Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Mother's (and Father's) Work : Laundry

My little man is sleeping next to me (on his blanket on the living room floor, exhausted from an hour of trying so hard to crawl), and it occurred to me that a) I forgot to change his diaper when he started looking sleepy, so he'll likely soak through it, and b) that I'd better get the rest of his dirty clothes into the wash, so I'll have something other than the lineup of 'un-favorite' onesies and pants to put on him when he wakes up. And then I paused to reflect on just how many loads of laundry I do a week.

My mom had a poem one of my siblings printed out for her taped to the dryer for most of my childhood. It was called 'Hats off to mother' and began with the line "A mother's work is never done..." I gave it little thought, casually reflecting on the fact that yes, she did do a fair bit of work.

Fast forward more than a decade.

I had no idea just how much work she did.

Nor did I know that the addition of a < 20 lb person could triple the number of loads of laundry I do a week. Granted, more than half of those are cloth diapers.

The breakdown:

  • 5-6 loads/week of cloth diapers 
  • 1 load/week of Chris's work shirts
  • 1 load/week of Chris's work pants
  • 2 loads/week of Levi's clothing
  • 1-2 loads/week of Levi's floor blankets
  • 1-2 loads/week of towels and sheets
  • 2-3 loads/week of Chris and my clothing
At the very least, I do 13 loads of laundry a week. At most, 17 (if not more...spring cleaning has me washing the linens and coats in storage, and Levi's recent growth spurt took more than half his onesies out of rotation AND gave him the ability to soak through his previously invincible BumGenius night diapers). 

And while no one is judging me for my son's occasionally overflowing dirty clothes basket (and subsequent mis-matched outfits)  I'm inevitably left with the sense that my work is, in fact, never done. And I *will not* let it turn into mommy guilt. *will not* 

Because in the grand scheme of things, it's small potatoes. I have much bigger and better things to worry about!