The Obligatory Mommy Blog: Home improvement shows and why they suck!


So I don’t actually watch a lot of home improvement/DIY/remodel/resale etc. TV shows anymore, but I’ve seen quite a few in my time. They’re an easy thing to tune in while eating lunch or feeding a baby a bottle. And easy to turn off when you’re done. Since the “babies” drink their bottles while running around the house now, that sit down time is pretty limited.

I used to watch them, back when we were remodeling our 1920’s house. Boy, did they have some great—I mean difficult—I mean insane—ideas. Of course we had to try some of them, with varying success. It’s always, “Oh, it’s so easy!” or “This is a very cost effective option!” Yeah, I think your idea of cost effective and mine are like Darth Vadar and Luke on the Dark Side spectrum, okay?


Image courtesy of The Solid Six Wiki

Now I limit my viewing time to when my mother-in-law visits. She pretty much only watches HGTV, Hallmark and Tigers baseball. Don’t get me wrong, she’d never demand anything be put on the TV, but if Grandma’s helping me with my little terrors—I mean angels—then she can watch WHATEVER she wants. She does so much for all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that I’d deny her nothing. Except another grandchild!

Anyway, there’s a lot to pick apart on these “helpful” shows. Like how they try to make everything look so easy, when it’s not. Or how they spruce up the place with paint, new furnishings and Presto! everything looks new and beautiful and clean. But you know what really gets me? It’s the Before and After pics. Before, there are shoes on the floor, toys in every corner and dishes in the sink. After, it’s all disappeared. Where does it go? Yeah, I know they build in some storage and organize and what not, but something doesn’t look right. I’m no math and science major, and I’ve never taken a physics class in my life, but even I know that the total mass of junk shown in the Before pictures, does not equal the total mass of non-junk displayed in the After photos. Something’s missing . . .

Pic courtesy of Wkipedia

Pic courtesy of Wkipedia

Of course, they threw the stuff away, or tossed it in the basement out of the pictures. But that’s not real life. Anyone who’s ever tried to pry a rocket ship made from a pop bottle, cardboard and duct tape from the hands of a determined six-year-old knows it ain’t that easy!


They treasure that junk like throwing it away would start the zombie-apocalypse. Sometimes I think zombies would be easier to deal with than kids on cleaning day. I bet if some TV show came through my house they could make it sparkle too, and maybe reduce the collection of things we don’t need. (Yes, I’m staring at you piano, that no one can play, but Hubby holds out some fond desire of having a musician in the family!) But just try to do it when the family is home. I dare you!

I’d like to see a show where the hosts have to work with a realistic budget. They can’t buy any decorative items, new dishes, wall hangings or fancy lamps. And why do they put breakable items on end tables for a house with six kids? Seriously? My twins would have those shattered in 2.3 seconds. They have to work with what is in the house and only buy materials like paint, carpet, trim, etc. And they have to put EVERYTHING back in the house somewhere. And show pictures of it. They can dispose of some items, I guess, but the kids have to be present. And the hosts have to listen to the crying, screaming, breakdowns that ensue for as long as they last. Every. Miserable. Second.

A little girl with a sad face

Am I alone? Does everybody else love the unrealistic expectations created by DIY TV? Or what is the one thing you love to hate about home improvement shows?


8 thoughts on “The Obligatory Mommy Blog: Home improvement shows and why they suck!

  1. I like reality TV for the same reasons I like regular TV. It’s not realistic at all. At least for me it’s not. It gets filed in the ‘Entertainment only; Do not try this at home’ folder in my brain. Bad things can happen. Very bad things. 🙂


  2. My ex was, and as far as I know still is, absolutely obsessed with these shows. I hate watching them for that reason alone. 😉 A lot of that is because they really were her personality – don’t bother fixing the real problems, just cover it up with a coat of paint and some crappy decorations to distract you from the fact that the space doesn’t work. Very telling, that.


    • Ha! Being an ex myself I’m trying to be open-minded, but I totally get what you’re saying! 🙂 On another note, and speaking strictly about houses, not relationships, I’ve applied the same thing to our current home. We remodeled extensively, but I said when we bought it that it wouldn’t be big enough for our growing family. I spent years organizing and organizing and ORGANIZING to make this small space work for four people, then five people, now SEVEN people, but I’ve given up. Nothing will make this house work for this family except an addition, which we can’t afford. 😦 So now I just live with the mess and the chaos and try to focus on the things I can change. Though I’m not yet sure what those things are! 🙂


  3. We could never afford the “inexpensive” ideas. Of course there’s the child issue which you so aptly pointed out and I’d never thought of (I have 5. Imagine the stuff we’ve accumulated). But those shoes always left me depressed because I wanted what I could never have. I don’t watch them anymore and I’m much happier.


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