“Fine,” I told myself. “If I go check my blog, and the last post is more than four weeks ago, I will post something.” Plus, it was getting awkward leaving CommentLuv comments all over the place that linked back to “Yes, I Worry About Socialization.” I mean, I do worry. But not that much.
I also like all of the tips, although…I can’t read too many tips. I have to limit myself. The needle is quick to flip from “this might be a helpful modification to the way I do things” to “I CANNOT LIVE INDEPENDENTLY WITHOUT INTERNET IDEAS SO I MIGHT AS WELL JOIN THE CIRCUS OF BROKEN TOYS.” I probably need to check in with my imaginary life coach about some of these issues.
So, I read Harvard Homemaker’s post about laundry and was pleasantly surprised to learn that not only do I already understand laundry, but I also do something that was not on the list. I thought “hey, I should write about that. Need something to blog about.”
Then I thought “well, hey, what should I call this tip. It could be ‘Lazy Mom’s Guide to Laundry with Kids.'”
Then I got real mad. Reallllll mad. Hey, self, and hypothetical Internet judgy types who might happen upon my blog if they ever actually existed: look. I am not lazy. I should not have to characterize myself as lazy just because I am not that focused on household maintenance.
I can do it, but I frequently forget OR decide something else is a priority.
What is with me? Why is that my first thought, that I should present myself as lazy/inept instead of just being all, “hey, here’s a laundry thing.”
Is it just me? It’s not just me, right? I feel like there’s a dichotomy in how we gals are supposed to present ourselves on the Internet, if we’re talking about family life:
- Wacky, madcap adventures in juggling life with kids and dirty dishes and never getting things quite right but we ain’t we got fun! Gosh, I wish I could get it together! – OR
- Lifestyle expertise from the queen of systems, she who shall be a light to the nations
SPOILERS: I frequently feel this way about how moms talk about themselves in real life. You know, we can’t take a compliment without saying “this old thing?” or pointing out the opportunity cost – “oh, but I’m terrible at such-and-such” as though it’s somehow related to being good at so-and-so.
Am I being too vague? Too grumpy? This is why I should blog more often so I’ll be less scattered.
Well. Anyway: here’s my exciting tip that has no picture because my laundry room is cramped and non-photogenic.
I have a set of shelves in the laundry room and a basket for each family member, along with one for linens. I let the kids make labels for their baskets to add an element of “fun” that lasted for 47 seconds. (Remember, kids: Mom believes that work IS fun!)
When I take a load of laundry out of the dryer, I put each item into the appropriate person’s basket. I do not fold the items.
Once a day, each child is supposed to put away his/her clothes from said basket and return the empty basket to the shelf.
“How do I handle folding the kids’ clothes?”
Gentle Reader: I do not care.
Why do I need to care if my daughter has folded her shirts in the most efficient manner possible?
Okay, I guess I could care. You could argue that I should leave the children an inheritance of understanding how to make the best use of storage space so that they will not buy bigger furniture than they need someday, all because they don’t know how to fold their shirts. You could say that the clothes will last longer if they are folded perpendicular to the Equator in groups of three instead of folded however-they-want. You could say Flylady (NEVER SAY FLYLADY TO ME) and make vague prononuncements about how it would be even better if our morning routine included Mom inspecting the contents of the dresser to see if the clothes are sorted and stored correctly. You could point out that The Container Store offers various plastic items to assist in folding (the only argument on this list that would convince me.)
And I would say: your world, and you are welcome to it. I choose to occasionally look the child straight in the eyes, intone “DID YOU PUT YOUR CLOTHES AWAY CORRECTLY WHERE THEY GO?” and be done with it, after a cursory consideration of microexpressions that might indicate said child is straight-up lying to me and those clothes are in a pile in the back of the closet instead of somehow organized in the drawers.
Now. The system does break down in times of Mom Distraction or Mom Stress. Mom decides to be all freeeeee and in the wiiiind, and to do ten loads of laundry with nary a thought to its ultimate destination. Mom cannibalizes the baskets. “I’ll just fill up all eight baskets with random clean laundry and stick them in my room for now. Just for a minute.” And then, after about two weeks of We Can’t Use Our Baskets Mom Well Hey Go Look In My Room I Know You Have Socks In One of the Baskets We Are Already Late, I dump the entire pile onto the bed, cue up Netflix, and re-sort everything into the appropriate baskets. Still without folding the children’s laundry. It is already wrinkled (see: two weeks of W.C.U.O.B.M.W.H.G.L.I.M.R.I.K.Y.H.S.I.O.O.T.B.W.A.A.L.) and they are just going to wear it and put it in the hamper so I can start fresh. Besides, they are so grateful for clothing by that point that they fold each item as though it were the precious lost handkerchief of Imhotep the Ninth.
WAIT I JUST THOUGHT OF ANOTHER TIP. My beloved, already-mentioned Container Store has color-coded mesh laundry bags. I mostly just use white mesh bags to line our hampers but this has made it easier: I bought a black one and a red one for the set of hampers that the kids use. Now it’s easy to tell which hamper is for darks, which is for reds and burnt orange (hook’em), and which one is for light colors.
SEE? Look at that. A whole housekeeping-related post with almost no self-deprecation.
Just don’t ask me how our schoolroom looks. (foreshadowing music) (of doom) (srsly it is bad u guyz)
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!