Renovating your home is difficult at any time. However, it can be even more complicated when you’re co-parenting children. Not only do you need to figure things out for your own household, but you also need to consider your co-parents. In the United States, 80% of homes are over twenty years old. This means that many of them need renovations. If you’re planning to renovate your home while co-parenting, here are some tips to make the process easier.
1. Schedule Carefully
You’ll want your renovations to occur during a time that is most convenient for everybody involved. Having contractors working in your home is incredibly disruptive to your regular routine. Since children thrive on routine, you’ll want to keep their lives as normal as possible. Discuss the timing with your co-parent. By doing renovations during the school year, you can do a lot of the work when the children are at school. You can also consider having the children spend a little more time at their other parent’s home while construction is being done on yours. Children spend an average of 277 days each year with their custodial parents. But if you’re co-parenting, you should be able to be flexible about that. If you can work together to keep things stable for your children, it’ll make renovations easier for everyone.
2. Keep Your Co-Parent Informed
You need to communicate with your co-parent. Even if you think what happens in your home shouldn’t matter to them, it does because you’re both responsible for your children. If you’re good co-parents, you care equally about your children’s needs. Renovations are going to disrupt the children, potentially causing stress and anxiety. If their other parent knows what is going on, they can help make the children more comfortable during renovations. In some cases, it will be best for the children to go to their house during certain parts of construction. Then, in others, just having another parent reassure them will be enough.
3. Keep a Child-Friendly Space
As the renovations move through your home, make sure that you keep at least one part of it child-friendly at all times. This space might change when necessary, but it will give the children a place to be that is safe and comfortable. Keep some of their toys and clothes out of storage and make sure that they have everything they need in that space. Other parts of the house could get dangerous. For instance, sealant takes 24 to 48 hours to dry, so you don’t want to risk your child getting into it. By providing a safe space in your home, you give them some normalcy.
4. Communicate with Your Children
Just as you need to be clear with your co-parent, you also need to communicate with your children so that they know what is going on. Renovations will not only cause stress during the construction process, but they might also make children nervous after. Assure them that this is going to make the house a safer place for all of you and that they will always have a home there. If your children know what is going on, they’re more likely to be calm for you and your co-parent throughout the process.
If you want to have successful renovations while co-parenting, you need to put in a little extra work. Make sure that you and your co-parent are working together to keep everybody safe and secure. If you provide your children with the space and support they need, they will feel much more comfortable during construction. Then they can also go to your co-parent’s house a little extra or when things are particularly rough in your home. Setting these things up will help everything go smoothly.