You don’t need a man for that! It’s time to become a handywoman. If you have a project you want to do then get started. It’s empowering to tackle things you thought you needed a man for.
Discovering the Handywoman Within Me
Like many women, I’ve kept a honey-do list for years. I’ve often had to bring up a project several times before my husband finally got around to doing something about it.
I’m not saying that to bash him. Not at all. Those projects just didn’t seem as urgent or needed to him as they did to me. He spends a fraction of the time I do inside our home and we don’t notice nor do we care about the same things.
That picture that used to be centred over our dining room table but is now hanging off-centre over the crib – it doesn’t bother him at all. It drives me bonkers. Every. Single. Day.
After having my second child and being confined to our home because of the times we live in, I finally had it one day and decided to simply face the challenges one by one and discover my inner handywoman in the process.
Handywoman project #1
My first handywoman project didn’t go so well. At least not initially. I overcame a couple of hurdles but I also asked for help.
The project I sat out to tackle was sanding down a Tripp Trapp chair (Now produced by Stokke*). These chairs last a lifetime and are incredibly well made.
We own two. One was a hand-me-down from my cousin. The other was purchased used. My two favourite ways of getting things for our children. Both chairs have, however, been painted more than once and the paint has worn off in various places.
I’ve been talking to my husband about sanding them down for years to see if we could recover the beautiful wood underneath all the paint.
Nothing has happened. Except more of the paint has worn off.
I finally took action and borrowed a very handy Mouse sander* from my parents. Still fully intending to get my husband to do the job. Again, nothing happened for a while.
That’s when I snapped. But instead of biting off my husband’s head, I put that sander to work. It proved a difficult job. Mostly because of the sandpaper. It was way too fine which my husband kindly told me after I had spent an entire afternoon and all my upper arm strength getting nowhere. Failure #1 on this project in case you want to keep track.
Once again, I took matters into my own hands and got some new, much coarser sandpaper. I was making progress, finally!
That’s when failure #2 happened. I couldn’t reassemble the chair properly. The thread in one of the round sticks had busted. My husband assured me it wasn’t my fault. He says it’s because it’s old and has been unscrewed too many times. I’m not sure it’s true but I love him for it nonetheless.
After these two failures, I threw in the towel, admitting handywoman defeat. I asked my husband for help. The only way to save the chair is by installing a new round stick. I have no idea how to properly drill a hole in such a stick and make it work. My husband, on the other hand, is a carpenter by trade so if it’s fixable he can fix it.
I felt really bad at first but now this project has been parked on the honey-do list and once the chair is fixed, I’ll resume my sanding project.
Handywoman Project #2
Thankfully, my second attempt at being a handywoman worked out. Actually, it didn’t just work out, it went well. I nailed it.
If you’re a seasoned handywoman (or man) you’ll laugh at this. But if like me, you are used to all things handy-related being your husband’s domain, you’ll get my joy.
I took down some shelves!
But wait, there’s more. I didn’t just take down the shelves. I filled in the holes, sanded them down and painted!
It’s quite the feat to unscrew 16 screws when you have to do it while taking care of two children. The final two screws on every shelf had to be removed at the same time. I felt like I was playing an odd adult version of Tetris, trying to figure out if I had enough time to screw out one or two screws in one go and which screw to choose next.
This project is part of my much bigger decluttering project. One of the ways I feel lost is that I feel a little lost among all our belongings. Removing these shelves made our tiny hallway seem a lot bigger. I hope to do a complete hallway makeover reveal soon.
Up Next For the Handy-family
Feeling empowered by my small victories, I’ve decided we need to tackle a trundle bed for our oldest child next.
I’m thinking of doing an Ikea hack and I plan to share it once we do it. I’ve sourced almost everything we need and put my husband in charge of finding suitable wheels.
Besides that, I’m going to tackle moving some pictures by myself and continue to sand down that chair. I’m determined to turn my story of failures into a success in the end.
My Best Tips To Embrace Your Inner Handywoman
- Start small. Really small. No project is too small. The little wins will help you gain confidence and you’ll learn valuable lessons without it costing you a fortune.
- Ask for help. Even though you are embracing your inner handywoman there’s no reason you can’t ask for help. If it’s a two-person job ask for help. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who can teach you.
- Google/YouTube is your friend. If you don’t have someone you can ask for help (or you are stubborn and don’t want to) google it!
- Don’t let failures stop you. Keep moving forward and remember that failures teach us valuable lessons, like which kind of sandpaper to use.
- Brag a little. Even if it’s just to yourself. Talk yourself up and be proud of your accomplishments. It might not feel like a big deal but if you’ve done something you’ve never done before you should be proud of yourself!
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