Giving Them Some Slack

This morning I walked into the hallway, out of my bedroom after a semi-great night’s sleep only to find the hallway riddled with my daughter’s clothes. On the way to the stairs to make coffee, I had to step over several pairs of underwear, a couple skirts, and…my husband’s white t-shirts and socks from the night before. Hanging on the laundry sorter we bought a few months ago, were all four bags, in tact and mostly empty. Seething, I stomped downstairs, started the coffee and began baking breakfast.

“This is Valentine’s Day!” I kept thinking angrily to myself. “They can’t pick up even one day of the year?”

As I continued this angry, negative train of thought, a voice boomed in my head “Maybe they forgot.”

Maybe they forgot? What excuse could there possibly be for this mess? I’m getting on them every day about it!

“Maybe they had other things on their minds. Don’t you ever have that happen?” The voice asked.

I stopped my train of thought and everything else I was doing and began considering what does go on in the lives of my husband and kids during a typical day. My kids are in school from morning until afternoon. When they get home, its homework, chores, playtime, dinner, bath, bed. We keep them on a pretty structured schedule. My husband works full-time, has a 40 minute commute in each direction and attends school full-time online in his “spare” time. Come to think of it, he has a really stressful job and is prone to being called in early from time to time as well. Usually when it’s least convenient for our family. Hmm…

In the whole scheme of my husband’s day, remembering which basket to sort his socks and t-shirts into really isn’t the most important task on his mind. The kids are still young and learning. We’ve not always had this system in place. We used to just throw all our dirty clothes into one basket and I’d launder them as soon as the basket was full. Both girls need time and guidance to learn this new system.

With that in mind, I decided that maybe a chart and some more patience would help this situation. We’ll see. It certainly can’t hurt. In the mean time, I’ll be cutting them all a lot more slack.


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