It’s a weird place. I’ve got kids, but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’m sure excited about all the ins and outs of them right now. OF COURSE I love my children and am always grateful for them, but let’s be honest, I could happily table the Pull-ups forever and die a happy woman. A very happy woman.
I miss it, you see. I miss getting up in the morning and having The Freedom to pull on a fresh pair of panties without someone screaming that they need more chocolate milk or someone else claiming incapability to manuever the zipper pull on their jacket.
I tell myself someday.
And then I fill the milk cups, pull the zippers, and pretend that my un-changed underwear really isn’t that gross. GROSS, I know.
But I can’t do a darn thing about it. We never were a “symphony” couple. Nor were we a rockin’ Beyonce concert couple, but regardless, I just want to be able to go to these things. It’s the emcumberment that’s getting to me.
It all got rather nasty around the 2 yr. anniversary of my mom’s death, when I started heavily mourning and fantasizing about about what life might have been like if we’d have a grandmother to throw in the mix of raising young kids. We do not.
So let’s tell the true story–the laundry pile scares me. It is now larger and fantastically heavier than my 70+ lb. lab. He might get buried by it. On the days that he annoys me with his incessant whimpering for no explicable reason, I’m not sure this is a problem.
The thing is, my husband works and he’s important at his job. As fate would have it, I’ve gone and got myself my own job. We still have kids. They still need to eat, and as it turns out, laundry does not do itself. Darn it.
Raised on frozen dinners and take out, I always wanted something more for my kids. I wanted the Pinterest-perfect life of theme-flavored pancakes and DIY fantabulous b-day parties.
But then life happened.
I started thinking my parents weren’t that incompetent. That maybe they had done the best they could. And that maybe I can’t really do any better.
We all want glorious lives for our children, but if we feed them, clothe them and let them know that we love them, have we really done that badly??
My husband is a man of hobbies and frankly, it is exhausting. But you see, I want to do fancy things like brush my teeth and finish BJ Novak’s latest novel. In the sparse non-children-actively demanding-something moments, it gets dicey. Because Dr. J and I each have our own goals in this world. Despite the fact that we have gotten married and procreated, we remain individuals who have unique interests in this world. Granted, my husband has more interests than most, but we are human and we both have stuff.
Regardless of the stuff, we’ve still got kids.
And somebody’s got to do something about the laundry. Soon.
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Omg I hear you on this. I just did five loads last night and the pile is still intimidating. We have coin-op in our building which makes it worse. Sometimes I look at pics from when my first was so little and I thought everything was so messy. Now I realize it was comparatively pristine. Here’s to Pinterest esque dreams.
Pinterest esque dreams in all their scary glory. xo, Femme 🙂
Laura Jo says
Meredith, you are def not alone. But I have terrific news for you: It does get better. After it gets worse. And by worse, I mean that the kids grow, their clothes get bigger, and the piles turn to mountains. THEN they become (11? 12?) and can start to DO THEIR OWN LAUNDRY. Yes. It will happen! It’s a glorious help for you, and an appropriate life skill for them! So count down the days/months/years, chickee! Soon you’ll be pile-free!
Laura, I love you. Clinging to this hope thing you speak of.
I hear you on this one. Completely. I am over the diaper changing and never ending laundry myself. And I know what you mean about being bugged all the time. I did manage to change my undies, but twice last week I forgot to brush my teeth in the insanity of the kids and morning routine. I know, gross.
See, this just makes me so relieved that I’m not the only one who forgets that teeth-brushing bit…
I’m typing this while buried in laundry. I can’t see what I’m writing because of all my husband’s dark socks.
I’m going to buy him translucent ones so your multitasking becomes more efficient.
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
Another empathizer here. I look at my child-less friends and am sometimes overwhelmed with envy at their freedom! Why didn’t I appreciate it when I had the chance???
Clueless. I was so darn clueless, Katie!
Lori Wescott says
I feel you. I do. And we only have one kid.
