Friday, June 11, 2010

Making Peace with the L word


1 : a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom <a breach of the peace>
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
5 —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell

at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity

What speaks peace to us differs greatly from person to person, but I made a realization about the need for peace as it pertains to someone very important to me:  My husband.  He is generally quite easy to please, happy spending time with our 4 noisy children and talking to me, someone who can never talk enough.  He is almost always up for whatever it is I'd like to do on the weekends, from various day trips to spending time working around the house.  He rarely criticizes me or asks that I change my way of doing things here at home.  I'd like to think he trusts my judgment when it comes to decisions regarding the raising  of our children, keeping our house and other issues affecting our life together.

There is one area, however, that I have been blind to:  Laundry.  Oh such a dirty word!  I loathe laundry the way others loathe scrubbing toilets or changing diapers.  I'd rather spend my life doing those other 2 if it meant no laundry.  Unfortunately in our delightfully prolific family, neglecting laundry is not an option.

Big J has made comments in the past the rub me the wrong way in a "what is THAT supposed to mean?" way although he is very subtle.  You know, outrageous claims like "I never have clean socks" or leading questions such as "where have all my undershirts disappeared to?"  I bristle because I don't like the connotations:  You aren't keeping up with the laundry.  Also, I don't want to face the truth: I'm not.  I've also always felt like oh get over it, I'm busy and laundry isn't THAT big of a deal.

Or is it?

This weekend I realized: for Big J, not knowing if he has clean clothes for work can be stressful.  It can be quite the opposite of peaceful for him to see overflowing dirty laundry baskets and woefully empty hangers dangling in the closet.  There is no security for him.  One way I can make home a peaceful place for him to land is to keep on top of the laundry.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Is that really so hard?  Scaling a mountain of dirty laundry is no one's idea of a good time, but what if there was never a mountain?  What if the floor in the girl's room was always visible and the hampers always empty?

It would take discipline.  I'd have to do laundry  And I think I mentioned I hate laundry.  But I do love the absence of visual noise that keeping on top of it all provides.  So maybe, in some way, by seeking peace for J, I'll find a piece of peace for me as well.


  1. I recently (6 months ago) started really keeping up with my laundry, because Like J, Ben couldn't handle having to get ready for work and wondering where his clothes were. I actually got in a nice habit of just doing 1 (sometimes 2) loads a day. When I am really on top of things, I have kids grab dirty laundry that gets scattered all over the house, and bring it to the hamper AND put away their piles. My biggest battle is putting clothes away now. It is lovely to have clean clothes hanging all around instead of dirty ones! Also, let the kids help fold. Some wrinkles will not be the end of the world, and you may be surprised how well they pick up on it after a good lesson. Sometimes I even have Malachi switch the load for me. They feel so important, and it helps mommy out!! I know you can do it! :)

  2. I always appreciate what you have to say. You have such a way with words and are so encouraging with them. I think you should archive what you post in some way that your children can read what their mommy wrote about them and home life when they are older. They will love to read what you journalled about. I think they'll also appreciate how you spread good cheer among your fellow mom's.

    They way you describe your challlenge with laundry fits the way I feel about dishes! Oh, how I despise them as their pile grows higher and higher... It drives my husband crazy to have them stacked in the sink. I have to make a real effort to get them out of there before he gets home from work. It's a small thing really but it does take determination to keep on top of them. My husband is like yours -pretty easy going and doesn't ask much of me. But the dishes do get to him. I am speaking his love language when he comes home to a empty and clean sink. You do that with a full sock and tee shirt drawer. Though the task itself is not enjoyable, I suppose in the end it is nice to do something good for them. Thanks for this sweet and candid post.

  3. Only in the last few months have I really set a goal of keeping up on the laundry. I like you could never seem to stay on top of it and I HATED it! So here are some things I've been doing, don't know if they will work for you but maybe! I bought 4 little laundry baskets from Price Busters (the Dollar store ) and when I do the kids laundry each of them gets their own basket. It's easier to manage and then the older ones can actually put theirs away for you! Okay so their drawers get a little messy from time to time but we are working on that! The other thing is I do 2 loads a day. That is it. Most of the time I'll do a clothing load and then towels, rugs, bedding. That way I only have one clothing load to fold and the other load I know will be easy. Then diapers are an extra load a few days a week (but those are kinda fun in a weird way). I don't do laundry on Sundays and if I'm feeling extra motivated I'll throw in an extra one. Kids can help with towels too! THey like it and who cares if they aren't totally perfect! Even after Liora was born I was still able to keep up knowing that if I didn't falling behind meant a gazillion loads to do! All in all I only spend about 15ish minutes a day folding laundry. It really isn't that much!!!

  4. This is what I have been doing as well - 2 loads a day. Its amazing how much of a non-job laundry becomes if you actually stick with it! I know that laundry is a small area of housekeeping, but I really have been realizing lately how undisciplined I am with housework. I just want more deliberateness in this area of my life. One step at a time!


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