I have a dream. A dream where the washing machine is silent. The tumble dryer is still. The airers are folded. The radiators are clear. The doorframe is hanger-free. All the clothes in the house lie peacefully in their correct drawers.
To have a day when I can have a break from the laundry without it beating a hole in my psyche. A day when I can go to bed without that sinking feeling that I haven’t hung the wash out and it’s going to pong in the morning. A day when I can laugh at the children’s bath splashanigans instead of rueing all the towels I have to use to mop up. A day when I no longer deter overnight visitors at all costs because if I have to wash another lot of bedlinen it will break me.
A day when I can wear whatever I like from my wardrobe. As it is, while my family waltz around in spanking clean clothes, I am in my last pair of pants and jeans that could walk to school by themselves.
A few weeks ago, I thought I’d done it. The laundry baskets (I have five – yes, five! – one for each family member), were stacked neatly in a pile. I’d been putting clothes away for 48 hours straight and there wasn’t a pair of school trousers being “ironed” on the radiator to be seen.
And you know what? I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t feel triumphant. I didn’t feel exultant. I just felt a bit…loose-endy. The day that I have no more washing to do is the day my children no longer live at home.
But before I got too maudlin, I saw it.
My husband’s gym kit stealthily stinking in the washing machine.
And I knew that it was going to be OK. The impossible dream was still just that.