Written by Lucy Good from Beanstalk Single Mums
Beanstalk is an online space which empowers single mothers to re-find their potential and re-build their confidence through a website that delivers targeted information and support.
Lucy works with hundreds of single mothers through the offering of her online course and her Facebook group. She is a blogger, podcaster and mentor. She also speaks regularly on a local radio station, writes articles for the online parenting community and continually hunts down resources of benefit to the single motherhood.
So much is expected from mum’s nowadays, probably because we are so capable. Many women balance the role of mum, work and main home-carer effortlessly. And along with this, they are embracing home projects and becoming quite the DIY Divas.
Single mums and hubby-works-away-mums especially, can find themselves with all sort of tasks such as fixing taps, building flat packs, laying floors, tiling walls … the list goes on. And you know what? It turns out we’re pretty good at it.
Of course, like everything, it is a learning process, so here are some starting points that’ll have you showing-up the tradies in no time.
The tool for the job
Most DIY projects require a tool of some sort, so make sure you equip yourself with the right one. It will make life so much easier. Using a kitchen knife as a cross-head screwdriver is not worth the effort, trust me. Starting a tool box is a ritual of becoming a single mum. You only need the basics and can add to it gradually. Some flat packs come with tools, so keep these for future jobs. Having the right tool to hand when a task rears its head is half the battle.
Big it up in Bunnings
Bunnings (and similar) stores are not just for spending your hard earned cash. Within those giant aisles are heaps of staff, with heaps of knowledge. So use it. Take a photo of your home project and ask their advice. Be polite, flutter your eye lashes, and before you know it, you’ll have not only the tools for the job, but the know-how too. And remember, go back and thank them, perhaps with a photo of the completed job. You’ll have free DIY advice for life.
Be a YouTube junkie
Who needs a partner when you have YouTube? You will be amazed by the range of ‘how to’ videos available. A single mum recently posted on the Single Mum Vine Facebook group how she fixed the electric window on her car with a $3 part and a YouTube video. It would have cost her over $400 in a garage. Not only is this a massive saving, but a great feeling of empowerment too.
Get your top tips
There are 100’s of handy tips, that if known before you start a job, will make your life so much easier. Don’t learn the hard way with ruined paint rollers, crooked shelves and a dust covered kitchen. You can learn about dust-free drilling, how to paint, storing rollers, levelling shelves and lots of other entry-level DIY tips at websites such as Skil and Handyman. Take a look and save them to your favourites for easy access.
Read the instructions
Come on ladies, don’t let the side down here. It’s men who ditch the directions. Whether it’s a piece of furniture that needs assembling, or a new power drill, read the rules. Make sure all the parts are present before starting, to avoid the embarrassment of retuning a half-built bookcase to Ikea. Older children really enjoy the challenge of assembly so get them involved. My eldest daughter is a godsend when it comes to reading instructions, remaining calm and basically doing most of it for me.
Build a support team
As I encourage in my ecourse, we all need a support team. And this is especially true when it comes to matters of your home. Some tasks are too big or complex, and we need to call in the heavies. Create a list of trusted tradies you can call in your hour of need. Explain that, as a single mum, you need someone you can trust in the price and the quality of work. Build up a relationship with them. Oh, and offer tea and cake, they’ll be back in a flash when you next need them.
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