Is it demeaning to ask your au pair to iron kids’ clothes?

by cv harquail on August 8, 2010

When my girls were littler, they had lots of adorable cotton dresses. All of these dresses were wash’n wear, which meant that they were okay to wear if clean but wrinkly. To look fabulous, these dresses didn’t need lots of ironing– just 2 minutes with an iron on the collars, hems, and sashes turned them from wrinkly to wow.

Since our au pairs had enough down time while the girls napped or went to Pre-K, ironing the collars on their dresses was a regular part of doing the girls laundry.

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None of our au pairs had any problem with the ironing, until one of them did. One particular au pair simply refused to iron at all– no amount of explaining, putting it on the to-do list, asking point blank, etc. seemed to make a difference. It just never got done.

I thought I’d try to get over it … but frankly, it irked me. Just how hard is it to iron a collar and a sash? When the ironing board is always set up in the laundry room?

It’s not like like I was expecting her to compete in an “extreme ironing” event…. (yes, click this link).

Finally, during a weekly meeting when I brought this up (again) our au pair told me the reason behind her refusal. In her country, only the lowliest people in the household did any ironing. It was beneath the au pair to do any ironing. Ironing was something that our housecleaner should do, not the au pair .

Hmmm.

So I turn this question over to you, readers:

– Assuming that an au pair has plenty of time when s/he is on duty but kids don’t need active engagement, and

– Assuming that the ironing is not technically difficult (e.g., lots of ruffles, delicate fabric),

Is it demeaning to ask your au pair to iron kids' clothes?

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Images:201007261718.jpg

The Perfect Sewing Room Ironing…from citychiccountrymouse
I got out the ironing board to iron… from
Malingering

{ 39 comments }

Amy August 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

What’s going on here–“assuming that ironing is not technically difficult… will your au Pair be on duty for Christmas?”????

cv harquail August 9, 2010 at 8:39 am

Oops. I had a typo in the file, which pulled up the wrong post. Fix now… ;-) cv

Au Pair in CO August 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I have ironed the children’s clothes many times, and have never thought of that as demeaning. Ironing is way better than washing spit of their bathroom sink or picking up underwear with skid marks from the laundry basket, but I still do all of that because it’s my job.

Hula Gal August 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

It appears that the survey associated to this blog entry is not the correct survey. But to answer the question, it is completely appropriate to ask an au pair to iron the children’s clothes. That is a standard part of doing laundry and it is the au pair’s job to do the children’s laundry so there you go! It is a reality that with improvements in clothes dryers and the fact that the vast majority of US residents use clothes dryers, ironing is not as necessary as it once was. But some things just need to be ironed, no getting around it. Even my second au pair, who didn’t always have the greatest attitude, was willing to iron my daughter’s clothes (only the ones that needed it). Honestly, I wanted to hug her when she said she could iron and didn’t protest when I asked her to iron these items. My house cleaners do not do laundry, they clean the house. But I guess you need to decide if it is worth a showdown over the issue. If this was the only thing she refused to do and otherwise you were happy with her than I’d let it go. Although I’d prefer her reasoning to be that she just really hated doing it rather than “it was beneath her”. Ugh. That sort of explanation just irritates me.

CS Nanny August 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I think it’s fine to ask your aupair to iron within reason. Like Hula Gal said, she is reponsible for the children’s laundry, and ironing comes with that. However, I would think it would be a bit ridiculous for you to ask her to iron pj’s, socks, underwear, etc. And before anyone says that that would never happen, my AP friends and I would have to iron that type of stuff, and there is no need for it. But normal, everyday clothes are fine.

aria August 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I ironed everything (belonging to the kids, of course). I didn’t mind that much, because my HM was upfront and honest about it from the get-go- ironing of all their stuff was a requirement, so at least I knew what I was getting into. Yes, I did think ironing their linens (pillowcases, sheets, duvets, bed protectors) and undershirts was ridiculous. But hey, it was part of the job. The only thing that bothered me about the ironing was when my HM started telling me to do it when the kids weren’t around, which turned out to be near impossible. Oftentimes, I had to use the time they were in school during the week to run my own errands that couldn’t be done on the days I had off, and the kids weren’t even in school fulltime (though she had promised they would be).

Anyway, I definitely don’t think there’s anything demeaning about ironing, and I (blush) actually took pride in seeing how cute my boys looked when their stuff was neatly pressed. I even started ironing my own clothes, thanks to this experience! :)

NewAPMama August 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm

We only wear dresses/skirts in my home (minus HD, of course!), and so all of my daughters clothes have to be ironed, essentially. I or my AP does it. I do not think there is anything wrong in asking her to, and she is used to ironing her own clothes, so it is not a big task for her to do the girls’ stuff too.

MommyMia August 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

OK, the link to the “Extreme Ironing” entry in Wikipedia was too funny, but then the “Do you ask your AP to work Christmas?” survey? ROTFL I’m all for using the ironing board as a cat perch, as shown in the photo, as I detest ironing and would never, ever ask an AP to iron my kids’ clothes! If they’re a little wrinkled or rumply looking when they come out of the dryer (then you probably have it set too high and haven’t taken them out promptly!) ;-P who cares? I always laugh when I read new AP applications and they list “ironing” as one of their duties or skills, but I guess if you’re brought up that way and like to wear clothes that require that type of maintenance, it might be something to look for when you match.

