The Joys of Parenting Toddlers: Spills, Mess, and Mucky Carpets

As any parent of a toddler knows, kids are muck magnets. They make a mess when they eat, they spill drinks everywhere, and when they get “creative”, paint, glue, and glitter rarely stay on the table or paper. It can be quite frustrating at times, especially if you are a neat freak, but the only way to deal with the unbridled mess is to learn some coping strategies.

Most parents experience a paradigm shift when their firstborn arrives. The selfish pre-child days are now in the past and every waking moment will be spent cleaning up after a little person who thrives on chaos. While there are undoubtedly some little angels out there who remain clean, neat and tidy, your white carpet’s days are numbered.

The key to staying sane when you have a toddler is to practice damage limitation. Since it is very difficult to clean up after the event, it’s much easier to prevent the mess from getting out of hand before it destroys your home. In the event of an absolute disaster, such as a nasty stain on your brand-new carpet or sofa, ATH Cleaning Services will be able to help, but prevention is usually better than cure.

Invest in Hard-Wearing Flooring

Pale carpets are great for childless couples, but they don’t work if you have young children. Carpets can be cleaned, but it’s better to install easy-to-clean flooring such as laminate or vinyl in high traffic areas or rooms where your child eats his meals. Keep the carpet for bedrooms.

Food and Drink

Toddlers love to be independent. This means that they prefer to feed themselves rather than wait for mummy or daddy to spoon feed their meals. You should always encourage independence in a toddler, but don’t let them eat meals on the sofa or carry a bowl of pasta shapes into the living room so they can watch TV.

Meals are best enjoyed in a room with an easy-to-clean floor. Kitchens work well, but any room with a laminate floor is OK. Get your children into the habit of eating at the table, preferably as a family. It will instil good manners and better eating habits than allowing them to eat in front of the TV. If you have a messy toddler (comes with the territory), place their chair on a plastic mat and protect their clothes with a large catch-all bib.

Drinks are also responsible for messy incidents if you let your child wander around with a full cup of juice or milk. Sippy cups are OK, but keep a close eye on where your child takes their cup. The last thing you need is a cup of milk left behind a chair, next to a radiator.

Arts and Crafts

Spending time on arts and crafts activities is great fun, but only if you contain the mess. Buy some plastic sheets and cover the floor before you start experimenting with paint and glitter. Or, even better, do it outside if the weather is warm enough.

You can’t have a pristine show home when you have kids, but don’t let this get you down. Homes are for living in, and kids don’t stay small forever!

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