Quoting Jenn O:" I need to vent. And get support. I locked Claire in my room (where she's been sleeping) and she's upset ... [snip!] ... to add I did go in and apologize to her after I posted this. Still feel frustrated and lost. She went to sleep thank goodness."
i'm a single parent so i get the doing it alone thing. Kids act 'bad' when they feel bad. Whilst some behaviours are normal for a 2 yr old, your responses, the amount of activity and attention she is getting and your stress level will impact her the most and affect her behaviours and their frequency. Can you get out the house alot with them? Go to friends houses to take the heat out of being home alone with them?
For tidying up, it's a developmental stage to pull things out and put away again. I would not take any toys away in punishment. At night, once she's asleep, put away all the toys that she doesn't use very often. Pack them away for a little while. Only have out the toys that she loves or uses at least a couple of times a week. Put them in clear easy to use storage to keep them organized. I never made my son tidy, because he's his own person and it's not right to force people to do things, that teaches about parental control (negative) rather than tidying. For tidying i model it to him - i tidy up everyday. I'm gentle with my things and look after them. A couple of times a day when he appears to be finished with something then i get on the floor with him and ask if i can tidy it up. If he's done and it's ok, i tidy, and he copies/joins in. I never really have to verbally ask. As i'm doing it i used to remind him that we're tidying up his toys together 1) so they don't get lost and 2) so they don't get broken and end up in the trash.
There are some periods of disequilibrium where their development is progressing, but it takes a temporary regression whilst their brains are wiring and they're moving on. During these periods they can ask for more help then they previously needed, like with tidying up. It can be frustrating for us, but they genuinely do need the help, and the reassurance is equally important as they are suddenly hit with the realization of their new abilities and independence - whilst it's a positive thing it can unsettle them a little during sensitive periods.
Kids frequently push the parent who is still home with them, when the other parent has left. Sometimes they feel very insecure about the parent who's missing and so they 'test' the other parent so to speak, to make sure that no matter how "bad" they are that you still love them and will still be there for them unconditionally.
When i'm mad, i instantly try to recognize that if i yell or be punitive it will not actually change the behaviour long term, and it will harm our relationship and my future abililty to discipline. I try to remind myself that i'm only doing it to release my anger and it's bad for him, so i bite my tongue. I've had periods of intense stress (fleeing domestic violence, disabled mama and spirited kid = tricky combo lol) and totally not controlling myself and it tends to spiral out of control and we both feel and act terribly. When i'm in control of myself my son's behaviour reflects that. They are like little mirrors of our emotions and behaviour.