Remember how I wrote that “The Dishes Can Wait and Other Lies” essay? And how I put it up on HuffPost and people who must have had an unfortunate accident as a child that removed both their sarcasm gland and sense of humor took me way too literally and seriously? The best was that they went both extremes. Some took it to mean that my house was a complete disaster all of the time, and that there were ants everywhere, because all I did was take the “they’re only young once” advice to heart. And then some people were sure that my house was perfectly clean, because I was shunning that advice entirely.
The reality, of course, is that there’s tons of room in the middle. That I cannot completely disregard my house in the pursuit of enjoying every second with my children. Nor can I spend all of my time cleaning every inch of my house, and abandon my kids to Netflix. Honestly, I frequently feel like I am somehow failing both sides of that. That my house is a mess and my kids are not getting the wholesome blog-worthy attention they deserve.
Here’s the truth of it this weekend. Last weekend we went camping, which means there was no time to clean, and a lot of things made dirty. The weekend before that I was sick. And the one before that we were in DC. Yesterday I took Rowan to the breastfeeding group at the birth center, and after grocery shopping we went to the big Mayfair at Lorelei’s school. Then I made dinner. Not a damn bit of laundry was done.
The result of it is this:
That’s many weeks’ worth of laundry ready to go with me to the laundromat. I’m sitting there now, remembering just how expensive the laundromat is. For serious it’s a lot of money. And why am I spending this money, and my entire afternoon, at the laundromat doing so much laundry? Because I let it wait. Because I did all the fun things with my kids. Because they are only young once. And now I’m paying for it. Literally.
I know that helpful people will suggest I do a load of laundry each night. Zach is the main laundry person in our house, and he tries. But our nights are full. We have a huge stack of clean clothes downstairs that we have just been rifling through to find our outfits for the day.
So here I am, sitting at the laundromat, spending a lot of money we don’t have to do laundry because of time that we don’t have.