Home Improvement Pep Talk: From One Mom to Another

Home Improvement Pep Talk: From One Mom to Another | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Home improvement projects can be expensive and intimidating.  

When we first moved into our home 7 years ago, I knew what it was going to take to make this fixer upper feel like home. And not only that, this fixer upper was about to be fixed up by a DIY-er (and her friends and family). 

The house was in a prime location with an unbeatable price tag. At first glance, we confidently pronounced, “it’s live-able with a few changes.” Fast forward quite a few years of home improvements, and I now know the real truth behind “a few changes.” It’s like that classic children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…

In the years leading up to the pandemic of 2020, I worked most evenings and weekends, had another child, experienced a spousal separation and a myriad of other life things (like… life!). Shockingly, I never found the time or energy to finish fixing up my home.  

Now, as mentioned, we find ourselves in the middle of 2020 and we’re in the midst of a pandemic which has put a stop to our normally crazy schedules. Nearly all areas of life have come to a screeching halt. But hey, when life gives you lemons… am I right? So I decided to tackle my house.

At first, my self-talk was extremely negative. I wasn’t sure if my planned home improvements were projects I could handle. In all honesty, I was afraid that they may only be things a man could do. After all, single women in DIY home improvements can be hard to find. This would be my first project with power tools, hardware store runs and sleepless evenings thinking to myself, “Oh man, why didn’t I leave this up to the experts?!?!”…  

Leading up to my start date, I planned for a few weeks by watching videos on YouTube that would teach me the basics: like how to drill a hole, fill a hole and anything else I could think I might need to know once the project commenced. I frequented the hardware store, many times purchasing the wrong supplies. Often times I found myself peppering an employee at the store with questions, only to receive the “you must not know what you’re doing” feeling. Therefore, a continuous cycle of purchasing and returning seemed to be the best solution. I’d figure it out eventually, right?

And yet, with lots of perseverance, within a few weeks I had removed popcorn ceilings as well as created a mudroom/bench area in the landing area of my home!

Granted, a big game changer that helped me with this process was finding a community of people to help me: a close friend who could jump in and offer a helpful hand, as well as a group of women online  and in my community where I was able to ask questions. And I realized, it’s fun to connect with other women who have had to overcome the fear of not being able enough to complete a home project. During a pandemic and all, it was such a relief to find this unexpected community of supporters.

An added positive was that in almost no time at all, my children saw Mom do it all.  In fact, after the project was done, my daughter was ready to pick up tools herself and get started on the next project.  

I know home improvement projects can seem daunting and unattainable. But I am here to tell you, there is nothing like the experience of getting started on a project, finding yourself in the middle (when you inevitably hate yourself) and then the wonderful end result.

So just remember: If I’ve got this, so do you. 

Rachael Trang
Rachael is a working single mom to two spunky and independent kiddos, Harper (2011) and Kian (2017). Rachael appreciates a good belly laugh, a delicious burger, live music and spending time with her loved ones. Empowering and connecting with women is a passion of Rachael's. When Rachael is at work she strives in developing people and challenging those that surround her to "get comfortable being uncomfortable" to find their deepest potential. She is a true believer of "finding the gold" in the people she meets and the places she visits.


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