Friday, November 13, 2009

Help me!!! I'm Drowning!!!

So, some advice would be great right about now. I hope someone has some for me....

As you are probably aware, laundry is an ongoing process here. It just never ends. I live for days when I'm all caught up. This really does happen sometimes.

Last week, I got all caught up. Well, kind of. I had washed and dried everything, but I had a huge pile of laundry to fold. It sat there until the last load was dried then I started the folding process; I dragged all the kids, all but the baby that is, to help me out. We got it all done. It felt so good. Even the three-year-old was in on the gig.

After Z got home from work, we went out for a date and left the kids to get the clothes put away. Can you feel this story going in a bad direction?

When we came back, the piles were all taken care of, or so we thought. Oh that false security thing....

Sunday morning came, and I went in to help T get his church clothes. Lo and behold, clothing ALL OVER THE FLOOR!!! UGH! It was just a really bad nightmare! It had to be!

Oh no it wasn't. Both boys that share that room simply laid their clothes on the floor and let them get kicked around. I stood there with my jaw open.

Didn't they help fold those clothes? Didn't they see the time it took to wash, dry, and fold them?! Obviously they didn't. I took this very personally. To look at it rationally, I knew that these boys are six and three; they have no value in their mother's time, but dang it, I do. Clearly, (to use an educator's catch phrase) I need to raise their level of concern. They need to improve their understanding of just what the whole laundry thing takes.

In the meantime, my laundry room continues to pile up with dirty clothes and towels. I don't want to touch them until I have it figured out how to do it right so this won't happen again. Such a silly thing, but I felt such a huge disrespect from this. Call me a hormonal nursing mother--that's got to be it, right? Sometimes I worry so much about doing and saying just the right thing, so my children end up well-adjusted and unscarred emotionally, but what about my emotional scars, who's worrying about those? I just walk past the laundry room, and my heart grows heavy.

Okay, so just tell me how dumb I am, shake your head and continue folding your nice, clean, freshly dried clothes. I'll get there, just not today.


Unknown said...

I can relate. Considering my family is half the size of yours I am sure I can't relate the entire way. Since Kathryn joined us, I tend have a rotating week put away schedule- I end up putting everythign away week 1, week two the clothes sit in the hall and the rummaging ensues. Week 3 I can't take it anymore and get both week 3 and the remaining week 2 put away. Ugh- it never ends. The week the Laundry is put away I feel so much better--soo very much better. Keeping our houses in order is such wise advice- just wish it was a little easier with the tornado of children, time constraints and constant dirty clothes!

Hang in there Julie!

Unknown said..."

That's my youngest in the photos, and our old house that died 3.5 years ago. He was 8 at the time, and had started doing laundry at about age 6. Your two boys aren't too young! I think it can help to not just show them how much work it is, but to teach them so they actually DO the work (or assist). They might have some respect then. They might not. It's worth a try. I think it also requires constant practice after that because my kids haven't done laundry in a while now (I took back the task and gave them others) and they seem to have forgotten a lot.

Second, I must commiserate. That same youngest boy who appears to be gasping in the photos now has a pile of messed-up clean laundry on the floor in his bedroom. I know that if I tell him to go tidy it will all end up right back in the hamper. It's good to know he's not the only one who does that. Perhaps I won't strangle him after all.

Rory Baxter said...

We really do live parallel lives dont we? I had the exact same thing happen to me this last week! Really! My boys' room looks like a hurricane hit it, including all the once nice clean clothes that were supposed to be put away that are now scattered all over the floor and everywhere.....I was just sick. I just closed the door and walked away....if i hadnt I would have just cried.
Our laundry situation is the same -never ending. I have tried very hard to have everyone be in charge of their OWN laundry. Our family rule has been once the kids turn 8 they are in charge of their own room, an extra room and their own laundry - wash, dry, fold, put away. That way they learn new skills and they learn what it takes to do those jobs.
I have to admit these last 3 months since we started home school those chores have gone totally out the window - and the house shows it - very badly.
All I can do is keep trying. Now that the kids are on top of things (we think) I am going to have them start adding back those chores.
You have got good, big kids - and even your little ones can help load the washer or dryer, sort and put away socks, etc. It takes a little extra time with the little ones, but that is also what big siblings are for too right?
Anyway - hope this helps a little. Know that you are NOT alone, believe me, with our families being almost same size, I DO ya tons! Keep up the good work, you are great!

Darilyn said...

Ugh, I can't tell you the countless number of times I have gone to put a load of my kids laundry in the washer and I wonder, "Isn't this the same clothes I folded and had them put away a few days ago?" Yep, they are. It makes me so mad. So that's when we started having them do the laundry. We have a rotating schedule and take turns being responsible for the laundry for the whole house. We've tried it with them being responsible for just their own and it doesn't work. They need to see a bigger picture. We stick with our rotation for 2 months. Yep, a long time. But it has worked for the most part. Yes, we've had occasional times where the clean clothes have ended up in the dirty again but not near the amount of times we had before. Good luck, Jules.

vaxhacker said...

Oh, I can totally relate to this. Yours are at least 3 and 6, though, instead of 9 and 13. I swear sometimes they believe we have house elves who just magically take care of the laundry (etc, etc, etc) they take for granted.

*peers at comments and links with suggestions here by other commenters*


CB said...

I can also relate. I have 5 kids and the laundry is a chore for sure.
It takes time to teach them to put it away correctly and when they get old enough they do their own laundry - and only their own because I don't want them accidentally ruining someone else's - ha ha.
Then they finally appreciate what you have done for them for so many years.
I am kind of a drill sargeant and I will stand over them while they put the clothes away and "gently" correct them if they don't do it right. This way it doesn't end up all over the floor.
Good luck - it truly is a thankless job but we know how you feel.

Devri said...

I am still trying to figure it all out, let me know if you come up with any of it.. ugh

Tonya said...

I would have made my kids clean it all up before they could go out of their rooms, before they could eat dinner, before they could have any free time whatsoever. Obviously the three year old would have been my buddy in the process. I try to be fair with making sure the things I require of my kids is age appropriate. I like Darilyn's way of doing the laundry. I might have to try that!

Ringleader said...

Oh how I feel your pain. Laundry is such a hard ting for me to keep up on. My process, is to fold it into piles according to child and type of item (ie- Lindsey's pants pile etc) and then they are to put them away. These piles occur on the basement family room floor and I can't tell you how many times I have found them walked throughm knocked over etc and it truly feels like, how you said, the hugest disrespect.. makes me want to scream and unfortunately... sometimes I do! So- if you figure out a method of preventing this- please do share!

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