Friday, January 8, 2010

A Mixed Bag

As I sit here on the couch, laptop in my lap (duh), I am surrounded, almost overcome by mountains of folded clothes that need to find a home in an empty drawer, clothes that need to be hauled off to Goodwill, and ratty stuff that just needs thrown away. I folded clothes in the living room floor while watching TV until my back hurt. Now I'm just sitting in the middle of the piles, praying for the gumption to put them away. Probably won't happen. They'll probably sit here until tomorrow morning when I'm forced to put them away because if I don't, the baby will just gleefully jump in and throw them all over the place like she's in a giant pile of nicely raked leaves, ruining all of my hard work.

Well, the sad truth is they've just been transformed from piles and piles of unfolded clothes in the laundry room to piles and piles of folded clothes in the living room. I just hope and pray they don't remain in here for months, like they did in the laundry room. Really ya'll, I've been sorting, sifting and pilfering through those piles of clean clothes looking for something to wear for a couple of months now. I was following the "wash a small load every day" rule, but not folding and putting them away like your supposed to. So, needless to say, chaos set in.

But really, I know no different. My whole life was lived this way. We had a big laundry room and all the clothes that my mother washed for her family of five would end up piled in front of the dryer. You can imagine what a giant pile it was! I spent many a cold, rushed morning sifting through that pile trying to find something to wear to school. Not to mention sifting through the shoe closet (yes a whole closet full of mangled, tangled shoes for a family of five) for a matching pair of shoes...I hated that. But every few weeks, my mom would get it in her head that she wanted that laundry room cleaned out, so she would call my sister and I into the living room on a Saturday night to fold all those clothes in front of the TV that my dad was watching (usually some boring, adult, dad type fishing or hunting show that no respectable kid would be caught dead watching). Sometimes it would take hours for me, my sister and my mom to fold those clothes. It always bugged me that my dad would just sit there in his recliner enjoying his show while we slaved! Huh. Sort of like it bugged me tonight, that my husband just laid on the couch and watched some stupid show while I worked for close to 2 hours folding his underwear and t-shirts. It's so weird isn't it? The more things change, the more things stay the same.

I'm almost in tears realizing that I carry so many of the same habits and am repeating so many of my parents' behaviors that I loathed so much as a child. I don't want that for my daughter. Right now she loves sneaking into the laundry room and having a blast wallowing in those piles and playing. But there's going to be a morning not so far off, when she's late for school, the bus is barrelling down the street, and she's yelling, "Mom, I can't find that t-shirt I was supposed to wear for school spirit day, where is it?" And I yell out, "I washed it, look in the laundry room." Then her heart sinks because she knows she has to spend the next who-knows-how-long going through throngs of clothes and clothes and more clothes looking for that t-shirt (can we say, "unresolved issues?")! We're headed down that path if mommy doesn't get it together.

All this brings me to the title of this post. I have accomplished some things this week; tackling an unfinished project, getting the Christmas stuff packed away, swishing and swiping, hanging more pictures and of course, folding that mountain of clothes tonight. Yes, I've done some good things. But ya'll, I've been a real sahmbie this week too. I've spent a lot of time plastered to the couch in my pj's, unkempt and unmotivated. I haven't exercised one time since I came home from my parents (if you remember, I was walking on their treadmill every night), and my teeth and hair haven't seen a brush this week more days than I care to admit. But I am admitting it.

What do I do?? This is me. This is what I do year, after year, after year. How do you change who you are...what you are? That same little girl who resented every Saturday night spent in the floor folding mountains of clothes is a 34 year old woman who just spent her Friday night resenting every minute on the floor folding a mountain of clothes. I'm just puzzled? Why do we do this? I won't even begin to try to answer that question here, but will pray and ask God for the strength to change...again.


Darcie said...

That is a hard question to answer, "How do we change", and I honestly just wanted to answer, "we just do". Seems so simple, yet we know it's not. I think for me and I am going to speak in a spiritual sense here, when I had my first child and I thought I was quote "walking with God", but really realized I wasn't like I should be. I remember after having Kylie that I realized if I didn't have the right walk with God that I had nothing to pass on to her...that is what made me change my walk with God.

