We are now in the final phase of our major building work and I’m writing this as the dust settles around me. We have no kitchen, 1 working toilet, no showers and a bath surrounded with un-grouted tiles and it still amazes me that it didn’t occur to The Husband and I just how much work was involved and how much disruption it would cause.
It got me thinking about how unprepared we were mentally for this incredibly stressful time. What have I learned about myself, my relationship and my condition during this process and what tips can I pass on?
1) Communicate, communicate, communicate. If your little family is separated during the build it’s not good practice to make decisions in your head based on hours of research and not discuss this with anybody else! I decided on a certain sized table, for example, and was very annoyed when The Husband scoffed at it when we went to see it. He was still under the impression we were looking for an 8 seater, farmhouse table when I’d decided on a 6 seater “shabby chic” number!
2) Research, research, research. Don’t set your heart on mosaic tiles before checking how much they’re likely to set you back! £2000 (before labour) is not a realistic amount to pay for tiling 2 small bathrooms.
3) Compromise, compromise, compromise. Don’t set your heart on anything at all as whatever you’re choosing is likely to be the most expensive item in the catalogue (why are there no prices anywhere???)
4) Don’t overthink everything. I have been driving myself bonkers trying to decide on colour schemes for the kitchen/diner and caught The Husband raising his eyes to heaven yesterday while I discussed the calming qualities of green. “I’m calm” he said, with a slightly crazed look on his face and definite facial twitch!
5) Don’t stress about sofa’s. There’s plenty of time in the January sales.
6) Patience, patience, patience. It doesn’t need to be finished to the standard of a Farrow and Ball catalogue by the weekend! It will all look marvellous when it’s finished but these things take time!
7) Don’t nag The Husband about his yeti style facial hair. He’ll get round to shaving when the bathrooms are done!
So, I’ve learned that I’m not very patient and I don’t communicate effectively when I’ve got a bee in my bonnet but I am able to compromise according to budget and am also able to make quick decisions when confronted with a Howden’s catalogue and a selection of worktops!
I’ve also realised what a strong unit my little family is, how much we missed being together and how great it will be to eat round a proper (shabby chic) table again!
As for my condition, well, all this stress should have me crawling on my knees but I’m bearing up pretty well considering!