Thursday, January 7, 2010

If you're looking for intellectual stimulation or spiritual fulfillment, you will not find it in this post.

I am going to complain about laundry.

That's it.

I will do this for approximately three minutes of your time.



I hate it like My Man hates peas. I hate it like Ouro Branco hates getting his ears cleaned. I hate it like Little Prince hates tying his shoes. I hate it like Mr. Squishy hates a diaper change.


It's always there. I can wash every single dirty item in the house on a given day (this is strictly theoretical - it has never happened) and that very night, every hamper will have a dirty article of clothing in it. I have nothing to show for it. It is always there, waiting to be done.

That Girl ... That Girl ... wash us ... we're dirty ....

The clothes SPEAK to me. In really low, gurgly voices that sound like they're coming from beneath a sewer.

('Cept for socks. They're kind of high pitched.)

Speaking of socks, what's up with them, anyway? I have approximately 879 single socks without mates. LP currently has two pairs to his name that actually match. And don't get me started on trying to sort Da Boyz' socks. Did you know they sell socks in bags of 9-36 months, and 3-5 years? THAT WOULD MEAN MY THREE CHILDREN ALL WEAR THE SAME SIZE. I'm buggered every time I have to fold those squeaky voiced suckers.

And laundry is not a quickie little chore. It's not a fast swipe of Clorox bleach wipes or a two-minute sweep job. IT TAKES ALL FREAKING DAY. Sort. Pretreat. Load. Start. Wait. Switch. Pretreat. Load. Start. Wait. Take out. Switch. Pretreat. Load. Start. Fold. Wait.

And the folding - the FOLDING! And the putting away - the PUTTING AWAY! It truly takes me a week to get everything done, and by then I have to start all over again.

Every woman has their thang, and laundry is obviously not mine.

(My mother and brother love doing laundry. I'm thinking about disowning them.)

Now floors, I can get into floors. I like sweeping. I like mopping. I like not crunching when I walk. I like making beds. I like doing the dishes. I even like dusting and getting fingerprints off the walls.


A friend and I were discussing the other day that this is when polygamy starts sounding nice. You could interview your husband's potential wives:

"Oh, you're into windows? Sorry. We already have a window washer."

I'm looking for someone who delights in laundry. Who relishes in beautifully creased clothing. Who yearns to match endless pairs of pipsqueaks.

I will wash your floor every day in return.

(But you're not getting My Man.)


Joni said...

While I am not applying for the position of second wife, I actually don't mind laundry all that much. Since I came to terms with the fact that it can't all be done at once years ago, I find folding clothes a guilt-free excuse to watch TV. And, unlike dishes, if I don't get to it that day I can hide the evidence inside hampers and behind closed doors.

Floors, however, are the bane of my existences. I detest the constant sweeping.

I'm with you on getting clothes put away, however. I could use a bit more practice there.

MommyJ said...

I read a book once with an entire chapter called "Stop trying to finish the laundry." It was funny... the author claimed that unless your entire family is standing in your living room naked, you will never be done. So stop trying to finish.

I still hate it though... it's gotten a little easier at my house since I got each of my kids their own laundry basket and made it their responsibility to put their own clothes away, (this has been a recent development... they haven't been old enough to do it until now) but I still have to fold. And I hate folding.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

Actually, I don't mind laundry so much although I have struggled lately to get it folded/put away. But there are a few things that I've done over the years to save time. I'll share my "wisdom" with you. Ha, having wisdom. First, I keep a large bottle of Shout on the back of the changing table and each night as my girls get in their jammies, I pre-treat any stains they have. That has saved me HOURS. Also, my 5 year old now puts away her own clothes, except for the hanging things. I've rearranged my 2 y.o. dresser so she can start partaking in the laundry fun. And I now let my husband put away his own laundry. Because I'm nice like that. I pile all of his beautifully folded laundry on his side of the bed making it virtually impossible to go to bed without putting it away. Not that he minds really. He even helped me fold the other night. My favorite thing about smells so good (the clean stuff) and makes the house smell like I've been hard at work. ;o)

Happy Mom said...

You said it, sista!

A friend of mine had to have a repairman come to fix her washer and he found five socks up inside causing the problem. So, it's true, washers DO eat your socks!

Kara Herron said...

