Saturday, February 25, 2012

About Folding Baby Clothes

Being a mother is not easy.  Let me say that again.  Being a mother.  Is. Not. Easy. But I get better at it as I go along.  Some of the things which troubled me as a young mother have become easier.  There are an awful lot of things I wish I'd known when I started.  I can't count the number of times I've kicked myself and shouted, "Why did it take me five (or six, or seven, or even eight) babies to figure this out?"  But I do wish I'd known then some of the things I know now.  Here is another post in a What I Wish I'd Known (or WIWIK) series.

We were going on vacation with three little children: ages 4, 2, and a newborn.  As I went to their dresser to pull out some clothes for the trip, I had a little day-dream of what would happen if we all died on our travels.  Someone else would come into our house and have to clean it out.  At that moment, I emptied out the drawers and re-folded every little item, carefully, meticulously.  On subsequent vacations, I obsessively made sure that at least the top items in every drawer were folded to department-store crispness.  Slightly crazy, I think I was, and had more time than I needed.

I wish I'd known that folding baby clothes is not necessary.

I don't fold them at all anymore.  I do sort the sweet little clothes, and put each item nicely in its own drawer: shirts, pajamas, pants, sets or jumpsuits, underthings, socks.  Then close the drawer.  Clothes that are fussy (dresses, Sunday outfits) get hung in the closet.

If I have a screaming baby, dripping wet on my arm, I don't want to have to carefully go through neatly-folded piles of outfits to find the one I'm looking for.  I'd just shove it all around anyway.  Soon, the little crawlers learn to dump out their own drawers, and then I don't have to grumble as I re-fold the clothes for the five billionth time.

 I don't fold clothes again until the little ones are almost three, or when they are starting to learn to fold their own clothes.  Then I fold as I teach, and we do the clothes together.

Go ahead and judge if you'd like, but I'm happier (and quicker) when I don't have to fold tiny clothes.

That's all.  :-)

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