Our family recently went camping with a group of friends and their children. We spent two nights- both of them rainy- in a campground and enjoyed the company of our friends. We slept a little, ate well, and came home with bug bites and muddy feet. Nevertheless, it was worth it. Our two-year old son loves the outdoors, and this camping thing is starting to grow on me.
After coming home we began the unloading, unpacking, and sorting of the dirty clothes/bedding into piles. I had to wash sheets, towels, toddler clothes, and our clothes. Even though their were only three of us camping, I couldn’t believe how much laundry we had. It took me at least 3 days to get it all done. Once it was folded, it took another several days just to get in back into drawers and closets. This laundry marathon inspired me to blog about laundry.
In a typical week I am often amazed how much laundry I do. Before we had our son, I typically did a few loads on the weekend. Now, we have darks, lights, towels, toddler clothes, and cloth diapers. I do laundry almost daily now. And that is understandable. There are spills, stains, mud, yogurt, coffee, diaper related items and so on.
What is daunting to me is that fact that just when I think I’m done with laundry, there is something else getting dirty and ready to be washed. Doesn’t it seem like a lot of aspects of motherhood involve continuous tasks that repeat themselves. I go to bed with a clean kitchen sink; I wake up and admire my clean sink each morning, but a few hours later it is full of dishes again. I make a great slow cooker meal one night, and after it’s finished I think- “that was great; let’s start thinking about what to take out of the freezer for tomorrow night’s dinner.”
It is tempting to think that the daily chores and routines will never end. Even if people say to me, “It goes by so fast”, it seems like I will live in toddler world forever. So how then are moms of little ones to approach this? What can I do to change my mindset that resists the redundancy of mothering at times?
Without knowing completely the answer to that question… I do realize that spending time in prayer is where it begins. My vocation right now is to be a mother of a toddler. In prayer I can tell the Lord about all the little things I need His help and grace for each day. Nothing is too little. I think God really does care about all these details of raising a little one.
I believe that like Mary, Jesus’ mother, mothers are called to say YES to the Lord. It often does not look like a big yes, but looks more like little yeses throughout the day. Yes to each basket of laundry I fold. My prayer each day is that I will be ready to say yes to the Lord in my vocation as a mother in each little task.