We absorb imagery of motherhood that from television commercials and greeting cards long before we become mothers ourselves. Cooking and cleaning are high on the list of activities we learn keep mothers busy, but it seems hard to believe. While I was pregnant, my daydreams were filled with gurgling baby noises, cute bodysuits, and confidence that I would be teaching my child to read before Kindergarten. I did not see myself as a soon-to-be maven of the laundry room or kitchen.
So is this for real, this legendary laundry mountain that buries parents alive? Is a daily load of laundry in your near future?
In a word, “Probably.”
Diapers leak, babies spit up, and new moms are kind of sweaty. You’ll want to have a stack of burp cloths or wash cloths to wipe your baby’s eyes, nose, and mouth — remember, this is a little person who doesn’t know how to do those things for herself — around the clock. Those rags can fill a laundry basket quickly.
My own experience is not that daily laundry was required for a family of two adults and one tiny baby, but it certainly escalates.
And over time, that baby grows into a toddler, and a new baby might come along. And the nerve of those two: they’ll both grow into preschoolers. They’ll sneak in the backyard after breakfast and walk on wet grass wearing socks and bathrobes before falling and scraping a knee on the stairs. Now you’ve got grass, dirt, blood, plus the oatmeal they ate that morning. May as well throw that hand towel in the washing machine, too. They dripped yogurt and toothpaste on it.
In my mind, I have a functional laundry system in place, but the truth is that my husband always beats me too it, throwing in a load as soon as he gets home from work every day and folding it before bed that night. So use his system, or my dumber one:
Monday: Kids clothes
Tuesday: Adult clothes
Wednesday: Sheets and towels
Thursday: Finish what you put off earlier in the week
Friday: No laundry
Saturday and Sunday: Reserved for laundry resulting from unexpected accidents
(dirty toddler photo: chasing cheerios)