So I think you are on the right it first for yourself because you know you want to be a different person, but just as it for your little girl. Because you know how unhappy you are and you as a mommy I am sure don't want that unhappiness for your daughter. said...

angie i still swear that we are related. your childhood of clothes is my childhood of clothes. i know my mom will hate me if ever she reads this but it is still this way. right now my recliner is filled with folded clothes... all i have to do is take them into the bedroom and put them away... but i still look at them and think "in a minute" which turns to hours and a day so far.
i think for me i get overwhelmed a lot and i am a perfectionist. if i cant do it perfectly then i don't do it.
i know you mentioned fly lady and one thing i really took from her is to set a timer. i look at a daunting task and i set my timer for 10 minutes and that is it. almost all the time within 10 minutes the task is completed. baby steps do work. i wish i was there to help you because i know what it is like.
a lot of it comes down to self worth. you are worth a clean moisturized face with brushed teeth and a little lipstick. if that is all you do each day... then one day, you may also add your hair into the mix and then clothing too... it takes 5 minutes at the most to do the first part (face and teeth, lips) angie you are worth 5 minutes ~ you know you can do this ~ you have done it in the past. if you are reading this and you face is not clean and teeth not brushed and your lips are ehhh.. run in the bathroom and do it. it starts with you and when you are alone in your thoughts all you have is you and God.
i am proud of you for being so honest. you are a stronger woman than i.
many blessings and know that someone out there is rooting for you and that person is me!

nancy said...

It sounds like your husband needs to help. Why can't he fold the laundry too, and the two of you work as a team?

I used to do more of the laundry at the beginning of our marriage. I talked to my husband that the work load was not balanced. He now does most of the laundry and puts it away while I take on other chores. He is very consistent about folding loads and putting them away every day. He is a great role model for my kids. They know that both mom and dad are responsible for the upkeep of the house, and that we have a true partnership.

Shea said...

I agree about hubby helping. Just talk to him about how it is so overwhelming for you and, tell him that you need some help. I think if he helps out a little more here and there it will take enough off your shoulders to help you in more ways than one. When J.J and I get behind on laundry sometimes we will sit in the living room floor and just talk about whatever while we sort and fold the laundry. It seems we usually do this on Saturday during the kids nap. Then when they wake up we put the clothes away. It has always turned out great. I hope you have a great day tomorrow and take those 5 minutes to take care of yourself when you wake up. Write your self some good scripture all around your house. Places where you will see it and read it all day long. For example, on your bathroom mirror, above the toilet paper, above your kitchen sink, on a placemat at the dinner table or wherever you sit to eat, get the picture. Places where you are going to be for a few seconds so you'll actually have time to read it and speak to God in that moment. It's also a great witnessing tool too. Guests that come over here always ask "what's this" and it gives me that opportunity to tell them how weak and pathetic I am trying to handle life myself and that I need constant reminders to give it to God. I thought of a cute saying to go in my pantry for those times of the month when I feel like I can't stop eating junk. "Feed your heart not your mouth" :) That was supposed to remind me that if I had enough time to keep coming back over and over just standing there in front of food than I was wasting some valuable time reading my Bible. It helps me sometimes, but sometimes I just gotta have those Reese's cups or those chocolate chip cookies. These convictions started coming to me after I told God that I just didn't seem to have enough time to spend with him every single day. Well He proved me wrong and I wanted to cross my arms over my chest and push out my lips and sit there acting like a little child who has just been told, "told you so, told you so!" But instead I acted like a big girl and said you're right God this is silly and You are way more important than so many things I put first (I did cry like a big baby but hey that is the kinda person God has made me so he understands). Hang in there! I truly love your transparency. Sorry for this LONG comment.

momstheword said...

I once had a friend who had more clothes than you would believe. I seriously don't know why she had so many or where they all came from. There were piles and piles and piles of them!

She was moving and while I was helping her pack I suggested that we sort the clothes. That way, she could pack the ones-to-grow-into into boxes and put them in a closet somewhere in her new home.

We had lots of time but she wasn't interested. So good for you for folding your laundry. I assume you have room enough to put them all away?

I am supposed to to laundry on Monday and Thursday but let me tell you, sometimes I get behind too.

I don't mind folding them at all, as I do it while watching t.v. I bought colored baskets in order to make sorting either (whites in white, darks in the dark blue basket, etc.)