What do I believe as a parent? I know my son was born a humane being with thoughts and feelings and I believe in treating him like one. I don't talk down to him or assume he doesn't have feelings or opinions. I try to help him express himself and understand his feelings.
I know my son has preferences so I try to respect those as I would like my own preferences respected.
I believe my job as a parent often boils down to letting him experience the world the way he chooses and I'm along for the ride to make sure he doesn't die ( or get too injured). I say this casually because I let him do things other people seem to consider dangerous. I let him climb monkey bars at 9 months, and I don't run to him every time he falls. I try to let him interact with others however he sees fit. That one is tough but it usually works out better when I don't step In.
I try to expose him to play based learning. Sometimes I find an active he's interested in and other times I just put some sand out and see what he chooses to add to it lol.
I only worry about the mess when I'm having a cleaning relapse lol. I clean at the end of the day when he's done playing or at the end of the week. Because his play is more important and I can't have it both ways lol.
I let him choose what he wants to snack on and occasionally what he wants for dinner. Sometimes we've had cake for breakfast!