We’ve all seen that home. You know the one with a photo wall full of smiling children in coordinating outfits with perfectly coordinating pillows and curtains, and a shocking absence of crumbs or sticky smears that make you wonder if anyone actually lives there?
Apparently, some people think that is my living room.
Because of our open floor plan you can literally see this space right when you walk in the door and there is absolutely no way to hide any imperfections or craziness from package delivery men, unexpected visitors, or even from the random solicitor my children so kindly open the door and welcome in…so this is the one space in my house that I insist be kept up and tidy.
This unfortunately offers the impression to guests and visitors that I somehow have it all together.
Friends, can I let you in on a little secret? Appearances can be deceiving.
And in this case…a complete and total smokescreen for the real truth. The beautifully decorated main floor of my house is simply a diversion; a quick trick of the eye, to distract from the disaster that waits for me every day when I walk up the stairs and open the doors to my bedroom where I conceal my dirty little secret.
Actually, scratch that. It is not a
dirty little secret . A more accurate way to describe it is a really big fat and ugly secret.
Hi, my name is Cory and I am a COMPLETE HOT MESS when it comes to laundry!
I have tried. Oh, how I have tried. Through 15 years and 5 children I have tried. I have tried Pinterest-worthy laundry schedules and plans. I have taken advice from friends and family on how they do their laundry. And for a while I could manage to somehow get on top of the washing and drying – but that still left the folding and sorting and putting away.
Once we had the genius idea to buy a bigger washing machine. Super large capacity. It was going to be so epic. And at first, it was. It cut the amount of loads I was doing by three! Except, here’s the catch – it was still the same amount of clothes. I just now had to fold 3 loads worth at a time instead of one.
Just when I would think I finally had a nice routine and managed to achieve some sense of control – someone would get sick in the middle of the night and I’d have to strip every sheet and blanket and lovie and back the schedule up for days. DAYS PEOPLE! Or that time I broke my wrist and was trying to do everything one handed. Or vacation. 5 days x 7 people – you do the math on how much laundry that produces. Or better yet, we’d have another baby and I would watch any semblance of laundry-sanity slip through my fingers…
For the life of me I cannot find “the way” to conquer it.
When I first got married I had this vision of myself as the June Cleaver of housework. I would daily serve my family with a smile on my face and feel peace in my heart over a job faithfully done as I swept the floor and loaded the dishwasher and prepared meals.
But then laundry.
Over time I began to realize this was an endless hamster wheel that would never stop spinning. Ever.
It left me feeling defeated and ashamed and as if I was somehow less than. I would sit and stare at my overflowing baskets and think surely something must be wrong with me that I cannot seem to manage this simple task that millions of women handle with such grace and ease every single day. So instead I would sit on my couch, eat Doritos, and Netflix – BECAUSE LAUNDRY – UGH!
Have you ever felt like this?
Maybe it isn’t laundry that gets you down. Maybe it is cleaning bathrooms or dusting or changing the sheets or making home-cooked meals. Whatever daily chore has you feeling the grind, causing you to doubt yourself and feel like you are somehow less, from down here in the trenches right next to you, may I offer a piece of advice? A small nugget of clarity that came to me one day as I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the weight of my failure…
“For everything there is a season…”Ecclesiastes 3:1
The Bible tells us for everything there a season. I believe that literally means EVERYTHING! That one word provides us with much needed hope and encouragement that no matter WHAT we find ourselves facing (even never-ending laundry) there WILL come a day when we are no longer drowning in it. And while that may not help us much from a practical perspective (and so far I have yet to find any other verses that give specific advice on doing the laundry!), it does give me a strange sense of peace knowing that one day it will be different.
So what are we to do in the meantime?
“…there is nothing better than for a person to enjoy their work, because that is their lot.”Ecclesiastes 3:22
God’s gift to us is that we need not “conquer” our work. We simply must find a way to co-exist peacefully until it works itself out. Tomorrow will have a new challenge.
Tell me about your most hated chore? Any tips to share with the rest of us on how you’ve come to peacefully co-exist with your drudgery?