Laundry Mountain: ​And other fights that lead to dying alone

by Dezi Hall

If you follow any popular mommy blogs, you might have noticed a common refrain popping up lately when it comes to marriage. Mothers are haggard and overrun, taking on both the physical and mental burden of raising children and keeping a house- regardless of whether or not they are stay at home moms or work full time. Husbands, meanwhile, are lazy, hairy adult children that only do things when asked, and even then do them grumpily. Women really can have it all! They have to or nothing gets done, right?

Many women do have legitimate concerns and many men do shirk way too much responsibility. But let me say something about one of the most common examples used: Laundry Mountain.

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Mothers complain that men will walk past a pile of clean clothes 100 times and never think to fold the laundry. My husband does this. But I never complain about it. Nor do I secretly stew about him pretending that that mound of clothes is invisible. Here's why: I also happily skip right on by Laundry Mountain every day! I spend all day with my daughter and at the end of the day, when she is finally snug in her crib, the absolute last thing on earth I want to do is tackle that pile of fresh underwear.

And you know what? I don't want my husband to do it either. I want him to watch The Bachelorette with me and laugh and eat ice cream.

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During the week my husband works from home. Which means he works full time but also spends a great deal of his day doing things around the house- like feeding our daughter lunch and cleaning up while I put her down for a nap. The fact that he does not punch out for the day and march right over to the laundry room does not surprise or anger me. I'm tired as hell and so is he. I don't expect him to do it and in turn… he doesn't expect me to do it either.

I know what you're thinking: But then the clothes never get folded! You are correct. We have a 7-month-old daughter and we live out of a pile of clean clothes.

And I do not care.

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The idea of asking my husband to fold four loads of laundry after a long day seems not only stupid, but kind of cruel. I can only imagine him coming downstairs after the baby is asleep and saying "Hey, honey, would you mind vacuuming the playroom?" I would be both laughing and furious.

There are, of course, things that have to get done every day that you can't really push off or not care about. What those things happen to be are different for everyone. For my husband and myself, the kitchen has to be spotless. The nursery has to be completely tidy and our master bedroom has to have the bed made. And these things do get done every day. He is the dishwasher and the stove scrubber. I am the bed maker and the toy tidier.

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Occasionally he leaves dishes in the sink overnight to "soak," which is universal code for "I don't feel like doing this tonight." But that's ok, because every once in a while, the baby wakes up late and I don't have the time or the energy to make the bed before I go for my morning run.

I don't get upset when he leaves a pot of pasta in the sink once in a while, and in return he happily crawls into an unmade bed every now and then. Sometimes he leaves his boxers mere inches from the hamper. But I say nothing. Sometimes I leave my stained nursing bras out on the counter instead of putting them away. He says nothing. In short- we let each other be human beings instead of robots.

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One of my favorite parts about being single and living alone was that I could do what I wanted without judgment. Now it's one of my favorite parts about being married.

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