I remember when I was a child this was one of the things that used to drive my father crazy. Washing piles and piles of clothes. Dirty clothes mixed in with clean clothes, and everything just thrown back into the washing basket. He had four daughters, and just seriously couldn’t figure out how to make doing the washing a relaxing or enjoyable exercise for anyone in our family.
I try and see it differently. The washing needs doing, with four kids in the house you really need to stay on top of it, and do some every day. But this is where my father and I differ, I don’t mind putting the washing on, it’s a lot different than the old days where you had to put some elbow grease into it. Now, we throw a load in the machine and turn it on, coming back when it is finished. I struggle a little with getting back to the washing machine to empty it, but then I really enjoy hanging it out.
There is a peacefulness, a quietness to hanging out the washing. Don’t get me wrong, some days it’s throw it on quick cause I have to be already out the gate, but most of the time I try and pick the time of day that isn’t rushed to hang it out. It’s a job I have to do a couple of times a day, I may as well take some of that time and enjoy it. I think about stuff that I have to do that afternoon, conversations I should have with people. I contemplate and wonder at different things – it’s almost like meditation in that I just try and relax. It’s not for everyone, and I’ve heard that some people feel that way about folding up the washing after it’s dry ….
For me, the folding it all up is the worst part, and if I can palm it off on to a kid to do as a job, then I do. Other-times, it gives me the opportunity to sit in the space that the kids are playing and just monitor their language and the tone of their playing. I don’t want to be my father jumping up and down and getting frustrated about the washing. Yes, it’s a job, it’s not a great job, but it just needs to be done, and so I try and find something about it that works for me.
Ultimately, I would rather my kids clothes were clean, rather than them putting their dirty clothes back in their drawers just because I had an issue with doing the washing.