted. 🙂 Hope you and your sweet little family are doing well!

  4. Oh how I can relate to this post! We both work full time so it’s really hard to get stuff done. We fully utilize “work dates” after bedtime and it’s so true that those projects are extra special when you walk by them! When I am painting something while our toddler is awake I uaually give him a small brush to help me and he loves it. Thanks for sharing!

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