I did days of laundry to prepare my children for school.
I sorted through three boys’ closets. I weeded out the abused fabrics; passed down the good hand me downs.
I filled a bin for consignment of the pieces that no longer fit or the perfect polos that my simple t-shirt-wearing kids refuse to wear.
I carefully removed tags and stickers from the new additions.
I washed, dried, hung, folded and sorted away piles of clothes over the days leading up to school.
On the eve of the first day back, my husband and I tucked our children into bed. Backpacks were packed, clothes were laid out, the work was done and a peacefulness set in as we sat on the couch to talk about the next day.
It wasn’t peaceful for long though because then my husband asked me if his laundry was in the dryer…
“No, I haven’t done any of your clothes.”
He then informs me that he’s out of work pants that he’ll need in the morning.
I had completely overlooked my husband’s pile of laundry mounding in our bathroom.
He mentioned the pile and asked why I hadn’t done it yet.
In my mind, that just flipped the how-dare-you-resign-me-to-doing-all-the-laundry-you-misogynist switch.
And I challenged him with, “Do you not see all I’ve been doing… how busy I’ve been getting the kids ready for school?“
He rebuts with, “Don’t you know I still need pants?!” and “Did you not see the huge pile?!”
No, actually I didn’t. It wasn’t on my radar this week.
It felt stupid to be arguing over laundry but there we were, in the middle of a lot of miscommunication, misunderstanding and disappointment.
We angrily went our separate ways. Him, to shower and bed and me, to the laundry room, to bitterly make sure it was all done by the morning to lord over him.
Yeah, sometimes it’s like that. Married bliss.
The next day, he texted me from work to thank me for having his clothes ready.
And by the time he got home, the silly tension was gone and we were making light of the ridiculous fight.
He acknowledged how busy I had been and then said, “you just forgot about me.” while laughing it off.
In that moment I realized the fight didn’t spring from him being an entitled chauvinist and thinking I’m a dutiful housewife but that he felt overlooked in all the chaos of back to school… and he was.
My husband’s primary love language
isn’t even acts of service.
It wasn’t truly about the service of his laundry or his particular love language. We all feel loved when it’s clear we are a priority.
I’d rather be a substandard housewife in the sense that I don’t keep up with the laundry than in it being that I don’t prioritize my husband.
Though, that day they were the same.
For that I sincerely apologized.
There will come chaotic seasons when things are overlooked, put on the back burner and priorities shift; it’s inevitable. But it’s important in marriage that no matter how busy we become, it’s not our partner being overlooked or unconsidered.