Why My House Is A Mess

Yesterday morning my house was clean and tidy. This morning I sat down with a (cold) cup of tea and I looked at the mess. What would someone say if they saw my house right now? It's not unusual for it to be a mess and I'm a little embarrassed about it. I make the Ocado man leave my delivery in the hall. I keep the shutters closed so the neighbours can't see in. I am a mum with two young children and this is how we live.

Cream tiles, an empty orange ikea bowl and cereal scattered across the floor

In the dining room there is food on the floor from earlier when my 15 month old climbed onto a chair and grabbed a box of cereal because the breakfast things have not been tidied away yet. My toddler grabbed handfuls of cereal from the box, placed it in a empty, abandoned bowl, found a spoon and started eating it. I was incredibly impressed with her. Understandably there are now cornflakes on the floor, but what do you expect with a 15 month old?

The cereal joined some dried noodles left from the girls' dinner last night. They ate late and then we went straight into a bedtime routine of baths, story time and bed before I eventually collapsed on the sofa and attempted to do some work. A tooth or two making an appearance meant I barely had 15 minutes at a time before racing upstairs to spend an age settling Little back to sleep. Eventually my partner came home and joined in the stair relay while his dinner got cold, but Little only wanted me.

All of yesterday's toys are still scattered across the living room, kitchen and dining room for the same reason. I think some have made it in to the toilet too.

Look in the kitchen and you will see cardboard and empty bottles scattered around. They were all in a recycling bag until the toddler decided to empty it and with the help of the cat knocked them all around the kitchen. Yes I could have stopped them, but I was making food. To be honest I was grateful she wasn't trying to go in the cupboard under the sink (the one with all the cleaning bits in) or the booze cupboard so I left her entertained with the recycling.

The dirty dishes are balanced high in the kitchen because the dishwasher is full of the clean ones. Have you tried emptying a dishwasher with a small child around? She absolutely loves to help. It's not too bad with the plastic plates she likes to remove and place on the floor (as long as she doesn’t lick them), but then she moves on to my Denby plates and makes a grab for a knife or my beautiful Emma Bridgewater mugs. I'm lucky if she isn't climbing on the dishwasher door or trying to pull the entire top rack out on herself.

Those muddy marks on the floor? I honestly couldn't say if they were from the cat or the toddler. We had a lot of rain showers yesterday and both girls were in and out of the garden multiple times. Little happily takes her shoes off in the car during a 2 minute drive, but encouraging her to sit down and remove them when she's come in from a wet garden? That's much less appealing to her.

Dark brown wooden floors covered in assorted toys

Our living room definitely looks lived in. As well as all the toys all over the floor there are papers everywhere too. The pile under the side table used to be on top of it. It was neatly stacked, but my youngest took them off, one by one and surrounded herself before standing up and slipping over on them. I restacked the pile on the table and the process was repeated. After the 4th time that day I put the paper in a pile under the table. She hasn’t touched them since. 

The papers on the floor under the window? That's my admin pile: post and school letters which I need to reply to. It was all in neat piles on the windowsill until the cat charged across it chasing an invisible fly and sent it all flying.

Yes I know that sofa is covered in clothes, but be impressed: they are clean! I managed to do 3 loads of washing yesterday (admittedly 1 lot was the bedding my 5 year old had vomited on). Some washing went in the tumble drier, the rest went on the airer. Obviously that meant I had to remove the last lot of washing, now dry, from the airer and put it somewhere. I couldn't take it upstairs and put it away. As soon as I open the door to the stairs the toddler starts to climb up them. To follow her with enough hands free to catch her if she slips means taking about 10 trips in total. I couldn't do it when the girls were in bed because the noise might wake them, not that my youngest spent much time asleep last night anyway.

A shelf covered in a huge pile of stuff including batteries, SD cards, cards a mini red phone box, a paper bag, nail vanish, Pixie Lott paint and red bubblewrap envelope, a cable and a notepad

Yes even those surfaces the girls can't reach are a jumble of mess. They keep being added to every time I find something which shouldn't be played with. Cameras balance against vases, books, make up and a whole collection of choking hazards.

So you see my house was tidy (well tidyish) yesterday morning, but life happened. We've been busy, we've been playing, we've been a family.

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