I babysat today and no, I do not mean my own children. Other kids spent the day with me, almost the same ages as my babies. It was a long day and not because anyone misbehaved (just a little) but because I had four kids three years or younger in my house.
When I watch other kids, I try my hardest to keep everything together. I go into "60's mode" and pretend that my husband will get bent out of shape if he arrives home to a messy house. This in turn causes the house to be cleaner than if he came home on a regular day. I rotate the laundry and dishwasher all day. I sweep the floor. Toys are in toy boxes. Trash is in the trashcan. Shoes are in the closet. I can't do this every day. I am exhausted as I type this. I didn't "play hard" with my kids. I spoke to them and we interacted, but I maybe read one book. I was just too busy, which is why I always put housework behind educating my children.
Most importantly, the counters are clean. Clearing off counters (and the kitchen table, island and living room side tables and my desk) is hard. I don't like it. I want to put stuff away, but what if I forget where I put something? What if I throw something away and I need it later? I'm not a hoarder or really even a pack-rat. It is easier to procrastinate with mail, coupons, receipts, cards, and invitations than to organize them. Not today, though. My surface areas are clean, unlike most days and that is my SAHM Triumph of the day.