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Making Peace with the Laundry

I have finally come to the conclusion that I cannot do it all.

I can go on for days taking care of everything and everybody and staying on top of it all. Then, suddenly, I run out of steam and come to a screeching halt- just like that.

As my energy wanes, I begin to re-evaluate the importance of all my chores and little by little, tasks get weeded out.

My biggest Achilles Heel is the laundry.

It is unfathomable how much accumulates with five small children that are constantly changing their outfits, spilling on themselves, peeing in their beds, dragging their sheets outside to go “camping,” and on and on...

I will spare you the heart-wrenching details about the heap of towels, urinated sheets and blankets, and soiled stuffed animals that also pass through my cranky old underappreciated machine as well.

While my husband is traveling I have developed a new system; one that allows me some freedom.

You see, my main (control) “issue” is the actual folding and putting away. Nothing irritates me more.

Hand washing delicates is a walk in the park compared to the amount of manual labor involved with folding, matching millions of same-sized socks, and eventually hanging.

Last week I tried to ignore the three baskets of washed, dried and wrinkling garments sitting patiently on my bedroom floor waiting to be recognized. I would just walk by the piles, give them a quick glance, and rapidly move on to something else.

I felt a pang in my gut as I knew I was being neglectful and the clothes were desperately seeking my attention.

These abandoned heaps would look at me with sad puppy-dog eyes pleading,

“Please Mommy, please help us; we want to move back to our closets. We are tired of living out of these baskets like nomads!”

I couldn’t cope, it was heart-breaking. I had to step outside the house for a moment to re-group.

Loads of laundry in various stages of transition are located throughout my house and are perpetually on display- kind of like a museum.

Right now I have a load in the drier that has been dry since the morning.

I have delicates soaking in the laundry tub since yesterday growing impatient to be rinsed and hung to dry already...

and three baskets of half folded and half not-folded attire scattered throughout my bedroom.

Wait, be right back. I need to do something.

Thanks for waiting. I’ve returned and now my situation has evolved a bit and I completed one rotation. I just carried a basket into the boys’ room and another one into the girls´room.

Both are respectively in position for future storage. Now with some progress made, I feel a little relieved.

I will let it stay in that phase of development until inspired again.

Sadly, she (the laundry) has had to take a few steps down the hierarchy of importance ladder and can no longer compete with such fierce opponents such as homework, cooking and filthy floors!

I tried to explain my dilemma and let her down gently.

I believe she understood.

We finally reached an agreement and made peace with our newly defined relationship.

Now if only the bathrooms would be so forgiving...

Darah Zeledon, a native South Floridian, is (sort of) new on the scene here in Miami after living 10 years in South America with her large brood. As she struggles to make sense of all the chaos inherent in raising 5 little kids with no help while running a small business, her writings are her only “virtual” escape. Her musings can be read on and