It’s the simple things that start to go first…laundry, vacuuming, cooking real meals. You don’t mean for it to happen, not in a pre-meditated kind of way. But when things get crazy, you have to prioritize and something takes second chair and most often, it’s the simple things…cleaning out the car, refilling the soap dispenser, sorting through the junk mail. Those things matter, but when push comes to shove, something’s got to give and you let them go. It’s only when they are REALLY obvious and overwhelming, undeniably necessary that you do something about them.
Laundry is the arch nemesis in our house, it always has been. We don’t have much trouble getting it washed and dried (except for when the laundry was in the detached garage, somehow that proved to be more problematic, we would completely forget and it would sit in the washer for a day, or two, and then it would need to be rewashed before it could be dried, but aside from that…). So we have clean laundry that gets placed in a basket, and then it sits there. Now, I know this is not an uncommon phenomenon, especially in the homes of busy parents who both work outside the home, or who both simply despise laundry. It just so happens it is also our phenomenon (as busy parents who both work outside the home AND who both despise laundry). So we have stacks of clean laundry in baskets, on the table in the garage, on the deep freeze. You set one load aside just so you can keep things moving thinking it won’t be all that hard to do with the next, but then you stack the next and the next and then suddenly, somehow, it becomes 7 loads of unfolded laundry all waiting to be returned to its rightful place.
And then it’s too much, so you really don’t want to deal with it.
So when crisis happens (like a big medical thing), it becomes even more of an issue. And somehow, that which was tolerable as just part of how you run your household becomes totally overwhelming. It may not be true for everyone (as is generally the case) but somehow that thing that just is becomes a complete and total failure in my mind. On a regular day I would like for the laundry to be done, but not enough to spend 10 extra minutes a day folding and putting it away. So it’s odd that somehow, under the weight of stress and anxiety I am beating myself up for not keeping up on housework, or letting us run out of eggs, or not folding the laundry. It’s not any different than any other day, so why is it under my skin?
Maybe because it’s a simple thing I boil everything down to, “I should at least be able to handle the simple things” without giving myself any grace for all of the other things I am dealing with that have taken the majority of my time and attention.
Which, I guess, is all to say, it's ok. It's ok to let the simple things go. Time with your spouse or your children, or with your feet up for a few minutes of sanity really are more important. And if it was "no big thing" before, why let it be something bigger now? Besides, it will always be there tomorrow. :/