After living through the birth of two babies in less than two years, I thought nothing could bring this mama down. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, and even part-time work came easy. But after adding the third baby, one thing threatened to suffocate my prideful mothering—the laundry.
Don’t get me wrong; I love to do laundry. My family gets a good chuckle every time one of them catches me watching the water pour into the machine, slowly churning up the detergent and soaking the clothes. But adding that fifth filth-maker to the family seemed to make the piles of dirty clothes, sheets and towels explode exponentially.
Over the years I have devised a few simple rules that have relieved much of my laundry angst and secured many uninterrupted soul-soothing moments in front of the filling washer.
1. No one touches my clothes. Ever. This rule was instigated when my sweet-intentioned husband put my $100 suit in the washing machine. (OK, it was the ‘80s and a $100 suit was a nice one.) The suit actually came out fine but it was the potential disaster that I just couldn’t push past.
2. If you leave it inside out, you will have it returned inside out. This rule began as a reminder of simple courtesy, but as the sweet toddlers became smelly teens it was an added blessing not to have to touch those crusty socks and other unmentionables.
3. I don’t care whose socks they are. There is a basket on the washer where all the sock orphans are stored. If you’re missing a sock I don’t want to hear about it. Talk to the basket.
4. Laundry lady takes tips. If you leave money in your pocket, I will not come looking for you.
5. Don’t put a load of your clothes in the washer and then leave for the weekend, knowing I’ll be forced to finish it for you. I’m on your team, but I am not your slave.
6. At 15, you learn how to do your own laundry. Someday your spouse will rise up and call you blessed. Unless you try to wash her $100 suit.