I have these 3 secrets to surviving the unholy mix of professional career and motherhood. Last week I shared with you #1: the cost efficient, energy saving, and environmentally sound spray bottle. Don’t laugh—it saved my hide and my dignity many times, not to mention all that water I was wasting from laundering my clothes to death. But secret #2 is equally invaluable, and equally economical, so let’s go there.
Ok. #2 secret is underwear. Lots and lots of underwear. Everybody in the house has scads of underwear. If you have a drawer in everyone’s bedroom committed to their own underwear, and if that drawer on those very rare days—the ones that come right after laundry days when everything’s still clean—if those drawers are so full of underwear on those rare days that you can barely close them, then I’d say you’re doing it right. Now, I realize that means a financial investment up front. I know that if you have felt, so far, like you and/or your family members have sufficient underwear, this seems like an unnecessary expenditure, but I submit that it’s necessary all right. Absolutely positively necessary, because it alone may be the thing that keeps you from going completely nuts. The return on this investment is so bountiful that you may have a hard time believing you didn’t convert before now. A virtual cornucopia of benefits. Including clothing that lasts way longer because it hasn’t been washed and dried to within an inch of its life. The underwear secret is based on the premise that the only thing you really really need to have clean is underwear. Now, if you buy into the premise that even that doesn’t have to be clean necessarily, then you’re a braver woman than I. For me though, clean underwear is good and true and zen, and everybody in the house should have access to this tool for creating order out of the chaos of their lives, their bedrooms, their bathrooms, their schedules, their stinky laundry piles.
The thing is, you can drag dirty clothes out of the laundry, put on your cleanest dirty shirt or pants and go on your way. Especially if you employ secret #1 (see last week’s post). You can find the clean and suitable in what was once a hampered castoff. Maybe that stain isn’t a “stain” afterall…maybe a wet sponge, maybe the scratchy side of that sponge will get that shmutz (sp?) off there and you’re good to go. Besides if you lower the lights and squint your eyes just so…. Plus we all know the same pair of jeans can be revived from the hamper or the bedroom corner untold numbers of times, and that, my friends, is why jeans are awesome. But underwear, well, underwear’s a different story altogether. What goes in the hamper stays in the hamper on that one, am I right? At least until somebody can transport it, quickly and without thinking about it too much, to the washer. But if everybody has gobs of underwear, you hardly have to do laundry at all. Ever! Certainly you can make it till Tuesday, anyway. That’s the day I do the stuff that, on Friday, I thought I had “all weekend” to do, then about 10 minutes later it’s Sunday night and no one has any clean laundry (or groceries, or completed homework, or a decent-looking lawn—nobody that is except the bodies that live next door or across the street) and so here we go on Monday in about as bad a shape as we were in on Friday. But in my book that’s what Tuesdays are for and besides, if we’re all in clean underwear, how can the other stuff possibly matter? Not much, as it turns out. Now of course this secret won’t be useful for babies, who don’t wear underwear, or for mothers of tiny babies, who wear spitup (which must be washed out if anyone is ever going to voluntarily sit next to you again) but pretty much everybody else is golden when choosey parents choose a repository of underwear and release themselves from the chokehold of laundry. So next time there’s a good sale on undies, do everyone in your house, and especially yourself if you’re the laundry doer, a big fat favor and buy up, stock up, and be free.
Next week: Secret 3