uptomytoes

Hope & Humor for Single & Divorced Parents

Tripping Over Baskets

on May 2, 2012

So is anyone else completely overwhelmed by laundry?  Can I please just have a day where it’s all done and it actually stays done?  Could my children just stop wearing so many clothes?  Oh, and the damp towels!!  I mean, really, how can people use so many towels in one week?

I think all I ever do is laundry.  There are always baskets and baskets and baskets in one stage or another throughout my house.  There is the over-flowing dirty clothes basket in the bathroom, the folded-but-not-put-away baskets in the hallway, the not folded or sorted baskets outside the laundry room, and the baskets piled high with dirty laundry in the laundry room.  And the one basket of clothes I’m gonna have to wash again because, for the second time, I didn’t take it out of the washer in time to avoid that familiar mildew scent.  Then there are the clothes strewn all over my children’s bedroom floors, and the piles of clothes my youngest children tossed out of their dresser in order to find the only pair of shorts they EVER want to wear.  There are even the nicely folded and sorted clothes on the kitchen table – that is, until we need the tabletop and they are pushed aside, over and into things.

I wanted to find some marvelous spiritual application in all that laundry.  Perseverance?  Character development?  Contentment in chaos?  Joy in suffering?  I tried to think of something each basket of laundry in its particular location and situation could represent in my Christian walk.  I couldn’t think of any.  I guess sometimes chores are just that…chores.

I have realized that maybe the lesson for me is to do things without complaining.  I’ve been trying for…ahem…40+ years and I’m just sure one of these days it’s gonna click.

As a single parent, the laundry nightmare is particularly daunting.  It seems that it shouldn’t have changed that much.  I guess it’s compounded by the unmanageable amount of chores and responsibilities we single parents have.  There are so many tasks to do and, unfortunately, laundry sits in one of the top spots.

I think the key to most of the housework battles we face as single parents is to embrace the chaos – to simply enjoy a full house, noisy nights, messy tables, sticky counters, yucky floors, and loads and loads of laundry.  I’m thankful for all those clothes because there was a time not too long ago when I worried about being able to provide for my children.

I’m constantly trying to teach my children to do everything without grumbling or complaining.  Must be another “do as I say, not as I do” thing.  But, dang it, it shouldn’t be.  I want it to be 2nd nature for us to give thanks in all circumstances (even buried alive in laundry), pray without ceasing (even that the laundry would decrease a bit), and rejoice always (even if it’s just for the 5 minutes there is no laundry in a basket.  Wait! Does that ever happen???)  I have determined to strive to model thanksgiving instead of grumbling no matter how the clothes pile up around me.

So even when I trip over the laundry for the umpteenth time or find 6 damp towels on my children’s floors, I will resist the urge to complain.  Instead I will pray for a way to give thanks despite the difficult and overwhelming things in my life and that includes the laundry!

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5 responses to “Tripping Over Baskets

  1. THANK YOU! I really needed this today! With 4 boys, I know all about war-of-the-laundry ! I have struggled to keep up with it since the day I got married, but so much more now. I just picked up a damp towel too. But, I also sent my boys to be with their dad for a week. As I spend time, alone, catching up on chores – I will focus on thanksgiving. I appreciate the reminder ;)

  2. Don B says:

    I don’t know that many (particularly guys) cold keep up with it all and still maintain the perspective and faith you have. You are amazing :-)

  3. MARIA FRAIN says:

    You forgot one basket Susan. The great sock basket. You know, the one where you throw the socks with out a match!!! :)

  4. Daphne Phillips says:

    Laundry and dandelions are two of the tools God uses to cultivate contentment in my heart. . .oh, and a daughter’s cat which delights in stealing clean socks from dresser drawers–yes, the cat CAN open drawers–and leaving a litter of socks all over the house! Our God has a terrific sense of humor!

  5. Very well said, as usual!

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