I know I am not alone in saying that my house resembles a crèche these days
I know I am not alone in saying that my house resembles a crèche these days.
Toys, Lego, teddies and puzzle pieces are littered throughout the entire house. There is absolutely no sign of adult existence. I have had notions of making a pot of coffee and charging people a couple of euro to use the “facilities”. Who needs a play cafe when you practically live in one!
All joking aside – this is a very real change that happens when you have children. If you are someone who is very house proud it may come as a bit of a shock. Initially it starts with the introduction of the crib, bouncer, pram and all other equipment that newborns tend to come with. Before you know it your home has been taken over by these along with much appreciated gifts from family and friends.
This genuinely is only the starting point though. Your baby soon graduates to using a play mat and perhaps a walker and eventually their first baby toys. Rattles get bigger, toys come with more pieces, and so begins the transition from adult home to family home.
I was never overly house-proud. I am not a perfectionist but I do enjoy a decent level of organisation. I like to know that everything has a place and I like there to be some kind of order. This meant that the “takeover” really took me by surprise. A corner of the living room soon became two corners. A first birthday came with an unbelievably generous amount of gifts and soon we found ourselves submitting to the chaos, embracing the toy shop that we lived in, and focusing on what made our son happy. It was an adjustment but we really enjoy our son’s excitement as he plays with his toys and trinkets. It is the colourful family home we all dreamt of at some point.
My advice would be to accept the fact that your home takes on a new “look” in these early childhood years. If your standards are that of a show house, you might want to reconsider. I will say that investing in some clever toy storage could make the world of difference. The same can be said for those who are lucky enough to be able to have a play-room in their home. A self-contained room to put all of your children’s toys and equipment would certainly be the dream. We were gifted with a little ball-pit and we now use it to store all of the little toys that are dispersed throughout the living room on a daily basis. We soon realised that attempts to tidy “as we go” throughout the day were totally futile. There is also a whole new level of shuddering to be experienced when your child literally upturns the Lego box moments after you have gathered it all up.
We found that it brought us less stress to simply allow our son to have the run of his toys throughout the day. It was pointless to attempt tidying up ten times daily. Instead we take five minutes to put things in their rightful place when he has gone to bed. It is then, and only then, that for a brief moment in time our living room resembles that of a space suitable for adults. And let’s be honest, by that stage we are only fit for bed.
These are the changes that come with parenthood. Sometimes the most freeing thing to do is simply accept that this is the way your home will look for the coming years. Walls will be drawn on, toys will be flung, and you will stand on Lego many many times.
But perhaps the hardest thing of all to accept is the fact that despite all of the toys available to them, your child will still cry for your mobile phone and the remote controls.