Here’s another false multiples narrative that used to make me anxious and has proven to be false. I don’t do laundry every day and I’m not inundated with laundry (dirty or clean) all around the house. I’m not trying to brag- I’m hoping this post gives pregnant moms of multiples some hope that laundry isn’t as bad as people portray it.
I think our lack of a laundry problem boils down to two things. First, we just don’t have that many clothes. For every outfit we have, there is a place to put it, and if they are clean from being laundered, they go in their place. Also, because we don’t have that many clothes, it’s pretty easy to make a decision about what to dress everyone in each day, and we therefore don’t really spend much time thinking about it. There are great stories about executives having one go-to outfit every day so that they don’t have to expend precious energy on that one daily decision. While we don’t dress our kids in the same exact thing every day, we are harnessing that same principle. By pairing down the choices and selection, we’ve made things more manageable.
The second solution is that I’ve made the laundry a pretty streamlined process with simple systems in place. We have a hamper for the triplets’ clothes. Each big kid has their own hamper, and then my husband and I share a hamper that has three sub-baskets built in for whites/mediums/darks. We adults are the only ones that have color separations. The triplets have their load of wash with all colors together. Their clothes are all machine washable and dryable. Similarly, the big kids get their clothes washed together with no separation based on color or on which big kid it is. Everything is washable and dryable. So really the system involves (a) choosing clothes that are durable and don’t bleed, (b) having baskets for each load of laundry so we don’t have to think when we load the washer. We just dump a full hamper in, knowing it is already separated as much as it needs to be.
When the triplets were preemie newborns, I did do more laundry, but that was purely based upon choice and not necessity. We had enough clothes for each triplet to be changed a few times a day (this is the beauty of hand-me-downs – we didn’t have to stress about the cost and we had plenty). I did laundry because the triplets would spit up a lot, and I didn’t want their clothes to sit for too long with spit up on them. Just having the mindset that doing laundry was a choice and not a necessity made a big difference to me.
When you hear other people talk about doing tons of laundry, I urge you to listen carefully. You can learn a lot about whether this is a true problem or maybe there are self-created issues that underly the complaint. If you are expecting multiples and already feel overwhelmed with your own laundry, you can do the same introspection. The key is to identify the problem. Maybe the problem is that you have different clothes with different requirements- some are hand-wash only, some are line dry only. Maybe the amount of time you spend on laundry is dictated by complicated wash requirements. Maybe you have too many clothes and this means you don’t have a place to put them when they are clean. Maybe you don’t have enough clothes and you do laundry frequently because you only wear a couple of outfits repeatedly. Really do some introspection and maybe you’ll find that there’s a way to simplify so you aren’t bogged down by laundry anymore.
Or perhaps the opposite is true for you. Perhaps you love having tons of clothes and selection, and you love having new outfits for your kids. If that’s the case, you may just need to change your mindset about laundry. You may have to see it as a choice you’ve made. You like having variety, and that means having lots of laundry in rotation, and that means it can be time consuming. That’s all ok, so long as it doesn’t interfere with your happiness!
What do you think? Is laundry the bane of your existence, something you actually enjoy doing, or is it something you really don’t worry about very much?
Photos are of the triplets’ drawers of clothes. The first drawer is all the girls winter clothes. Yes, that’s everything they have minus pajamas, which are in a separate drawer. The second is our triplet boy’s clothes. He only has more than the girls because he had more hand-me-downs.