Coming from an older mom - it does get better. My kids all decided - by the time they were about 12 - that they would rather do their own laundry than wait for Mom to do it. (This was my secret plan all along - ignoring the laundry until my kids were desperate enough to try it themselves!). There are a few drawbacks - the clothes don't really make it into an actual basket from the dryer. They make it onto the actual FLOOR. So, my laundry room is constantly swimming in clothes. The boys don't really care about wrinkled clothes - in fact it's apparently the "in" thing - so their clothes never get folded. We have a billion laundry baskets, because apparently, when the boys learned to do their own laundry, they didn't learn that it goes back into the drawers when it's done, so they each have approximately 7 laundry baskets in their rooms (and about 7 empty drawers in their dressers). And I have no idea which baskets hold dirty laundry and which hold clean. There's also the fact that not one of them wants to share their batch of laundry with anyone else, so we use way too much water/soap/etc. BUT, if you can live with the drawbacks, having your kids do their own laundry is great!!!!! Besides, their wives will thank you when they realize that their husbands know all about doing laundry. Hee, hee.

Erin said...

I would be HAPPY to switch laundry with sweeping/mopping floors. Honestly. Too bad we don't live closer. Sigh.

Lara said...

I actually really enjoy doing laundry. I used to hate it, until I figured out a good system for me, and now I've found I enjoy it.

But those disappearing socks...grr. I got rid of all the socks without mates before moving here 4 months ago and I already have a good collection of mateless socks in my basket. I know the washer eats them. Or the dryer.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I hear you, That Girl. You and I are twins separated in the preexistence.

Maybe we should move next door and do laundry for each other occasionally. Then God, recognizing what a HUGE sacrifice it is for us, will grant us monumental blessings. And in the meantime, we totally wouldn't judge each others' laundry piles.

rad6 said...

oh, I have a solution for you!!!!!
I have a 16 year old daughter who would do laundry all day every day if possible.
Somedays she will say something like, "Mom, today is going to be crazy, can you make sure there is laundry to fold when I get home?" Seriously. It is her R&R.
Also -- here is the good part -- she is currently for sale!! hee hee... because every 16 year old girl is for sale on some days of the week! She WILL NOT do your dishes. She loves to organize stuff and she folds laundry (while watching movies) faster than anyone I have ever met, and does a good job at it too. It is quite an interesting phenomena. She is delightful if you are not her mother or younger sibling. :) Willing to bargain! :)

Brittany Ann said...

Amen! Laundry has to be the most unfuflling of daily chores, I despise it. Probably I wouldn't hate it as deeply if it folded itself...but it would still be mundane. If I clean out closets, they stay organized...for a while. If I make my bed it at least stays made until bedtime. But even as I put away that last pile of shirts I am aware that what I am wearing is dirty. It haunts me. And it's nice to know that someone else understands. Thank you!

Sarah said...

I'm with ya! I decided that I will ONLY do laundry one day a week, for my own sanity. We all have enough clothes to make it that long. On laundry day, I fold every load when it comes out of the dryer and put it in baskets, one for the adults one for the kids. The kids put their own laundry away. I usually put the adult laundry away but sometimes I ask the man to help out. Sometimes I let it sit, clean and ready, on the dryer for a while (like this week). I only mate socks once every few months to keep tabs on what we have. Josh and Carly are both fully capable of finding socks that match. And if they don't take the time to find 2 socks, then it's their feet.
I liked the comment about stop trying to finish it. Committing to ONE laundry day really does make it feel like you accomplished something.

wonder woman said...

Girl, I would SO do all your laundry, though I would require dish duty in return.

Over the holidays we stayed with our in-laws, and my SILs were there with their kids. After about a day, I said, "We could totally be sister wives." One SIL loves to clean. The other one is a great cook. I'd play with babies all day. Or fold laundry. We could SO make it work.

trublubyu said...

A-MEN, A-MEN and A-MEN!!!

InkMom said...

I hate laundry because it's brainless and I have to figure out a way to occupy mine while I'm folding. And I have to occupy my mind without using my hands because they're already occupied doing something mindless.

I hate little kid laundry (I wash theirs separate from grown-up laundry) because a load to fold consists of exactly 789,245 articles of little tiny clothing. And it takes 7 hours to fold every itty bitty piece. During which my children must be sleeping because if they're not, they're either A. unfolding everything I put back in the basket or B. burning down the rest of the house.

I hate little kid laundry because it multiplies so fast that I hardly have the opportunity to wash my own clothes because there's always something that belongs to someone else that needs to be cleaned more. Because it stinks. Or will be stained forever if it isn't taken care of NOW. Or it's the couch cushion covers that were hurled upon.

I hate the very concept of doing a job just so someone else can immediately undo it.

I have been wracking my brain for years now trying to figure out a way to balance my love of clothes and looking cute in them with the idea of disposable clothing: one wear then toss into the recycle bin. Surely there's some manufacturer somewhere who has the capability to do to fabric what is done to paper every single day. And some Michael Kors wannabe looking for a way to break into the industry. I've got the concept, my friend. Disposable clothing is the wave of the future. Think of the water we'd be saving! Imagine the impact on your carbon footprint! Of course, we all end up naked when it rains. But if we're all naked, who really cares?

Can you tell we're in complete agreement on this subject? I thought so.

