Why are you still doing their laundry?

I heard an “expert” on the radio the other day ask the question, “Why are you still doing their laundry? I stopped doing my kids’ laundry by age 12. It isn’t loving to do for them what they can do for themselves.”

While I completely understand the heart (and lesson) behind what he was trying to get across, it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe because God is working on helping me show myself grace lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in that overwhelmed season for a while now and there simply are more things to do than hours in the day. And maybe because laundry is one of those things my kids can do for our family that I don’t have to, and they do it, often.

You see, my kids all know how to do laundry. And when they aren’t trying to adjust to virtual/hybrid learning, taking high school and college classes at the same time, holding down a part-time job, and helping others who need more help than I do, they cook, clean, and do laundry on a regular basis. And that’s a good thing.

But, just as they lovingly step up and take over the household chores when I simply don’t have enough hours in the day and need to focus on tasks only I can accomplish, I lovingly step up when their time is limited, their stress is high, and they have more things on their “to do” list than can possibly get done.

It’s called grace. It’s called bearing one another’s burdens. It’s called not keeping score. It’s called being part of a family who loves each other.

So, yes, while there is some truth to the expert’s statement, I wish he had finished the sentence with, “Sometimes I do their laundry because we’re part of a family and that’s what families do. Help each other.”

© Cheri Swalwell 2021

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