On Mondays I’d like to give a tip for parents on how to “create room for hope”; strategies and techniques to simplify life and clear the way for making right choices. This is the first installment of what I’d like to call “Mama Mondays”, not that it is just for female parental units, but because it is from this “Mama” to you!
Simplification Idea #1: Do less laundry (bed-wetting solution).
The more complicated modern life gets, the more we yearn for the simpler lives of yesteryear. Why were their lives so simple? I suppose we could point out the evils of technology and the information age…but that would sort of invalidate what we are doing here! I’m sure our ancestors would have loved the internet, just as we do…think how much time it saves to send communication and share ideas (although it can be hard to prioritize information with how much of it there is out there. I understand.) I think the biggest reason lives in the past were simpler is because they had less stuff. There was less to take care of and fewer distractions from spending time with people. Moving on to laundry, we have so many clothes and sheets; they all have different washing instructions on them because of the variety of fabrics they are made of. We would rather buy 50 garments that are cheaply made than 5 garments that we repair and keep for a long time. We discard stained, shrunken, out-of-date clothes and bag them for Goodwill, and then go out and buy a lot more. We spend ages folding, ironing, hanging, freshening…a lot of money and a lot of time later, we and our homes look “good” but our lives are that much more complicated! To uncomplicate your detergent/softening routine, click here.
For our family, our laundry situation is made worse by the fact that we have a Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) child. FXS children can take much longer than their peers to learn to use the potty (some learn at 10-12 years old) and they can become unsettled by changes to their routines. Repetition and practice are the only ways to help them make the connections they need to acquire more skills and it is often a painfully slow process. So child #2 wets the bed. Often. We used pull-up diapers designed for older children for a long time, but that only made it too comfortable to want to change. So now we take short naps in our underwear and wear diapers at night. Overflows happen all the time, even with diapers, even with no eating or drinking 1 hour before bed (although it really does help). I often have to change the sheets twice a day. This is exhausting and I finally realized something: I don’t like sheets. I can cut my laundry in half if I didn’t have to wash two sheets, a blanket, and sometimes a pillowcase twice a day.
If you have a bed-wetter in your family I think you can benefit from the following tip: get rid of the sheets and buy your kids a sleeping bag! Sleeping bags are lots of fun and come in many cool designs. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW IF YOU KNOW OF AN ALL-NATURAL MATERIALS JUNIOR SLEEPING BAG. We bought child #2 two, inexpensive 100% polyester sleeping bags from a local grocery store (don’t forget the waterproof mattress cover, and wash them with Soap Nuts to get the manufacturing chemicals out). One to put on the bed and one to switch when the one on the bed gets wet. Problem solved! Three items that need to be folded and stored replaced with one that I can roll up in the linen closet! Child #2 loves her sleeping bag and child #3 wants one too…my laundry routine is about to get a lot simpler. I wonder if there’s a pretty sleeping bag for adults….
Another way to make laundry simpler is to share the load! Have your young children develop their coordinating senses, learn to categorize, and identify colors by helping you sort, load and unload the laundry; older children can learn responsibility and develop family team skills! What other tips do you have for simplifying your laundry routine? What have you gotten rid of that you really never used or needed?
I hope you enjoyed this Mama Monday post. If you know of busy parents out there who could benefit from reading this post, make sure to share it with them through one of the many options below!