Here’s my unsolicited opinion on the state of the current Mom…
We’re expected (and I don’t think it’s always intentional) to take care of the house and shuttle the kids where they need to be. We make sure that whatever homework is done. OCCASIONALLY (I’m pointing at me) volunteer at my kid’s school. We cook dinner.
Then, we try to not look like haggardly beasts when our husband’s walk in the door at the witching hour.
Add to that, the guilt I feel for not making enough money. I don’t even know what I mean by “enough.” As much as my husband, I guess… That’s not going to happen no many how many freelance writing gigs, or part-time jobs I take on AND THE REASON IS because we’re too busy doing all of the above things at the same time.
I really do think it’s harder for women than it used to be, say thirty years ago. We’re being told we can have it all and we feel like a worthless sack of dicks when we perceive that we aren’t accomplishing that.
Sorry for the rant, but I think I just saved myself $80 in a therapy session.
You, Meredith! Frugie, Alexa and everyone else who has commented and feels the Pinterest Pull of Perfection, let’s all Let. It. Go.
Lori, your opinion is ALWAYS solicited, and I can’t tell you how much better this made me feel. You not only saved yoruself a therapy session, but me too. Thank you. Thank you so much. xo
Ashley @ 3littlegreenwoods says
I can’t even walk into my laundry room. I am secretly joyful at the thought of one day being able to accomplish ONE thing without one of my three children (or my husband) needing/demanding something. Like right now I’ve got two of them swarming me both talking at the same time.
Good Grief someone come rescue me now!
I feel like there should be badges or awards given for walking into the laundry room, Ashley??
Julia Sherwin says
I am the head laundress here, and some days it just stinks. I have three adults in our household, and three little kids. I used to think the kids’ laundry was annoying, but washing socks for an elderly man has its downsides. Why can’t they unroll them before they put them in the laundry basket? Thanks for writing this, Meredith!
Oh gosh, Julia, you definitely need a laundry award!
I was scrounging for clean undies last Monday so I buckled down and powered through most of it by Wednesday night. At 4am, the two year old woke up barfing. And in a sleepy haze I brought him into my bed before I realized he was covered in barf. Even if you catch up, there will always be more laundry. Don’t sweat it!
Oh Alisa, definite, definite laundry awards for you–and I am sending a case of detergent as well!
Just buy new undies. Boom.
How are you always the smart one??
Shower and change undies at night when kids are in bed! Later in life move to Dr. J doing HIS own laundry…….the sorting of the socks that all look the same (but aren’t). Early in my marriage , my husband’s undershirts and anything that went into the wash inside out stayed that way when they went into the drawer. Don’t have him do YOUR laundry…….the concept of “what colors to put together” and “what not to put in the dryer” escape even the smartest man! Things really DO get better and you will eventually miss this stage!
Separate laundry efforts sound blissful! The encouragement is appreciated 🙂
Chris Carter says
I swear if I don’t do the laundry every few days, I will have a break down of GREAT proportions!! I totally get this!!
You got a JOB? WHAT? Now I have to go see what THIS is all about… is it writing? Okay- I’ll go see.
And ahem… does everybody change their underwear every morning?
Love you, Chris 🙂 To all those mostly-clean undies!
Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 says
Girrrrrrl, you are singing the song of my life right now. I just have the one, and I’ve practically started a kindergarten countdown already. Then I feel badly for wanting him out of the house– so I can WORK! And do CHORES! It’s not like I want to take bubble baths and day-drink. I mean, I DO, but I won’t. Much.
“Much.” 😉 Jenn, you are perfect.
Dani Ryan says
I went without a dryer for SEVEN DAYS last week. SEVEN. Do you have any idea how much WORSE laundry is when you have to HANG DRY EVERYTHING? Also? You have to do laundry CONSTANTLY so that you have enough room to hang all of the stuff you wash. The good news is that I have a working dryer again, and I am now happily drowning in laundry…just as I should be. 😉
Sounds like a lovely place to drown 😉