The Armstrong Article said...

I had this exact conversation (wait, it was probably not a conversation so much as me complaining) with my husband the other day. Laundry is the bain of my existence. And yes, there are days I do every piece of laundry for the satisfaction of having it all done, only to be endlessly bugged to see everyones dirty clothes in the hamper before I go to bed. Oh how I hate laundry!

Kimberly said...

I'm afraid I abhor laundry in much the same way you do, except I luuurve matching socks. I would trade you sock matching for floor washing any day.

I, personally, have solved the folding issue. I simply don't. I put the clothes right side out and lay them in piles, and then lay the piles in the girls' drawers. They mess 'em up anyway, so why have them neat in the first place? And in my room I hang everything that is hangable. The closet is stuffed full and the dresser drawers are used for things like batteries and scotch tape. Works fabulously!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I hate laundry too, especially the sorting, folding, and almighty PUTTING AWAY...and the scraps of randoms that just get moved around a lot...

Melissa P said...

I hate laundry too. I just finished folding mine and walked into my kids room. How do they accumulate that much laundry in a day? It has to be the worst task in the house.

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Jen Slater Brocke said...

My husband actually helped solve the sock orphan problem. (I know, a man with a solution to laundry problems...weird).
It's so simple I wonder why I never thought of it.

Never buy colorful fancy socks.
We now purchase Costco sized packages of same color/size socks for each older child and ourselves. Choose from black or white.
That way, if one gets eaten by the dryer monster, there's always another to match. Sure, you'll still have odd ones out sometimes, BUT you'll always have socks that match!

Kazzy said...

Ok, here is what I do, because a friend of mine told me she did it. It has really really REALLY helped. My boys have been doing their own laundry for a years now. They each have two baskets. One for dirty and one for clean. They each have a weekday where they get dibs on the laundry room. And when things are dry they get loaded into the clean basket and dragged to their room. I do not follow up after that. They know the separation and deal with it themselves. Once I let go of controlling the kids' laundry I felt liberated. And they can start doing laundry before entering kindergarten.

Rachel Sue said...

The socks. Oh, the socks.

Laundry is not awful, but only because I am lazy. There is not sorting at my house. Bummer for the pink socks. There is no pre-treating at my house. Bummer for the stains and therefore ragamuffin children.

But I can handle throwing the clothes into the washer. And I can handle folding them while I watch TV. But I cannot handle putting it away. I have been known to accumulate 3 hampers of clean, folded clothes in my bedroom before putting them away. Drives my husband nuts!

Tobi said...

My clean laundry pile is currently mocking me from it's perch on my loveseat. Or at least I think my loveseat is under there somewhere.

I don't mind the washing and the drying of the laundry. But the putting away part rarely happens. My kids don't have dressers so everything has to be hung. I so need to hit up IKEA for some dressers come this joyous tax season. =)

Julia said...

i started going crazy too, then decided to put a hamper in every room, then i do one load a day (i kindof have a schedule, so everyone has clean clothes most of the time) now it's not controlling my life. dishes on the other hand... i need a dishes wife:)

Just SO said...

You complete me.

You are completely my soul sistah in this hatred of laundry.

I hope there is no need for laundering in the next life or I'm not sure I want to go.

Elizabeth said...

Don't want your man. I like mine better. :P But if you want to wash my floors (and you can vacuum if you like, too) and do my dishes I WILL WASH EVERY LAST STITCH OF LAUNDRY YOU OWN AND FOLD THEM BE-A-UTIFULLY. (Putting them away is extra. I make my Peiwen do that. :P)

Personally, I have decided to look into drawers full of folded clothes and closets full of hung clothes and a laundry room NOT overflowing with dirty clothes, and find great accomplishment in it. I'm on top of the tide. I'm in control. I have not lost my deathgrip on the laundry situation that keeps my house from being drowned in dirty clothes and my children from running around naked. Every time I go to pick out clothes for Poppet for school and HAVE CHOICES I know I'm winning.

Good luck.

Melanie J said...

I don't hate laundry. But I don't do it, so maybe that's why. The ten-year-old and husband usually break down and do their own out of desperation. It works out.

Shooting Starchild said...

I'm still okay with laundry. But a kid is on the way, so we'll see if that changes in a few years.

Socks: When I was little we diaper pinned our socks together to keep the matches together. Totally works. You don't even have to fold them. Just unpin them before you put them on and pin them together as soon as they come off (that's the hard part). For my husband we do the pack of all one-brand-one-color socks. We didn't use diaper pins. We now have maybe one and a half pair of black socks left. Out of six.

Folding tip: Fold the big stuff first (like bath towels or the husband's pants). It makes the mountain smaller faster. (Don't have any tips for kids clothes - though I like the idea of just stacking them flat.)