That is the title of the first chapter of Scott Benner’s new book, Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad. As a stay-at-home dad myself, I can back him up. Laundry never ends. In his own words . . .
I think I know why people become nudists—to have less laundry. Some quick math tells me that I complete an average of fifteen loads of laundry a week or more than sixty a month. That’s more than seven hundred a year and nearly nine thousand in my time as a stay-at home dad. In fact, by the time this book is published I’ll have washed, dried, folded, and put away another almost thousand loads of laundry, and each one sucks a little more than the last.
Doing the laundry is so terrible that if a genie popped out of a bottle right now and said to me “Answer fast, no more laundry or world peace—choose!” I’d actually pause . . .
No kidding! And unlike Scott, I’m not sure I’d eventually choose world peace.
In fact, I’m running four loads of laundry right now. I’d say that’s a coincidence—that I’m waiting on a bank of washing machines as I’m reading a book that opens with a description of the Sisyphean task of laundry—but given that laundry is a constant in my life as well, pretty much any book I’m reading at any given time is going to intersect with the next load.
He paints a vivid, and authentic, image of the never-ending tedium of stay-at-home parenting in that first chapter. I’ve read on a little from there and I can say that he’s beginning to paint equally vivid pictures of the joys as well. The joys that make all that laundry worth it. Almost.
But more on that when I finish the book and review it. Until then . . .
It’s time to switch those four loads of laundry over to the dryers.
Scott is also a blogger, and he writes about his daughter’s life with type 1 diabetes on Arden’s Day.