Being a work-at-home-mom, it seems like I should be able to just throw a load in a couple of times a day, get it dried and folder and put away, while I'm on a conference call or making dinner. Easy, right? Right?....Nope.
I shut the door regularly to our laundry room. It's a good thing we remodeled our house before we had kids. When we moved into our house 6 years ago, we had a galley kitchen and the washing machine and dryer were right next to the stove (bonus counter space!). Alas, there was no storage...and no door to shut. We created a laundry room and all I have to say about that is Thank God.
There are constantly stacks and piles of dirty laundry, clean laundry, folded laundry. The washing machine and dryer seem to always be on (in fact, I can hear it. Right. Now.) Sometimes I forget about a load for a few days and have to rerun it. I feel GREAT when I can actually get it all done - usually before we are leaving for a trip or having houseguests or a party - but the feeling of doneness is so very fleeting. Because the second I swoosh the last drawer closed, there comes 3 sets of muddy footprints and accompanying muddy pants and socks scooting down the hall, there comes an accident from little Ava (Yay! She's potty trained!...mostly), there comes the dress-up princesses who have spilled chocolate milk down their fronts, there are Jeff's socks which for some unknown reason he leaves under the couch pillows while relaxing to Jimmy Fallon late at night, there comes ME who has been pretty good at working out on a daily basis lately, so much have clean Lululemon pants for tomorrow.
Michael Miller's book "What happened to the girl I married?" includes an entire section on laundry. Yes, it sounds a lot like a rant at times (see above rant for an example), but here's the thing - it's TRUE! This guy (a Silicon Valley executive) took a year to spend in his wife shoes as a stay-at-home-parent and one of his first "chores" (as he calls them at first, before realizing the error of his ways) is to improve the process of the laundry. He, like many of us I believe, found himself defeated, defeated by the laundry.
My husband and I have tried similar process improvements. Ala Fly Lady - do one load of laundry a day. Simple! Right? Nope, nope, nope. Too much going on. Pulled in too many directions. Priorities - everything is a priority. And sometimes, for the laundry, I just have to simply close the door.