Perspective helps.  Sometimes.

My friend, Helen is a dynamite financial services professional and resourceful business woman.  She gives off an air of confident competence.  Pleasant, efficient, detail-oriented, we were dealing with paperwork recently and discussing the challenges of 'doing it all.'

I was sharing the trials of a client of mine, a terrific web designer who's juggling self employment with parenthood of twins and a five year old.  Despite the best plans, life often sidelines the to-do list.  Having kids and being in business requires the ultimate in flexibility... and empathy from clients!

Helen admitted that as professional as she is on the work front, she can be defeated by a load of laundry.  There she was, just trying to fold laundry and it was like a giant leaf pile for her three year old twins who just wanted to run through it and toss it in the air.  Frolic.  Fun.  Laughter.  After a day of work, it's hard to join in the fun, and Helen sank to the floor, defeated.  By laundry.

Because I'm in the happy/sad position of looking back on these days, I was able to point out that she was NOT defeated by the laundry; she was defeated by trying to fold and put away the laundry.  Different thing.

My sister-in-law Chris, business owner and mother of three incredibly busy kids and a country dweller (this matters) gave up on laundry for at least a decade while her kids were young.  Constantly on the road in the car, she ran a virtual restaurant from the front seat, feeding young people on their way to and from this or that event.  Who has time to fold and put away laundry?  Not going to happen.  She happily stuffed it into the washing machine (aren't we lucky to have moved along from the wringer washer phase?) and the dryer and then she just dumped it all on the area rug in her bedroom.

"The kids know where it is... they can come and get it," was her philosophy.  She sent out her lawyer-husband's dress shirts so he looked crisp in court, but everything else was hunt-and-grab on the bedroom floor.  The kids turned out just fine.  Chris' business did just fine.  She continued to wow guests with her ability in the kitchen.  And everybody seemed to have clean clothes on.

As I told this to Helen, a glimmer returned to her face.  This is a potential solution, and not just for the mothers of twins!  Kids can also fold and stash their own laundry, if they have a mind to, but most won't.  They'll prefer the hunt-and-peck and occasional roll in the clothes like a pile of leaves approach.

Give me laughter over laundry any day.  Go for it, Helen.  You too, Lesley.  And thanks, Chris!

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