Laundry Never Ends…And Other Love Stories for Working Families Post Pandemic…


As I ponder the start of another school year and all of the excitement and uncertainty it brings, I am reminded that some things are always certain for a mom:  Death, Taxes and…well…laundry.  While some mothers may attack a pile of freshly laundered clothes swimming in fresh fabric softener with giddy optimism, I approach the dryer with the same sense of dread and fear I would approach an unwanted household intruder (and, yes, by that I mean spiders). 

My dream would be to have a laundry service where I simply gather up dirty items for some angel to wash much like a dry-cleaning service, but for regular laundry.  Yes, I know at least one country that has such services — the summer after my first year of law school, I studied law in Sydney, Australia and was amazed to find that laundry for a non-working student was as easy as depositing your clothes at a laundromat, where they washed and fold them for a minimum fee.  But moving to Australia would be quite expensive.  So, until then, I must learn to accept never-ending piles of laundry with the same acceptance that many of family law clients accept a bad spouse or co-parent.  The truth is laundry (like love) never ends and we must learn to accept it.

Like most things that I dread, I try to focus on the lessons to be learned from such a mundane and never-ending task as laundry, and I think laundry provides a number of lessons for anyone going through a divorce or custody battle.  First of all, if you have children, understand that like laundry, your relationship with your ex-spouse may at times seems like a never-ending barrage of dirt.  However, just like with any fresh pile of laundry, there will always be that displaced singular sock looking for its match.  Yes, that sock is your child and he/she/they comes together with the dirt, whether you like the dirt or not.  Like any usual pile of laundry, a family, whether together or parts strewn across different rooms or houses, is a family just the same and you must learn to assemble the pieces in whatever order they appear.   That sock needs its match and it’s your job to find it. 

In any divorce that ends well, as with any pile of laundry, you have to learn to fluff (i.e. make the best of it), fold and move on.  As with those never-ending piles of laundry, learn to accept that this pile of s*&! Is not going to end and that the best thing you can do is to develop a system that maintains your sanity and keeps everyone else’s crazy in check.   

This may sound counterintuitive coming from a divorce attorney, but in order to have a successful divorce (and, yes, you must learn to have a successful divorce, particularly where children are involved), you must focus on the successes of your marriage.  When you see that dirty shirt, remember that it wasn’t always faded and try to recall its better days and all the good that followed therefrom…particularly your children (lest they become displaced).  Love, like laundry…like family, whether they are together or apart…never ends….and the labor of love continues whether or not the marriage endures….