This Is the Year I Will Defeat My Arch Nemesis: ‘The Never-ending Laundry Pile’

This Is the Year I Will Defeat My Arch Nemesis: ‘The Never-ending Laundry Pile’

“You know it’s time to do the laundry when you dry off with a sneaker.” — Zach Galifianakis

It’s occurred to me lately that I used to be pretty judgemental.

Before I had kids I secretly thought it was probably bad planning, or possibly even laziness, when I heard parents say that their laundry piles were neverending chores that plagued their every waking moment.

How hard can it be? I thought, smugly sipping my still-steaming Starbucks with a free afternoon ahead of me — one that would, coincidently, not include spaghetti-smearing toddlers, newborn diaper blowouts, or multiple beds that needed fresh bedding.

Or laundry, probably.

Oh my gosh. Free afternoons. I forgot about those. Those were phenomenal.

Anyway, even when I had one child, there was a certain level of smuggery; I still got my laundry done at a reasonable rate. Throw another kid into the mix, however, and laundry is suddenly my new and greatest enemy; the Joker to my Batman. The Agent Smith to my Neo. The Apollo to my Rocky.

Laundry is an ever-expanding beast of burden that never, ever ceases. It is a constant thorn in my side.

But this year, I vow to defeat it.

Laundry’s evil ploy to take over my house

I suspect my laundry pile has a dastardly plan to expand and plow through my house like that big viney flower thingy in Jumanji — the good one with Robin Williams, not the terrible remake.

Why does my laundry pile continue to grow at such an alarming rate, you may ask?

(Wait — doesn’t yours do the same??)

It’s a problem, I admit. I think we (and by we, I mean moms, dads — anyone who is tasked with this challenge) underestimate the dire impact of missing a laundry day or, horror of horrors, adding a bedding change day to the typical daily load.

Missing a laundry day? Devastating. Missing a laundry day and throwing a schwack of sheets and blankets into the pile? Boom. Several loads of laundry that are just bedding on top of the already backed up and seemingly insurmountable heap.

That really sets the whole schedule off-kilter.

Laundry breeds with laundry, and the cycle continues

Part of the issue with laundry is that it needs to be done consistently to stave off those unknown problems that might affect your schedule, like a sick kid, or maybe an unexpected visitor.

It’s hard to remember your laundry when, for instance, you have a husband who is extraordinarily spontaneous.

Like I do.

I, on the other hand, positively thrive on routine. I appreciate his need for spontaneity, however, and on a day like today, when he finishes up his work early and decides it’s a great time for a rare family walk, I’m more than happy to oblige.

I mean, what’s not to love about that? We get the kids to run around outside, which is great, plus it allows us to check off yet another daily chore — walking the dog — and I love checking things off my laundry list (pun intended.)

I’m weird, though. The laundry was partway through its wash, but I, being weird, simply cannot leave the house with appliances running under any circumstance, so I ran down to switch it off. I mentally bid “see you soon” to the clothes settling in their soapy water, and set off for our walk.

That was seven hours ago. Whoops.

That laundry is once again happily churning away in there, suds and water doing their thing, but now, I’ll only have time to throw it in the dryer, and as for folding and putting away eight thousand of my kids’ tiny pairs of socks and undies, that’s just going to have to wait.

I’ve accidentally pushed my laundry progress back by one whole day, thanks to spontaneity (stupid spontaneity) and forgetfulness, and in the meantime, the laundry will breed and make yet more of it tomorrow.

Oof. I just remembered that tomorrow is also bedding day.

I blame my husband.

This is the year I win, and I’m soooo close

I took stock this morning of my laundry situation, and I’m almost there. Almost!

Every time I catch up on my loads of laundry — and by “catch up” I mean I’ve emptied all the laundry bins onto the floor of my room and sorted them into their prospective loads, and I don’t cry because of the sheer volume of fabric — I look over to the corner and see that great big daunting duvet.

The duvet I took off of our bed and replaced with a new one a few months ago. The duvet I plan to wash but am terrified of washing at the same time. I’m not even sure I can wash it in my clunky old machine.

Do you dry-clean duvets? Should I know that by now? What kind of adult am I?

The anxiety caused by this duvet, judging me silently from the corner of the room, is real.

But I’m almost there. And when I have conquered the regular laundry and there’s nary a fitted sheet or tiny sock left to wash or fold, I will defeat the judgemental duvet.

Mark my words.

Laundry never ends, and then we die

The truth is, I will never conquer my laundry pile absolutely.

None of us will. Not even you.

Laundry is a trap — it’s both a reminder that you’re alive and a reminder of your slow and deadly decay. It literally never ends: you wear your clothes, soil them with nothing more than your natural human stink, and then hope to erase any sign that you ever wore them with every wash.

Your clothes slowly disintegrate alongside you, gradually wearing thin and fading over time and eventually reaching an unwearable place in their existence, after which they are unceremoniously shredded and used for cleaning cloths — and that’s their best-case scenario. The clothes version of Nirvana.

Sometimes I find myself depressed about the very real fact that I will be repeating my laundry cycle for the rest of my worldly life.

It’s okay, though. This year, I vow that I will see the bottom of my laundry basket. I will fold my last pair of Paw Patrol PJs. I will spend twenty minutes not thinking about laundry and/or my ultimate demise.

And it will be glorious.



This post was previously published on MEDIUM.COM.



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