The joy of….laundry

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Domesticity can do strange things to the human mind. When it comes to household chores, I find a basket full of freshly laundered clothes can generate genuine excitement.

laundry, housework, stay at home dad, domesticity, emotions, chores, ironing
The sight of a laundry basket like this doesn’t say “hard work” to me but “potential challenge.”

Going through its contents, pairing up my daughter’s socks and pulling out various items of school uniform can be enormously satisfying. I consider it a major success if I can empty that laundry basket, pair everything up, iron it and have three day’s worth of clothing prepared for the entire family.

Truth is, a missing sock or a drought of clean, ironed, school shirts can upset the morning routine in a massive way. If a garment shortage isn’t noticed before 8am on a Wednesday morning, well, it can screw things right up. Avoiding these mistakes is a skill I have developed.

Then there are the specialist items I must keep track of. Swimming costumes, gymnastics kit and loose fitting items for my daughters’ karate lessons must all be readily available. 

It’s funny how, once upon a time, I had a job when I was armed with a Blackberry. I never knew who the next phone call was going to come from: BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the Financial Times, The Times or Guardian. 

Och, those were fun days. We worked hard and played just as hard.

These days I iron clothes while watching Air Crash Investigations. As much as I enjoyed the days when I was armed with a Blackberry, I don’t wish to return to them.

What is it like being a man who is in charge of his family’s domestic life? Do I feel emasculated, taking charge of what is often inaccurately and unfairly called women’s work? 

As it happens, no I don’t. If ironing is so emasculating, why do the British armed forces place such importance on it during basic training? 

Funny, isn’t it, just what emotions a pile of laundry can stir? Of course for me, the greatest benefit of handling the laundry isn’t the feeling of success when the job is completed, but the fact I can watch badly made but informative television documentaries while I do it!

What domestic chores do you secretly enjoy? What do you do to numb the pain of carrying out the most tedious tasks? Please leave a comment below about your experiences.


15 thoughts on “The joy of….laundry”

  1. You iron? I applaud you! I gave up ironing along time ago when I decided if I hung stuff up and folded it well I could usually get away with it!! There’s definitely something about line dried washing though! #coolmumclub

  2. Mark Thomas (thehonestfather)

    I won’t let anyone near the vacuum cleaner. It bugs me when people leave gaps because I see it like colouring in. You can’t miss a spot just because it seems clean already!

    I also stack the dishwasher on expert level. Im better at that than I am Tetris.

    I’m like Fran though, I don’t really iron. I take too long doing it because I can’t leave any crease behind, so I just don’t do it. Hanging them straight from the drier does the trick. Ish.

    1. Oh no no no. I have to wear ironed cloths. Stacking the dishwasher, however, is a source of friction in this household. My wife reckons I can’t do it and vice versa.

  3. Goodness I can’t believe you iron! I CAN NOT STAND IT! I weirdly kinda love doing the laundry but loathe putting it away. I don’t know what that says about me – perhaps that I’m bad at finishing off what I’ve started? Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub mister!

    1. There is definitely a male / female thing in my experience. Women don’t worry about ironing whereas guys think it is more important. Then you have school uniform to throw into the equation, that kinda has to be ironed!

  4. I have a very particular order for hanging out the clothes to dry. It’s a technique that has been honed over many years, but it means I get so frustrated if anyone else hangs the washing out instead of me! #CoolMumClub

    1. Ah, so “maternal gatekeeping for laundry”. This is a whole new concept: leave the washing to me, it’s my job. That said, I feel similarly if my wife loads the dishwasher.

  5. I have a love hate relationship with doing laundry, sometimes I get quite overwhelmed with 2 small kids constantly dirtying up their clothes as well as other things. I think I secretly enjoy hoovering lol, just seeing the transformation of a room with one sweep of the hoover is the best feeling! and washing the dishes gives me time to just think, sometimes overthink. I find it pretty impressive that you iron, I only iron when I desperately need to! #coolmumclub

    1. Oh we are constantly overwhelmed by the laundry. When the day comes the laundry baskets are emptied and everything is ironed, well, pigs will be flying, of this I am sure.

  6. This post really made me smile…I’m just picturing you in your loungewear chilling watching Daytime TV and ironing…I guess my joy in ironing is non existent because a) I don;t iron and b) we have an accident prone one year old so ironing is too high risk.
    I do hear you though…I think I have an unnatural level of cleanliness. Not OCD or anything, I just can’t help but tidy as I go. It’s almost annoying how much I appreciate a tidy house, 6pm onwards is tidy up time and I love to chill post bedtime in a serene environment.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub!

    1. I think it is quite reverse in this household. Something resembling tidiness happens occasionally but we get no further. Wear lounge wear while ironing? Ironing takes place during office hours when I have already been on the school run so I am fully dressed. Sorry to ruin your illusion.

  7. Lucy, I’m with you on that one! I never Iron! EVER!!! I do wash every day until the basket is empty, I always put it away as soon as its dry! I always feel like I’v achieved something as long as the washer & the dishwasher are on!

  8. Hi John,

    It shows your greatness and is very kind of you. Sometimes, we have to do the household chores and it is necessary for everyone too. But, many people consider yourself down doing the household chores. I’m strongly opposed to it.

    I always feel pleasure on doing the household chores and sometimes I remember my childhood memories when we used to do any work with fun but carefully. I highly agree with you on the missing the fun days. I do my work oneself. There are many people so on but you’re great and I highly inspired by you. This is really unbelievable that you iron.

    Thanks for sharing such interesting but inspirational post.
    Have a great week.
    – Ravi.

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