Coming Clean on My Thankfulness

Written by Kath, a mom without a blog

When my husband and I were first married, I only used on the weekends. We both worked full time during the week, so I limited my use to Saturday or Sunday only. It was all I needed at the time.

Once our first child was born, I found that I needed to use during the week as well. I just couldn’t seem to make it to the weekend; so inevitably, I’d have to use mid-week. That’s what happens when you have kids, I guess.

Fast forward 15 years and 3 kids later and I have to admit, I use almost daily. I just can’t help it. I NEED to. Yes, my friends, I “use” my washing machine nearly every single day.

Not one of my friends prepared me for the changes in laundry that come with having kids. Not one. Overnight, our laundry seemed to double…and that was only adding one 6 pound 6 ounce person to our family! How on earth is that possible??

Now with 3 kids, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my laundry is simply never caught up. There was a time in my life when laundry baskets were empty and I was able to have the sense of accomplishment that “all the laundry” was done. Not any more. The beast that is laundry has overtaken me in my home and I’m always struggling somehow to keep up. (But never quite achieving it).

This reminds me of when my oldest was getting ready for kindergarten. His school performed a “readiness assessment” on all in-coming kindergarteners to determine if they were ready for the demands of a full day at school. The interviewer asked my son a series of questions. As I sat in the back of the room, I overheard this conversation:

Interviewer: “What does your dad do?”

B: “He works on the computer.” (True, his dad is a computer consultant).

Interviewer: “And what does your mom do?”

B: “She folds laundry.”

Really. I wanted to stand up and scream, “Mama has a degree!!” But I sat there and bit my tongue. ‘Til it bled.

But I digress. Suffice it to say, I’ve never had a love affair with laundry. It’s one of those Mama chores I detest. Until recently, that is.

When I went out to my washer to remove the 75th (or maybe 6th) load of laundry for the day, I opened the door of my front-loading washer to find a massacre on my hands. The rubber seal around the door was hanging out in a grotesque fashion, warped and stretched beyond recognition. The inner drum was tilted at a strange angle. And my towels rolled out onto the floor. I swear, it looked as if my washing machine vomited up its contents right in front of me.

I grabbed my husband immediately. One of the many, many things I love about the man I married is that he can fix ANYTHING. He’s got that engineer brain that can figure any sort of machine out. I could tell by his face when he saw the carnage that he was worried too. But after 30 minutes or so taking things apart, he made his diagnosis. Fortunately he was able to order the part online. It would only be a few days until my dear washer was fixed.

“I can make it a few days without doing laundry,” I said to myself. No problem. But, long story short, the wrong part was sent, an exchange needed to occur, and 7 days later, I still did not have my washer.

At this point, laundry was literally everywhere in my house. The baskets had long since overflowed and piles were scattered throughout the bedrooms. We were all down to our last couple pair of underwear. What were we going to do??

My husband suggested a trip to the laundromat. Now, this was just something I could absolutely NOT conceive. I had done my time in laundromats, baby, and I had no intention of going back to one. Memories returned of college days where I hauled my laundry to the machines and waited patiently for a washer to open up. Then if, God forbid, I stepped away for a moment, there was always that kind person who removed my clothes for me and dumped them on the counter. Yeah, real nice.

Plus, there was the “ick” factor. Picturing my clothes tumbling in some washer used by hundreds of other people just sort of gives me the heebie jeebies. I guess I’m just a laundry snob.

Thankfully, on day 8, the part arrived. When I got home from work, I saw the empty box in the family room and my handy husband out in the laundry room putting the finishing touches on his repair. I stepped out to see what he was doing and he just smiled at me, proud of his accomplishment. I swear, he could have been standing there naked with roses and a bottle of wine in his hand and I wouldn’t have been happier. My washer was fixed!

This whole ordeal has made me extremely thankful for the luxury of my washing machine. It really is nothing short of a luxury, either. I am a very blessed woman to be able to do my family’s laundry in the comfort of my home. I don’t have to take the clothes to a stream and beat them with rocks. I don’t have to scrub them by hand and use a ringer to dry them. I don’t even have to load them in my car and take them to a laundromat. I am very, very lucky indeed.

So now I do my laundry with a little spring in my step. I’ll even pat my machine gently on its top and thank it for a job well done. I hum a tune as I fold the warm clothes and put them away, proud of this job I do for my family.

Yes, as my oldest once said, I “fold the laundry.” And I’m damn grateful that I can.

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