During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies http://marcysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 13, 2018

Laundry, Legos, and Libraries

This handmade gift from DS1 has been hanging in our laundry room for many years:
"Mom's Laundry   10 cents / load"


As you might imagine, a family that includes six kids generates quite a lot of laundry.    When we started out, we did have our own electric washing machine that we hooked up to the kitchen sink, and the landlords had a laundry room in the rental house next door where we could dry our clothes.  Sometimes we did make a trip to the local laundry mat just because it was faster to do several loads of laundry at once time once every week or two. 

We purchased our own clothes dryer soon after DS1 was born, and have moved our own washers and dryers around the country when we moved.  Of course we have worn out several pairs of washers and dryers, completely out, have replaced many dryer parts, and have experienced various time periods when we still needed to dry clothes on the line or visit the laundry mat. 

In most houses our laundry machines resided in unfinished basement laundry rooms.  We did have one house where the laundry closet was located in the kitchen.  My dream laundry room would be large and full of sunlight, and feature a large closet for hanging clothes, counters for folding, and cupboards for storage.  Our current laundry room (still unfinished) is again in the basement.  It is actually a fairly large room and could reasonably be quite functional, but for some reason it has never been finished and tends to be one of the storage spaces for seasonal items and many other things that should probably be gifted to others or thrown away.   At one time we had several different recepticals for sorting dirty laundry (whites, colors, darks, jeans etc).  There was also a portable hanging rod  or closet at one end of the room but if I remember correctly it became overloaded/overworked and collapsed.   Since then I have been hanging clean laundry in the open doorway, and that works as long as we quickly move the clean clothes to the appropriate bedroom closets.   I always try to hang or fold clothes immediately after taking them out of the dryer.  Matching up socks and sorting out underwear may not have always been done immediately.

One large family with many children suggested storing the clean clothes for young children near the laundry room to help with bedroom clutter, so we do have two large dressers in the hallway right outside the laundry room.  Dirty pajamas and  clothing could be put right into the laundry room hamper at the same time  the young child was changing into clean clothing.  At one time most of our kids socks, T-shirts, jeans, pajamas, and underwear were stored in these dresser drawers.  If the children wanted their clothing stored in their bedrooms, it was their job to move the clean clothing to their own closets and drawers.   Cleaning out those laundry room dressers is another project on the current to do list.  Hmm  . . I wonder what is stored there right now?

I know many families require their children to do their own laundry at a fairly young age, but I have never found that very practical for our large family.  Can you imagine eight people fighting over the use of one washer and one dryer?   Doing a load of laundry has always been one of the rotating jobs on the chore chart, and our kids learned to sort and load the washer at a very young age, and hopefully to hang or fold the clothes.   I would rather wash all of the whites separate from other loads of colorful clothing items or heavy jeans or towels.  If a child had a specific need for a certain clothing item to be washed right away, it was their responsibility to do so, but it was expected that they would also wash any like items in the same load.   

These days DH takes many of his clothes to the cleaners each week, so I mostly just need to wash my own laundry and the towels and linens.   I still do several loads of laundry each week, but nowhere near the two or three loads each day, six days a week from years ago.  Back then I coined a song borrowed from Sherrie Lewis and her Lamb chop crew, based on "The Song That Never Ends":

This is the job that never ends,
It goes on and on my friends,
Somebody started doing it not knowing what it was,
And now we're doing it forever, just because . . . 
This is the job that never ends . . . 

How does your family handle the laundry chore?


I just can't write about raising six kids without mentioning Legos and Duplos.  Of course I never had Legos while I was growing up, but my brother had a set of red plastic bricks that I thought were very cool.  He may have even let me play with them a few times.  Personally I think that Legos are one of the greatest children's toys ever invented in our time, in spite of the pain they can cause to poor unsuspecting bare feet when left lying around on the floor.    Our home has been home to numerous sets throughout the years, and we have a nice large storage bin full of them just waiting for children or adults to come and play.  There is a nice collection of duplos too for the younger set.  Pirates, Star Wars, Technic, Ninjas, cars, trains, trucks, aircrafts . . . you name it and there is a set to suit just about any interest.  Legos spark creativity and imagination, teach following directions and problem solving, and basically can keep kids entertained for hours on end.   There have been days when the living room or family room have evolved into huge communities or worlds built mostly of Legos . . . with the wooden building blocks used for backup materials.  My greatest complaint about Legos is that there have been so few sets geared towards girls throughout the years, but my girls have also enjoyed many hours building and playing with Legos along with their brothers.  For those who may be wondering what to do with all of those leftover Legos, I did recently run across a blog post that featured 25 Lego Crafts

Are you a Lego fan?


Last, but not least by any means for the letter L is the Library.  What would a mother do without the library?  Granted, we do have many many books of our own and nearly every single room of our house has multiple bookshelves.  But even so, the public library is invaluable for a mother of children.   Preschool story times are a place to not only meet new books and songs and games and puzzles, but new friends and other mothers.  One of our local libraries now has a huge play area with many blocks and educational toys and a special children's technology section with about eight or ten tablets for children to use at the library.

Now days most school children have access to many research resources at home through the internet, but the library usually has more computers available that the average home, right?  When our kids were growing up, we usually only had one computer for them to share, but the library had more, in addition to books!!   Many a school report or science project started with a trip to the local library.  Today there are also numerous movies and music CD's and other fun things to check out.  But of course the most important reason to go to the library is to find books to take home to read for fun, not just for the kids but for Mom too.   Moms deserve their own recreation and relaxation too, am I not right?

Do you still visit the public library on a regular basis?   What is on your reading stack right now?


  1. Love this triple-letter post! Laundry no problem with only two children. Very early on, Frank, Wendy, Jay, and I were doing our own laundry. Not very exciting, huh? Our grandson is a master with Legos!! Lots that I could write about him. I love libraries! Haven't used the one in Santa Fe in years, but I need to get back there. Much more economical that buying all of my books from Amazon and Book Mountain, our wonderful used book store. Great post!

    1. I don't think I have ever lived very far from a library. I'm not sure I would know how to cope! My budget would suffer for sure.

  2. I love your theme - Memories of being a Mum of 6. Beautiful photos and yes - Playtime is important. Happy to have found your blog.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! This has been fun finding and scanning the old photos. I loved spending time playing with the kids!