Broken Vows

Mark is accusing me of breaking my vows to him as a husband. He claims that I promised to never allow our house to look like it had been overtaken with toys once we had kids. He feels betrayed that our living room is looking less like a well-designed space, and more like a daycare center.

Mark, I admit. I have failed you. I have not lived up to the expectations that either of us had for our home. When I see the amount of primary colored plastic I have allowed into our living room, I am also ashamed. We are looking less Design Within Reach and more Romper Room these days. I am trying to make a change, but change is difficult. I am not proud of it, either. I hope we can work through this difficult stage of our relationship.


  1. I've decided it isn't our fault! I blame grandparents. They purchase the majority of the toys that clutter our living space.

  2. We made a similar pact before we had kids, after seeing a living room that was 100% dedicated to the kids. It freaked us out a bit. Not the normal clutter of toys and bins, we're talking every available bit of space and wall covered in kid's stuff.

    I'm actually insanely proud of our living room. The kids play in it during the day, but every night (and sometimes once or twice during the day) we gather up the toys and put them away in the kids' rooms. It keeps me in my happy (read sane) place.

  3. We have sacrificed half of the garage to be used as a "playroom" and toy storage area. I have storage units that go all the way to the cieling holding boxes and buckets of toys and this is where 99% of the toys in our home live. The kids have books and two baskets of stuffed animals in their shared room. But, that is it! Throughout the day we bring buckets of toys inside to play, but MULTIPLE times per day I move the toys back out to the garage to keep my sanity and to have a little bit more of a minimalist/zen environment.

    I joke with my girlfriends that I feel like I am living out the plot of "Groundhog Day" over and over every day... cleaning up the same toys, breaking up the same arguments, preparing the same snacks... etc.

  4. When I was pregnant we needed new living room furniture so we looked for furniture that had lots of storage with the intent of filling it with toys. Luckily we found some good pieces with lots of space to fill...and let me tell you, with only ONE child it is almost all full and the bigger toys permanently camped out in front of the fireplace! I can only imagine what our living room will look like in a few years with older kids and bigger toys!!

    This is one of those areas that I don't think we really understand pre-children when we make those promises/comments about a living room not turning into a kids room.

  5. YES!!! The grandparents. I purge and purge and purge and they still bring in more. Every visit.
    Then a birthday comes along and... oh my. Attack of plastic cartoon character type toys that are SO loud and beepy and flashy....ugh....

  6. Yes, what is it about toy makers that they insist on making toys so LOUD? As if we mothers don't already have a lot of NOISE (happy noises, mostly, but still NOISE) in our heads.

    Here is a tip I have learned for helping to tame the loud, annoying noises. While the kids are sleeping, place a strip of clear packing tape over the speaker region of the toys. It muffles it quite a bit. If you start doing this while they are really little, then they just think it is normal. I call it "the window" and they say, "Oh, the window". :)


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