I’ve written many times about laundry over the years. Mostly when I write the word “Laundry” I really use it as a euphemism for “Every Household Chore I Hate But Can’t Escape Because It Never, Ever, Ever Ends.”
But this blog post is about the actual, literal laundry.
Before I adopted my 3rd child, I could wash, fold and put away every piece of laundry in my house in two days. That left 5 laundry-free days every single week. I seriously did laundry only on Monday and Tuesday. That was it. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t talk about it (that much). It didn’t consume my very being.
But something happened when Elliana—little 13-month-old, 24-lb Elliana—entered the picture. Laundry Days became Laundry Life. It was like something with that 3rd child just threw me over the Laundry Edge.
I know the math doesn’t compute. A 13-month-old child does not A Laundry Life make. I don’t get it. My friends don’t get it. I’ve had actual, real-life friends (Lisa B. and her husband) make fun of me because I talk so much about Laundry consuming my life.
(And just so you know, Lisa B.’s husband is my therapist.)
(Well, ONE of my therapists. I have more than one.)
(You know when your therapist and his wife make fun of you, you have serious issues.)
(And you also have serious issues if you have more than one therapist.)
Anyway, this summer, I decided it was time for my oldest daughter to learn to do her very own laundry. She’s in high school now and I vaguely remember learning real-life responsibilities in high school. So, I took her to Target and let her select her very own color-coordinated hamper and basket. I instructed her on the proper method of sorting. I explained the various washing and drying options. I allowed her use of the laundry room for an entire day each week. And I went about my life with the rest of the house to run.
And something miraculous happened.
Laundry Life became Laundry Days again! I’m not even kidding you. I’m sitting here on a Tuesday Freaking Morning completely caught up on my laundry.
I mean, how does this happen? Is there a law of physics I’m not aware of? A Laundry Law? A LAWNDRY? I was a Communication Major—I’m not even sure what physics is. So, what am I missing?
My daughter, on the other hand, has not yet mastered the art of folding and/or hanging her clean laundry. I’m not even sure she knows which of the items on her floor are the clean ones or the dirty ones. Let’s just say, she’s got some kinks to work out of her system. And if I think about it for too long, I may very well march up there and fix it all for her. Which may very well defeat the whole point of delegation.
The important thing here is that my theory is correct. It truly WAS the 3rd kid that put me over the Laundry Edge! It wasn’t the youngest child, necessarily. It was ANY 3rd child.
Lawndry of Physics:
>/= 2 Children = Laundry Days
< 2 Children = Laundry Life
The other important thing here is that, not only have I eliminated days (!) of housework, but I think I’ve also eliminated my need for therapy. Or perhaps the need for ONE of my therapists. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
(I fully expect to hear from every mom of 4 or more children. I can only imagine your Laundry Lives and your Laundry Edges. I’m so very sorry. I weep for you. My only advice is to delegate as soon as possible. And when they don’t fold or hang or put away and every item of clothing they own is strewn on their bedroom floor—don’t rescue! Just keep the bedroom door closed. That’s what I do.)