It’s not common to refer to laundry as a beautiful experience. And I totally get it. This photo is one I took several years ago when our dryer broke, and I had to hang everything up in the kitchen to dry:
But today I want to change the way you do laundry. And it has nothing to do with the soap you use or the way you fold or how you set up your laundry schedule. Instead we’re going to talk about how the process of doing laundry can build relationships and actually strengthen you as a person. Listen here–and see below for time stamps and additional links!
Have you had an experience doing laundry or some other household task that strengthened your family relationships or helped you to feel more encouragement in your work as a deliberate mother? Please share in the comments section below!
1:12 – We can make laundry beautiful by building relationships and gaining insights through the process.
1:43 – “At the end of the day it’s not about the laundry, it’s about the work that we do to sustain life and the work that we do that enables our minds to think about other things in the process.”
1:57 – As a child growing up in the 1930’s, April’s mom was required to help her mom a lot around the house. April’s mom wanted April to be able to enjoy her childhood, so she always took care of April’s laundry for her. She presented it to her like a gift.
3:39 – When April was growing up, her married sister lived nearby. Once in awhile April and her mom would go to her sisters house and help out with the laundry and match her nephew’s socks. It was a beautiful, positive experience because it was a time for them to talk and bond together.
4:31 – When April became a mom, her laundry quadrupled because her baby had reflex and they had a small washer and dryer. The dryer never worked very well so it took a long time to get the clothes dry.
5:10 – Before April became a mother, she took a college class called, “Work and Relationships in the Home.” The instructor helped April to see that the mundane work done in the home is the foundation for building strong relationships. As April became a mother this class was fresh on her mind, so she would often ask herself when doing household tasks, “How can I make this a relationship building experience?” Folding was an activity April would do with her daughter Alia even when she was a baby.
7:14 – When April’s son Spencer was a toddler, the other kids were at school, so they would do laundry just the two of them. They would toss the laundry down to the bottom level of the house and switch out the laundry together. She shares a special experience with Spencer where he would put the clothes into the dryer and say each family member’s name as he put each person’s article of clothing in the dryer. April realized how laundry was giving them the opportunity to serve each individual family member and how this bonded the family.
9:59 – When April and Eric lived in a small apartment, April would load five loads of laundry into the stroller and take her kids to another part of the apartment complex to where the laundry room was. The kids would help load, pay, put in the soap, fold, etc. Thinking back it was a fun time out together because they made it into an activity.
13:01 – April started doing a laundry party with her kids. They would turn on a music playlist and sort the laundry together while they listened. Each person would fold their own laundry and one other pile. When April looks back now, she realizes those are some of the best memories of her life. April was able to talk to her kids about things that really mattered to her and her kids could talk to her. This was an opportunity to transfer values from parent to child.
16:34 – April’s children have grown up and they aren’t all at home during the day as they used to be. Right now each of the teens do their own laundry and Eric does the rest. April does the menu planning and grocery shopping.
18:10 – If you find yourself doing your laundry alone, April shares an idea of how you can make it a beautiful experience. When she did laundry alone in the past, she gave God the opportunity to ask her questions while she was doing her work. As April was doing the work and had quiet moments she would ask God, “What is a question you have for me?” After the experience, April would always feel love and support and a lift from God.
The work we do in our homes can give us an opportunity to build relationships with friends and family or use that time as an interview period with a Higher Power. As a result, the challenges or worries you might have will dissipate and be replaced with a power that is unmatched.
Some of our work is mundane and we don’t get paid or get noticed for it. But the most important work we do is within our own homes and family. We can build relationships with the people we want to be with forever.
23:23 – April understands that housework can be mundane, but if you share the work you can build relationships with your husband and children while doing it. Remember that someday your children will be more helpful because of the time you spent together working.
24:17 – April would fold towels and blankets with her kids and whenever they brought the blanket together, they would kiss.
Choose a household routine and do two things:
- Ask yourself: How can I make this a relationship-building experience? Send your ideas to April at [email protected]
- Take some quiet moments when you are doing a mundane job and interact with your Higher Power. If you feel comfortable sharing, please do so in the comments on this podcast post or you can email your experience to April at [email protected]
Music from Creations by Michael R. Hicks
Audio Editing by April Perry