Stinky Shoe Lane? Who in their right mind wants to live on a street that constantly reminds them of, ugh, gym socks and sweaty Nikes? I also can not imagine anyone wanting to live on Cockroach Court, Dead Flower Drive or Average Joe Place. Home builders and city planners are well aware that street names are important to the people who reside in their communities. They are not going to jeopardize their investments by giving their streets appalling names.
Many streets are simply numbered, but often they are named for leaders, states, trees, and things of beauty, so as to bring pleasant thoughts to those who drive them. Sometimes I have to laugh, though, as I drive down Waterfall Road or River Bend Drive when we are nowhere near a water source—or when I turn onto Mountain Meadows Court and Eagle Rock Lane in the middle of a beachside suburb. The images are lovely, though, so I keep driving and thinking happy thoughts about the kindly people who bestowed such names upon ordinary roads.
Where am I going with this? As mothers (and parents), there are plenty of unappealing, humdrum responsibilities associated with raising children—things that have to be done. Laundry, middle-of-the-night care, cleaning, and picking up clutter—to name a few. If we are going to do these things anyway (hopefully with help from the whole family), why not give them more exciting, appealing descriptions? I would like to present a few ideas for spicing up the everyday work we do. Even though giving a “name-lift” to a household chore will not change the chore itself, it may give you another reason to smile during the day.
I would like to begin with a story called, “My best friend, Laundry.” I know what you are thinking…”Laundry is not my best friend—it is simply something I try to keep on top of so we will all have clean underwear.” Maybe you delegate laundry to other family members or hire someone to do it for you, but at one point or another, laundry makes its way into every parent’s life.
This story is from my sister’s friend Kim, a mother of six children, two of whom have been diagnosed with autism. Needless to say, laundry day brings HUGE piles of clothing out into the forefront of her home, where she sorts, treats stains, etc. According to Kim, the laundry used to ruin her whole day (and my guess is it overflowed into the rest of the week), until she took on a new perspective. Kim told me, “I decided that if I was going to spend an entire day with something, it had better be my best friend, so that is what I call it. As I look at each stained shirt, I think of how much fun my children had making those stains, and I think about how much I love my family. On laundry day, when someone asks, ‘What are you doing today?’ I respond, ‘Hanging out with my best friend, Laundry.’”
I have not quite developed Kim’s same optimism, but I will say that laundry day has become more enjoyable since I have started thinking about it as my best friend (though I enjoy it most when the whole family does laundry together—it can be our whole family’s best friend!).
QUESTION: What other area of house cleaning can you make more enjoyable?
CHALLENGE: Find a way to put a positive spin on housework.
Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net/panpote. Graphics by Anna Jenkins.