Lest you think I live in a pristine environment on a day-to-day basis, I thought I'd treat you to a bit of what is actually the norm around these parts…
Living in a one-bedroom duplex with a toddler is a bit tricky. She doesn't have her own room, or a playroom, or a yard that she can safely play in without running into oncoming traffic (which is something we try to avoid). So, without much choice, the living room serves many purposes. It's the largest room in the house, and when we aren't out and about, we typically spend most of our time there.
(I'm secretly thankful that our bedroom stays mostly clean and organized during the day. A neat freak needs some sort of a safe haven.)
When I need to get anything done in the morning, I make sure Eisley has a nice arrangement of playthings. Her current favorites include her box of shoes (the girl loves her shoes), a big bin of stuffed animals (which is typically kept under her crib), her dollhouse (currently occupied by a handful of marbles and the pirate), and her coloring books (all day, every day).
By time she is ready for lunch, the above mess-storm has usually occurred and I'm ready for a margarita. (Okay, just kidding, but SOME DAYS.) I've had to let go of a lot of my expectations, as far as order goes. I know some parents require a child to clean up one toy before moving onto another activity (which is admirable if you're able to manage it with a child yet to turn two!), but there's no way I can handle that all day long.
So, a mess it is. And I'm learning to just deal.
However, once she goes down for her nap (typically around noon), the following happens, and I can once again feel human:
Ah, yes. Sweet serenity. How I welcome you.
If I don't get to pick up this room halfway through my day, I feel completely off-balance. It's a necessary part of my day…so, at least for those couple hours she's asleep, I can feel like my space is my space. It's a good thing. As easy as it is to mess up our small home, it's equally easy to clean up. And for that I will never complain! Aside from my naptime pick-ups, Monday is generally my whole-house cleaning day (dust, vacuum, thoroughly clean the bathroom and kitchen, etc.) and I can get it done in one morning. It will definitely be hard to give that up once we have a house with more space.
Also, I feel the need to mention that I don't let Eisley have free reign over the entire house. She does help me clean up before bedtime, and I don't let her leave a mess-trail all over the house, but at this point I do the brunt of the clean-up. Which I think is fairly typical, but I could be wrong. Pinterest makes me feel like I live in a hoarder house some days, so I don't even know.
In any case, there you have it. Just a small piece of the madness (and goodness) of life with a toddler!