Okay, friends, those of you with squeamish stomachs shouldn’t read any further. I’m about to reveal a dirty little secret. It’s one we all share – whether we’re single, married, married with kids, single with kids. We all have . . . dirty laundry. And we all know what happens if we don’t do our laundry regularly. We end up with the Laundry Monster.
Now let me define “doing laundry regularly” in my family. We have seven bodies running around my home, counting myself and my husband. That’s a lot of socks, underwear, pajamas, and regular clothes every day. Now, add to that any special event – like swimming, playing in the mud, water fights, sports, or crafts – and I’m looking at 4 loads of laundry for just that day.
Taming the Laundry Monster wasn’t always this difficult. I remember, back when I had only two children, doing laundry all on one day from start to finish. Four loads of laundry for the week. Simple, easy, and it only took the afternoon. So, I’d put C down for a nap, put a video on for S, and fold clothes. All of the clothes . . . down to the socks. Ah, it was a simpler time. I have a friend, who has two children and a husband, and she still enjoys the weekly laundry day.
Daily washing and drying of two loads keeps the Laundry Monster to a tamer level. And, everyone must fight in this battle.
And I get to fold the clean clothes. On the weekends my husband fights the battle almost single-handedly. And together the Laundry Monster gets tamed, for another day.
It’s a great system, but if someone becomes a weak link, all bets are off. The Laundry Monster rears his ugly head, and suddenly I go from needing to wash, dry, and fold two loads of laundry, to needing to wash, dry, and fold six. It’s during those times when I envy my friend. I look at my pile of laundry, sigh, and put another load in.
But honestly, my family’s getting good at getting the laundry washed and dried. They are all great helpers. In all honesty, I am usually the weak link in the laundry chain. It’s not that I don’t want to fold the clothes, it’s just that the minute my wonderful children see me folding the clothes – they explode.
We’ll be watching some captivating episode of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and I’ll scoot over to the clean clothes basket. (Yes, it currently lives in my front room, but that’s for another blog – or maybe therapy session.) I look at my three young ones; they are all entranced by the magic of Daniel. I casually pick up a pajama set to fold. I look back up from the folding to find my Kindergartner jumping off the recliner’s back, over the baby, and into the preschooler. Like I said, exploding. It happens every time I start to tame the Laundry Monster.
My husband has started to accept the laundry Monster as a permanent part of our “together” time at night. Whereas, we used to cuddle and watch something a bit more interesting than “Daniel Tiger”, now I sit on the couch and fold the clothes while he takes care of what remaining business (e-mails, etc.) he needs to finish that night. Then we sit on the couch intending to watch a show; and find ourselves waking up three hours later with kinks in our necks. But the Laundry Monster is tamed for another day.
So, taming the Laundry Monster is a lot like the other battles fought in the kingdom of Mommydom. It’s cyclical. It takes dedication and sacrifice. And the whole family has to help. Otherwise, this Mommy Crusader will fall to its continuous attacks. Thank you, my knights and ladies, for helping me and your Dad tame the Laundry monster again, and again, and again. . .