stopping the rush

I was folding some of the way-too-huge pile of laundry yesterday, scrambling to find the man-sized stuff hidden under tons and tons of baby stuff, because I realized one day not too long ago that if I wash one person’s clothes at a time that means a lot less sorting after and so less time doing my least favorite chore. But my plan to shrink my time doing laundry failed me this time because kids just keep getting sick and laundry didn’t get folded eve though it was sorted BEFORE going in the washing machine and so the room that was supposed to be our bedroom quickly became laundry-land.

So there I was… flinging shirts and underwear into the empty laundry basket (empty only because I had just dumped it’s mod-podge of contents into laundry land) and I abruptly stopped and sat back on my heels and this thought rushed at me:

Why am I rushing??

There are certain things these days that I do rush through out of necessity. Going to the bathroom. Taking a shower while two boys watch Veggie Tales. Eating lunch. Because if I don’t, my mama’s boy will realize I have left his sight for more than 3 seconds and begin to cry, and then I will be doing the cross-legged dance and I end up either snacking all day or (more likely) eating way too much at dinner because oh my gosh my stomach just realized it has been empty all day and it doesn’t know when it will eat next!

But laundry? Like I said, I hate it already. Least favorite chore. It’s never done. I am sure you feel me here. But rushing? Oh I hate rushing even more, even though I do it like my life (or bladder) depends on it! Somewhere in my laundry hating mind I at some point decided that if I rushed through it would be done faster and so I would spend less time doing something I hate. But do you know what happened instead? I began to hate laundry even more, because I had trained myself to rush through… and I did say, didn’t I that I hate rushing? It makes me anxious and stressed and overwhelmed, even though I usually am rushing to not feel those things.

So I slowed down. I slowed my movements. I sorted through the pile calmly. I told myself that it didn’t matter if all the laundry got folded today. There will still be laundry to do tomorrow. And isn’t a calm, peaceful me with a slightly smaller pile of laundry better than a frantic one with a clean bedroom floor? Isn’t a me who is content with what she felt she could do at the time better than one who is proud of herself for doing it all in one night?

I only folded 2 basketfuls of laundry last night. All of my husband’s things (minus socks… sorry honey!) and all of the baby and toddler clothes. I still haven’t put the boys things’ away. Then I dried my hair, and washed bottles, and played a game on my kid’s kindle while Chris finished taxes. I asked if I could help with that, I promise! And he said no and he didn’t make me feel a bit guilty about being lazy for a bit. There is still a pile of my stuff, blankets towels and socks and random things that got missed on the bedroom floor. But I am okay with that.

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