Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why I Hate Laundry and Love Knitting

Yes, I HATE laundry!  Shocking I know...  I'm also not tremendously fond of vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes or a host of other household chores I'd rather never have to deal with again.  I long to be a character in one of Jane Austin's novels -- no not the maids -- one of the ladies of leisure who can spend all her time worrying about neighbor relations, proper manners and frustrating (but gorgeous) Darcy-type suitors.  Alas, I somehow ended up in the wrong century and station in life.

Instead, I trudge along (admittedly, with pretty much everyone else I know) doing the same repetitive tasks that are never, ever, ever, ever, ever...... finished.  Aaargh!  This has always been the most frustrating part of being a stay at home Mom for me.  Yes, I've taught part time the last few years, but I'm still pretty much a stay at home (homeschooling) Mom.  For my sister, I know the hardest part was the isolation.  This though was never my problem.  I'm a natural introvert and was never troubled by that in the least.

No, for me, the main problem has always been this:  no sense of accomplishment.  Nothing's ever finished.  I know, I know, I should be (and truly am) proud of raising my children, but let's face it.... that's a LONG term project and there's really never a "done" moment for that anyway (if grandparents are to be trusted on this issue).

When I taught at USC and was in grad school -- things got finished.  Semesters ended, papers were completed, grades were submitted.  When I worked as a legal secretary, documents got filed with the court, cases were settled, summer internships ended.  As a professional church organist, weddings ended, services concluded with recessional hymns, & concerts ended with FINALES!

This mom gig though offers very little in the way of "done."  I do the dishes and by the time I come back to the kitchen twenty minutes later, more have magically piled up in the sink.  I vacuum the living room and minutes later, it's covered with legos and cat hair.  I make french toast for breakfast and an hour later the troops are back, STARVING!!!   Somehow though, it's the laundry that gets to me the most.  It's relentless, vicious even!  What, me exaggerate??

Anyway, knitting saves my sanity.  I have my fair share of unfinished projects beckoning to me from the various corners of my office where I've stuffed them... but by and large --- if I start a sock, I finish a sock.  I work and work, crafting my lovely sock and lo and behold there's a payoff.  And it's a LASTING payoff.  The little blanket (Pattern here) I made above makes me smile over the very "done-ness" of it every time I think of it.  (And yes, I'm conveniently blocking from my mind the gorgeous linen hand towels I knit, only to have the girls' pet rats chew them to shreds.)

For the most part though, I can knit threads together and they stay knit.  Nobody comes behind me and un-knits them for me to do over endless times.  I have pretty little reminders of things I have "done" when my girls wear their hand knit hats and sweaters and socks and mittens.  If I knit a bit more obsessively now than I have in the past, it's because knitting offers me a sense of satisfaction I miss.

The pile of laundry in my bathroom will never be diminished in any meaningful way.  These little scamps I live with are apparently never going to forgo clothes...  sigh.  But, the little birthday socks I'm still knitting away on (hey, it's been busy), WILL eventually be done and that brings me peace.


  1. Yes, I definitely can identify. That is why I cross-stitch--when I can find the time, and am not too exhausted to find my place.

    I have to admit though that my laundry does reach done once a week. The baskets are empty for a couple of days before they fill again. Having a small family helps. For me though, it is the meals--one done and you have to think about the next one.

    But at the same time, I would never choose an empty house, or cooking for one. I would never choose to trade homeschooling my kids for my career--no matter how rewarding that was.

    It is nice to have something that beckons to be finished--be it knitting or cross-stitch. I am so tempted to take an afternoon off just to stitch--but I think I would have to go somewhere, or the afternoon would be filled with other things that aren't done yet.

    Frustrating it is, but I don't want it to go away either.

  2. I agree Karen... I may rant, but the alternative would be awful. The knitting (or cross stitching) though, provides a bit of respite :) Thanks for commenting!

  3. For the past 3 weeks, I have happily decided that FOLDING laundry is a waste of my time. It's been in a heap in the living room. It gets smaller and bigger, and smaller and bigger - but everyone wears clean clothes, and no one seems to care if they are wrinkled - adds personality! Haven't done a lot of housecleaning either lately.......

  4. I like that method, Heather. I may try it... Think anyone will notice at Thanksgiving?

  5. FOLDING laundry is the only household chore I like. But it rarely gets put away.

    My sanity saver is crocheting. Love to crochet!

  6. Laundry... isn't that the stuff piled on my couch right now? The stuff that gives me permission to sit down and watch, oh, say, "The Half-Blood Prince" again? I would much rather knit while watching the movie, of course, but if the laundry's ever going to be folded...

  7. Amanda -- what a great idea. Now I know how I'll deal with my own Mt. Laundry tomorrow - HP movies.