It’s Time to Tackle the Laundry When…

…you lose your kid’s soccer jersey and have to miss the game.

Oh my gosh, you guys, THIS MONTH!! I for one am glad that I have less than three hours left in September.

Piers and Gil both have September birthdays, and I didn’t throw either of them a party. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll do almost anything to get out of throwing a children’s birthday party. I suck at themes and party games and cute, Pinteresty treats. I also live in a world of creative parents with excellent follow-through. The pressure and all the planning ahead turns me into a twitchy wreck. Nothing and I mean NOTHING brings up panic, anxiety and self-loathing for me quite like a kid party. This is definitely what I like to call an area of development.

On the flip side, I love a house full of peeps, socializing, all that. We had a party for Wallace in May and no joke, I emailed ten families on Friday and they ALL showed up Sunday from 2-5. It was honestly fabulous. The kids played; the parents had some afternoon cocktails; we had cake and ice cream and light snacks, and that was it. My friends raved about how fun and simple it was — I should remember this when I’m telling myself how much I suck at party planning. The problem is that waiting until the last minute is more expensive which brings its own element of stress, but overall it’s much better for my mental health.

Piers didn’t want a party, so we spent the weekend in downtown Atlanta and did two days of Six Flags. I need to make peace with kid parties or win the lottery or something.

Anyway, back to September. We had a going away party for Maeve and her family another weekend — fun, but exhausting.

Then my buddy, Allie, got married last weekend, and we all went and had to be fancy, and you can probably imagine what that entailed. Right before we walked out the door, Wallace lost his shit because his shoes were stiff. So…he wore his red Keens. Whatever. I also never had the boys try on their ties, and my gosh, either my kids have especially short torsos or kid ties are just ridiculously long — these certainly were.

Apparently I had loads of energy back in late August and thought signing everyone up for multiple after-school activities was a fab idea.

It was not.

Both kids are playing soccer and tennis, and Piers has been doing an extra day of a soccer skills clinic. We are all so done, and my children hope they never ever have to look at another soccer ball. I was trying to channel their endless supply of energy.

We were all so enthusiastic back in August.

Which brings me to today. Wallace was sniffly after school, but his game wasn’t until 6:30. He said he felt fine, but I could not find his jersey anywhere. I checked the dirty pile in the laundry room, multiple hampers, the clean pile on the couch that needs folding and the clean pile in my bedroom that I shoved in the corner for Maeve’s party.

The time has come. I need to get it together tomorrow and get things in order. I texted Wallace’s coach and said he has a cold — he does, but I didn’t mention that after an hour of searching, I have no clue where his jersey is. I’m beginning to think I need a life manager.

Really, we don’t have that many clothes. What is our problem?

Enlighten me. Teach me to stay on top of my laundry, because what I’m doing is not working. I vow to focus on my house in October.

What’s your biggest housekeeping challenge? And if you’re good at this sort of thing, how the hell do you do it? For real. I need tips.

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10 thoughts on “It’s Time to Tackle the Laundry When…

  1. When we lived in Germany, with both of us working, we both came home from school one day and said, “Where’s the kids?” Yep. We forgot to pick them up so I’m hardly the one to help here. Our washing machine was of course in German. One day I pushed the wrong button and cooked, That’s right cooked my clothes in boiling water. Nothing I could do. All the colours ran. We laughed when people commented that most of our clothes were the colour blue. Enough.
    Some real ideas. Give two different colour baskets to each boy. One colour for dirty, the other for clean. Take the dirty one, dump in the wash. When finished, dump in the “clean” basket. And so on. Who cares if they don’t make the drawers? Good Luck. PS: Do the boys clothes really need folding??

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    • That’s hilarious! You know, I actually don’t fold any of their clothes & really only put socks, underwear and pjs in drawers. We hang up everything — if I put it in the drawer I forget about it. Plus they empty out drawers if clothes are in there and it was making me crazy. I once opened a drawer where the shorts were supposed to be and found 10+ toilet paper rolls. I was like WTF? In kid-appropriate language of course. Wallace walked over and said — “Thats for my collection. I was recycling. You said it’s important to recycle.” Of course I briefly imagined that he’d be the featured person for a future Hoarders episode, but I’m pretty sure that’s when I decided we just weren’t drawer kind of people. How did I miss that you guys lived in Germany?! Is there anywhere you haven’t lived? That’s hilarious about “cooking the clothes” and hey, blue’s a great color.

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  2. Birthday parties are worse than laundry any day for me: there is a satisfaction in seeing a basket of folded clean clothes (my new thought is to fold the clothes as I take them out of the dryer–when possible). If a party is successful (usually it is), there is the satisfaction of knowing that you have given your child a good memory–but oh the agony prior to that fleeting smile on his face.

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    • Somehow I missed replying to this. I am SO sorry! I replied in my head — if only the computer could read my mind. Glad to hear I’m not the only person who loathes the party planning. As for laundry, my satisfaction doesn’t kick in until it’s all put away. More experienced mothers (like you) give me hope that in the near future the children will happily put away their own clothes. Tell me it’s true! 🙂

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      • More thanks to my husband –who “takes no excuses,” in my son’s words –than to me, my kids mostly put up laundry (except for my teenage daughter, whose closet and drawers are too full to put anything else in them). I’ve had to lower my standards for how the laundry is folded or hung, however.

        In the end, my son said he didn’t want a party. You’d think I’d have jumped up and down with joy, but it would have forced me to clean up my house, and it might have been a good social experience for all of us. Next year, I’ll be more encouraging about a party.

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  3. OMG! The laundry is just the worst!! Somewhere along the line, I vowed not to let my kids live out of a laundry basket…I used to not even wash the clothes it I didn’t think I would have enough time to also fold it and put it away. Sometimes that meant that I could only do one load of laundry instead of three or four!

    Somewhere along the line, it became more important to have clean clothes to wear than to have order. My older daughter became old enough to be able to put away her own clothes, so I fold her laundry and slide the laundry basket into her room for her to put away…except that she doesn’t have time, because she has dance lessons and piano lessons and Faith Formation and a mound of homework…so she lives out of her laundry basket.

    …Aaaargh!!!

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    • I know!! Laundry really is a bear. I remember people saying that before I had children, and I always wondered what the big deal was — it used to be one of my favorite chores. After Piers was born I vowed to stay in top of it, and it honestly wasn’t that bad. I prided myself on not having too many clothes, and I wasn’t working outside the home at the time, so it was manageable.

      Then…Wallace came along and it all went to hell in a hand basket, or rather a laundry basket. He spit up A LOT. We also now had 18mo Piers who was learning to feed himself, plus two cranky and exhausted parents…well, it was just bad. I don’t think we’ve been on top of the laundry since.

      I like your idea of finishing it to completion — as in, fewer loads but make sure everything is folded and put away. At least I think that’s what you mean. I think that’s where I’ll start today — just get the clean piles folded and put in the right closet or drawer, which I’m embarrassed to admit that they’re not all even in laundry baskets because I don’t have enough baskets to house everything. Okay, wish me luck! Good to hear from you!

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      • Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Good luck! I think I could benefit from returning to that system myself 🙂

        My daughter finally put away last week’s laundry tonight! (when I said she couldn’t do such and such until that laundry was put away). Now, I have a laundry basket to use for all the unfolded clothes that is currently on my bed! LOL!

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