*This post is in partnership with Persil ProClean. Every single word in this post is mine and true and blah, blah, blah. If you want to read a post about why I finally taught my daughter to do laundry then keep on reading. If you don`t, then skip to the bottom where you can enter an awesome giveaway! The choice is yours, but teaching your kids to do their own laundry feels so friggin good…on the inside!
Laundry. Oh my goodness, the word itself sends chills up and down my spine. Seriously, this laundry business gives me a whack load of anxiety. When the laundry is finally folded and put away I feel so accomplished ( like someone better come give me a brownie badge) and then… BAM! The basket is full again. I want to scream, cry and kick my feet up in the air like a two-year-old having an extreme meltdown! “MOMMMMY!!!!!!” I just finished spending hours doing it. It’s sooooo frustrating!
One day my teenage daughter’s friends were over and somehow the topic of laundry came up. Oh, I remember now. My daughter’s friend mentioned she had to go home at a specific time because she had to do her….laundry.
When I heard those words come out of her mouth the lightbulb in my head didn’t just turn on, it, in fact, exploded!!!!!
Why on earth was I still doing my (fully capable) daughters laundry?
I asked my daughters friend how long she’s been doing her laundry for and she said she’s been doing it since she was 10! I could see my daughters face begin to change because she knew the lecture was coming. I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t mean to compare, but… this girl was doing her own laundry since she was 10!
Do you know how many hours of laundry I could have saved myself from doing if my teen daughter was doing her own loads since the age of 10?
Similarly, when my daughter’s friend found out that my daughter didn’t do her laundry she was in the same shock that I was! She commented in disbelief, “You don’t know how to do laundry?”
And then it hit me. It wasn’t her fault she didn’t know how. It was mine!
What kid walks up to their parent and says, “Hey mom, I’d really like to do my laundry. Can you teach me how?” (said no kid ever).
Needless to say, this situation made realize I was coddling my daughter and creating my damn anxiousness and anger when it came to doing laundry.
Laundry is a life skill and one day my daughters will be on their own (hopefully) and will have to do it too. But what on earth was I waiting for?
So, here is how I taught my daughter how to do her own laundry:
- I told her to bring her laundry basket downstairs. (There were some moans and groans involved in this.)
- I stood with her at the machine and I showed her where to put the detergent ( we use Persil ProClean. It smells AH-mazing and works perfectly for those extra smelly teenage clothes). I also showed her which buttons to press. I explained the importance of separating colors and whites. I basically said if you want your clothes to stay the same color don`t mix!) and I told her to always use cold because that’s how we roll around here 😉
- I told her to wait for the buzzer and then once the load was complete to switch it to the dryer. I then explained that she needs to make sure she does this right away otherwise her clothes will smell like sour pee. And it doesn’t matter what detergent you use because that’s just what happens when you leave your clothes wet in the wash for too long. I also warned her about cleaning the lint before starting the dryer.
- Next, I told her to wait for the buzzer and then unload the dryer.
- Now the fun begins! I gave her the option of folding in the living room in front of the TV ( just to make the chore a little less boring) (She was still not impressed.)
- And then I told her to place her folded piles into the basket and take it up to her room and put it away.
- Repeat this once per week and don’t ask me ever again where your jeans, hoody, t-shirt etc is because you do your own laundry now.
Having my daughter finally do her laundry has helped take some of the load from me, but most importantly it has taught her that she’s fully capable doing it on her own! And if she runs out of clean whatever it is she needs to wear she can’t use the lame excuse she doesn’t know how because… ta da! She now has this essential skill under her belt!
Best of all, she`s teaching her younger sisters that one day they`ll have to do theirs too.
I`m giving myself a break over the holidays. Since the kids are home they can help out with the laundry while watching a Christmas movie and I can watch them in delight. If this is the only Christmas gift I receive, it’s the best present ever!
Tis the season of giving!
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