Once your kid starts walking, life is never the same. After walking comes climbing, and after climbing comes mom saying "no" constantly. At my house, a day full of no's was a day full of tantrums. Then I figured out what my son needed. He needed to be in places where he wouldn't be told no all the time. He needed to run, jump, climb, and slide. He needed to see new things that captivated him enough to keep him out of trouble.
So we stopped staying home. Now we go to parks, libraries, monuments, and museums. We go grocery shopping, window shopping, and to the dollar store. We visit friends more (and somehow, their toys are always better). The whole idea is that we spend half of every day anywhere but our apartment.
This guy is so much happier!
Since he's happy, I'm happy. And even though I'm out of the house for longer, I get more done because he's more willing to play on his own when we are home.
Being a toddler must be so hard. You want to try out all your new active skills and take in everything around you, but everyone is constantly holding you back. Too much stimulation, and you can't handle it. Too little, and you can't handle it. It's challenging as a parent to find that balance. No day is a perfect day, but getting out every day has made a huge difference for us.