"Laundry is Love"

Summer MacDonald wrote:
Laundry is love. I love each person whose pants I am washing and folding. I love each meal I have shared with my family, that needed cloths and towels to wipe up the spills afterwards. I love seeing my daughters choose their clothes each day and the combinations of colors and patterns they choose to express themselves and their body confidence. When I wash those combinations, I remember the joy they felt that day and I smile. I love watching "special shows" with my eldest daughter on the night of laundry day (that are too mature for her sisters) while I fold pants, shirts, towels and match the socks. We talk about deeper topics and laugh about deeper jokes. Laundry is the little thing in my week that represents the bigger beauty of my life that is found in the simplest things.
—Summer MacDonald

Summer MacDonald posted that on her page, and let me share it here. I'm putting her name on both ends of it so no one will think I wrote it. It's beautiful!!

There are some things there already about peace and washing dishes.

Jackie R:
I needed to read this today. I have a chronic illness and everything feels overwhelming. I've been asking for help too much from my daughter and interrupting her activities and I can see how it is affecting her negatively. If I can find joy in the tasks and focus on that it won't seem so overwhelming and I won't get so grumpy about it.

Serah D:
Thank you so much for posting this.... laundry is something that I've been needing to change my perception of and these posts really help me! Instead of looking at it as a never ending chore, I can choose to be thankful for the ease of washing & drying clothes in this day and age. Seeing it as another way to connect and provide for my family and see the joy rather then the angst.

Sandra Dodd:
In your beautiful big Korean washer and dryer, which I have gazed upon my own self. I can picture Serah's laundry room! Cool!

Even my mismatched, older, smaller, fit-in-an-old hole washer and dryer are glorious to have right in the house, and I'm grateful for running water and a water heater, electricity, and lots of laundry baskets.

When Keith retired he told me he had saved more money than I might have thought. I bought ten matching laundry baskets in celebration. Sometimes seven or eight of them are back in that corner, and every time I see them, I'm happy not to still have the half dozen mis-matched and broken ones I used to use.

We just had our 33rd wedding anniversary last week. Someone wished me well on my page and said she hoped we did something fun. I said we had transplanted mint and pulled some weeds (or something), and she said (nicely, joking) she meant MORE fun. But maybe the way to stay happily married for many years is to have fun transplanting mint and admiring matching plastic laundry baskets.

How'd Summer say it above? "...the bigger beauty of my life that is found in the simplest things."

Mary Ellen K:
Since I became a mom, I've loved doing the laundry. My kids are still little. When I wash their clothes, I often think of one of these two stories:


Susan May:
This whole thread reminded me of a time I wrote on my blog about how I don't "have to" do laundry and how that triggered people. ha! It was in a much more triggering post about how many people don't "have to" send their kids to school (kindergarten) but they've never even considered that there is another option.

The quotes above are from Radical Unschooling Info on facebook

Turning the negative to positive

Schuyler Waynforth wrote, a few years ago:

"Last night I was putting away clothes to get beds ready to be slept in. I was grouchy and tired and feeling put upon. It was only a burden, only a chore. But this morning when Linnaea got dressed she was wearing a shirt that I'd folded last night and put away. She wouldn't have known that she could wear that shirt if I hadn't taken the time to put it were it was easy to find. And so it changed from being burden and chore to being a gift that I gave her, which washed away all the resentment I felt last night."

photo by Sandra Dodd

From "Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life":

Any tiny moment can be enjoyed: the feel of warm running water when you wash your hands...

...Can laundry be fun? If you have to do laundry and you choose NOT to enjoy it, an hour or more of your precious hours on earth have been wasted. Can looking at your child bring you joy even when he needs a bath and has lost a shoe and hasn't lived up to some expectation that only exists in your mind? If not, a paradigm shift could help you both.

Sandra Dodd

Schuyler Waynforth:
David and I were talking about gifts tonight as we were making dinner together. He said that he doesn't work at our marriage, none of the things he does for me are work, because those things are gifts. And if he can see them as gifts then toil is no longer a part of it. He's right. When I fold the laundry with the image of Linnaea dancing in her dress of choice it isn't labor at all. Or when I wash the dishes thinking about how much easier and more pleasant fixing the next meal will be, it is less about the toil in that moment and more about the joy in the next. But if I think about how many times I've done the dishes recently and how I don't want to do them tonight and I'm tired and why can't someone else do this and I always do them... it is all about labor.

by Schuyler on this page: Divorce (prevention of, for unschoolers)

Just a few days after I created this page, an unschooling mom and friend of mine published a BEAUTIFUL piece with poetry, photos and stories, about doing her laundry:

Dhobi Ghat: The Magic of Laundry, by Sangeetha Shankar, October 16, 2021, at Medium.com.

Sunny and Dry

Look for usefulness.

Look for beauty.

Hang out, you and your laundry.
photo by Sandra Dodd


"Service" —what do you think about that?

Chores in an unschooling light