[Just A Long Post About Laundry]

UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.

We need to talk about laundry.

I don’t know about you guys, but laundry is probably going to be the thing that does me in.

Honestly.

It’s not the cooking, which I loathe and yet find myself spending about three hours a day doing.

It’s not the cleaning, which – again – I’m not really a fan of; though being a health and sanitization freak, I see the necessity of. (Still, it would be nice if the second I wipe down a counter, my family could not immediately spill food and walk away…)

The errands. The kids’ sports. The homeschooling. The breastfeeding, largely unsupported.

It’s none of that shit.

It’s the laundry.

I never understood – before having three kids, plus my dad, husband, and myself – just how much laundry a family could produce. Like I kind of understood. When I was little, we had a big basement and the laundry would just pile up higher and higher until my dad or I finally got around to doing it.

But holy shit. Laundry.

LAUNDRY. WOAH.

Every week, the piles get bigger and bigger, and I’m just not sure how to go about doing it. I have a teen, a tween, and a toddler, so naturally all three of the worst laundry-with-kids phases. My kids also play sports too; and my husband and dad… well, men.

I tried one load a day, but that was insufficient for a family of six.

I tried two loads a day; somehow also insufficient.

I tried just continuing the laundry all day, every day. The problem with that was then the folding never got done and we just had piles of clothes waiting to be put away laying around everywhere.

I’ve tried one or two, specific, laundry days a week. But busy lives and a lot of people means that for the days afterwards, there’s still the laundry piled up everywhere waiting to be folded or put away, like with my daily laundry routine. And also, with a family of six, the longer it takes to finish “laundry day,” the more laundry gets added to laundry day.

And you guys get it; it just never gets done.

I’m at the point, now, of thinking: ‘let’s just burn all of our clothes once they start to smell.’ We can start fresh with the latest Target wardrobe du jour. Right? (Honestly, it would probably cost less than the endless amounts of detergent, combined with the water and gas bill from the washer and dryer – essentially – running constantly.)

It’s not just the doing of the laundry, it’s the folding and putting away. We are a family of six, and we live in a small house (duh, California cost of living). So we have to squeeze things in as best we can.

Which basically means we don’t.

There’s also that whole Gain thing.

Do you guys remember a while ago Gain laundry detergent had that Gooder campaign, and I basically lost my mind about it?

I wrote blogs, Tweeted, Facebooked, and even wrote a letter to the president of the company. I just could not handle a marketing campaign that used improper grammar. (Because, at the time, I really was that much of a pretentious grammarian. I know, I know…I hate me too.)

To my surprise, those motherfuckers over at Gain had the BALLS to respond to me, and their response was even more appalling than the campaign: they said THAT THEIR GOODER CAMPAIGN WAS GOODEST ENOUGH FOR THEM. (Or something along those lines.)

Like they not only defended it, they went so far as to bate me further. I. Was. Livid.

So I stopped using Gain for quite some time, which I’m sure was a real crisis to them. I mean I do a lot of laundry, so much so that I was once asked for identification because my local CVS security team identified through camera and cash register surveillance footage that I was purchasing Tide pods at an “alarming frequency and quantity” (their words); still, I’m fairly certain my lone boycott of Gain and their bullshit GOODER campaign had absolutely no impact on the company whatsoever.

But it was the point, you know?

So flash forward to last summer when we went on a little mini vacation and had to buy one of those one time use packs of laundry detergent – because, duh, I have a huge family and even vacations include Mom doing laundry. The only option was Gain, so I begrudgingly bought it…

…WELL… have you guys smelled that shit lately? They were right: IT. IS. GOODER. It was like someone had sewn roses into my clothes when I washed them with Gain. Like all of the good smells in the universe have been infused into a tiny pod, that they don’t even call a pod – they call it a fling. Some romantic shit you had the summer between your junior and senior years of college is now working overtime to get the scent and stain of your daily filth out of your Cotton On underpants. Like heaven is real, and it’s the smell and feel of my freshly laundered linens.

So now I feel like a hypocrite because I took Gain to task during that whole Gooder campaign thing, now I literally stand at the washing machine with my nose in the Gain Fling container like I’m sniffing a fine wine for the first time.

I’ve clearly lost it in the thick of all these socks that need to be folded, and bras that need to be hand washed. I don’t really know where to go from here.

Countdown to 2016, Part Two: Do Not Resolve To Clean More

995357_951350084902346_1543420134412641061_n

I have a housekeeper, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

I used to be ashamed to admit it. People would say in the whiniest voice imaginable: “why don’t you just clean it yourself, I do!” Or: “I just couldn’t trust someone else to do my job.” And then I’d feel as though I had to justify, even to complete strangers, why we have a housekeeper.

But not anymore.

I often see people posting on Facebook and Twitter as we close in on the new year about how they’re going to resolve to get more organized in their lives and their homes. That they plan to start the new year with resolve to keep their house clean and orderly; to finally have that magazine-worthy home they’ve always dreamed of having, and by their doing.

I won’t argue that a clean house feels nice. For all of 30 seconds until someone messes something up, or another load of laundry needs to be done. And then the aches and pains of hard, back-breaking labor kick in, and it’s like: why the fuck did I just do this?

So I implore you, people of the Internet…

Countdown to 2016

Part Two

Do Not Resolve To Clean More

There are a lot of reasons why resolving to clean more is just dumb.

To begin, it implies that your lifestyle is dirty or something to be ashamed of. Now I should probably take this moment to say that we aren’t talking about hoarders. Bonafide-eligible-to-be-on-the-next-season-of-A&E-Hoarders people. No, those people do need to clean more, but moreover they need to get help.

I’m talking about the people who let the dusting go once in a while; that allow the things to stay on the counter or the kitchen table for more than a day or two. Or that  – like me – hire a housekeeper to do the deep-deep work.

Unless you have a number of dead, smashed cats under your piles and piles of collected garbage, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you live your life. Cleaning more, or getting more organized – unless something in particular bothers you – is then nothing more than another distraction from what’s important in your life.

When I was in college, I worked in a pharmacy with a guy that always justified the things he did with the question: “will I regret this when I’m on my death bed?” It was a good way to look at the world, and I caught on quickly. He used it to justify not working huge blocks of overtime so that he could instead spend that time with his kids; and I think it applies to cleaning house too.

On your deathbed, what are the things you’ll regret?

  1. Not traveling more;
  2. Not asking your lifelong love to marry you;
  3. Not spending enough time with your kids;
  4. Not reading enough books, listening to enough music, watching enough movies, or whatever your passions may be;
  5. The list has the potential to be endless…

Although, never – in my entire life since learning this deathbed lesson – have I asked someone what they will regret on their deathbed and heard them say “I wish I had vacuumed the floors and scrubbed the counters more.” Seriously. That would be fucking dumb.

For me, I think the childhoods of my kids are going by so quickly that to waste my time mopping floors and scrubbing bathtubs would be a great disservice to them, as well as me. What kind of a mother chooses to obsessively perfect her home while her kids don’t give a single shit about whether it’s a little dusty or some pillows are out of place?

Sure, everything within reason, and it’s a slippery slope where letting things go a little turns into a complete and utter pig sty. But if there is one trite inspirational quote that has gone viral recently that I identify with, it’s this:

MessChildrenMemories1

So hire the damn cleaning lady, and consider how much you won’t spend in cleaning products and the price of memories well worth it. And if you genuinely cannot afford it, I offer you the song of my people:

FUCKING. LET. IT. GO.