Today disaster struck. The washing machine broke. Well, I say the washing machine broke, what actually happened was I couldn’t get the damn door open! I could feel that the mechanism was the problem because all the tension in the handle had gone. My own tension was very much present, however, as I had a flashback to Wills opening and slamming the door repeatedly earlier in the day, and realised that this was probably his sodding fault.
After some not-so-sensible suggestions from Mr C (“Why don’t you run a cycle then see if the door will open when it’s finished?” Yes, sure that’s a great idea. Let’s make all the dry clothes in there really wet so that when I still cant get the door open they start to go mouldy and stink!) good old brute force did the trick and I got the door open.
Mr C had gone off to google washing machines and see what we could afford, but before joining him I thought I’d have a look and see if maybe something had just come loose that I could fix. But on closer inspection it was obvious that the whole mechanism was beyond repair.
We really can’t afford a new washing machine. I mean, we could if we had to, but it would definitely be going on the credit card which we are really really close to paying off in full. Luckily, a quick mind and a quick google search stopped Mr C hitting purchase.
Inside the door of our machine (which btw Hotpoint, NOT helpful if your door gets stuck!) is the model number. I googled the model number + “door handle part number”. The search returned the part number for the handle I need, and a trusted website to buy it from. For – wait for it – £9.65 + p&p!
I had a quick look and could see that fitting it would just be a case of a few screws, and hey presto! 2 days later and less that £13 out of pocket the washing machine is back up and running.
So what is it about me now that came up with this solution, as opposed to the me of a few years ago who wouldn’t have thought there was any other option than a new machine? Is it age, experience, or motherhood that has made me more aware and more conscientious? Or is it because the last 3 years have taught me to squeeze every last penny? Am I simply smarter with my cash because these days I have less of it – much less of it!
There’s something about parenthood which throws you in at the deep end, and makes you have to learn the art of thinking on your feet FAST. Whether you’re a natural problem solver or not, those skills are paramount when you become a parent. Thinking outside the box is equally as important. From day one of parenthood you find yourself suddenly having to find new and ingenious ways of doing things. I once carried Wills around in an old maternity maxi dress wrapped around me like a sling for an entire day because a) I didn’t have a sling and b) he wouldn’t settle.
I guess I’ve always been creative, and I’ve always been ok at very basic DIY. But something has shifted in the last couple of years. Suddenly I’m excited by power tools and pallets (I actually built a bar and a house for the kids!) And I have the foresight to try a £10 fix on the washing machine before shelling out for a new one.
Maybe I’m not alone in this, though? Maybe, in actual fact, I was just really dumb a couple of years ago and now I’ve caught up to the party?! Whatever the case, I’m embracing the make do and mend culture that UK austerity has reignited in society. Old bits of furniture to sand and paint? Yes please!