Nicola aupair August 9, 2010 at 12:43 am

I think that it’s fine to iron the kid’s clothes, as long as you make sure your iron is easy to use because otherwise a job that I find relaxing would turn into a chore. I ironed my own clothes from age 16+ but my HF’s iron was so out of date and difficult to use that there were times I wanted to throw it against the wall! (of course I didn’t but you get the picture).

OnceAnAuPair August 9, 2010 at 1:43 am

I think it depends on what you’re asking her to iron. I don’t iron for the family I work for as a nanny, the housekeeper does, but the amount of ironing she does, I find ridiculous. In my home (even though its just me and my husband), I iron shirts, dresses, skirts, certain pants and that’s it. The family I work for iron’s undershirts, all clothes, TOWELS, and bed linens. Sometimes I think about ironing the bed linens in my house but it seems ridiculous. And towels?!? Who even sees your towels??
I believe that if the family I work for had to do the ironing and not one of their staff, they would never be so ridiculous to iron towels and undershirts. It’s a bit much.

Chev August 9, 2010 at 1:54 am

I don’t think it’s beneath me to iron the kids clothes but then again, the kids i look after now don’t have any clothes that require ironing. I think if i was asked to iron all my kids t’shirts and shorts and pants i’d be a bit irked cos they’re toddlers and even if it starts off beautifully ironed and wrinkle free, it’ll be wrinkled and possibly stained within the first 10 minutes of them wearing it :)
I iron my HD’s shirts on occasion, generally when i have lots of spare time during the boys nap and i don’t think the wrinkles will fall out just by hanging in the closet :)

Taking a Computer Lunch August 9, 2010 at 7:50 am

I own an iron and an ironing board. I don’t use it. Personally, for me, life is too short to care about wrinkles. When DH wants to look nice, he irons his shirts (or takes them to the dry cleaners). Occasionally an AP irons her stuff. On the other hand, I prefer the smell of laundry dried outside, so I do require my APs to haul about 80% of the kids’ clothing to the line in the back garden, except during the winter months. So, there’s always something about laundry…

Chev August 9, 2010 at 10:54 am

oh, a clothesline! I miss having a clothesline over here, it’s so frustrating on nice summer days to have to put loads of laundry through the dryer.

Taking a Computer Lunch August 9, 2010 at 11:21 am

It’s confusing, but I live in the US. My neighbor, whose husband is Australian, upon seeing mine, promptly brought back a huge clothesline from there, which has made me envious – I could probably dry an entire week’s worth of wash on hers. Fortunately, we live in a flexible community.

I’ve been taking advantage of the departure of AP #5 to wash and dry everything outside, although I’ve discovered that flannel sheets do not come out well – they’re a little crunchy.

Anna August 9, 2010 at 9:15 am

I hate, hate, hate the view that any kind of work can be demeaning.

I grew up in the former USSR, where proletariat was the king and the slogan drilled into us was “all jobs are honorable, there are no dirty jobs”, and simple jobs were even more honorable than white-collar ones.
Yes, a lot of other junk came with this kind of brainwashing, but this has stayed with me.

If it is not beneath ME to iron kids’ clothes or wipe their butts, it is not beneath anybody else.
To me, classist thinking like that is equivalent in badness to racist. It disgusts me. IMHO.

Nicola aupair August 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Sorry Anna, but something about the line “all jobs are honourable…and simple jobs are even more honourable than white-collar ones”

Isn’t that like the line “all people are equal, but some are more equal than others”?
(I don’t know if the Soviet Union used this line, but it was in Orwell’s Animal Farm)

By your reasoning, if a cleaner was given a white-collar job, she might feel a bit dissapointed seeing as that job is less honourable. I really think that the only difference here between the USSR and capitalism is that the jobs which are considered “better” are reversed.

Gianna August 9, 2010 at 9:48 am

I agree that all honest work is honorable and I would never ask anyone to do anything that I wasn’t willing to do myself. I have a slightly different take on this in this respect and that is largely a result of feminist business training. It is not appropriate to ask someone to do something that is not in their job description. For instance, while it is not demeaning to hire someone to do data entry or word processing, it is
inappropriate to ask a staff attorney or a nuclear physicist to do that work just because she is a woman or the only woman on the team. Many of our daughters play sports but some of us did not when we were growing up and we missed out on some very important learning experiences. For example, it is not protocol to ask the pitcher to do the catcher’s job. That’s team play: everyone fulfilling their own specific responsiblity: not running all over the field. I had to learn this as an adult. Having said that, since an aupair can do the children’s laundry , it seems to me that ironing can reasonably be defined as part of the laundry function. Some families iron, some do not iron. I find ironing satisfying and relaxing but my sister does not own an iron. I also find that the job is greatly facilitated if I leave the ironing board up and the iron
unplugged but ready.

Nicola aupair August 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I wouldn’t say that honest work is “honourable” exactly. It’s not demeaning, but nor is it particularly deserving of honour. In fact, there are very few jobs that I would consider “honourable”. Gandhi’s, perhaps. The thing is, if you call a job “honourable”, then by turn there has to be jobs which aren’t “honourable” and could be considered demeaning. So I think the whole use of the word honourable is a bit misplaced- hence the quote marks.

PA AP mom August 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

I don’t think ironing is “beneath” an AP, or beneath anyone for that matter. We don’t iron much in our house. We occasionally iron the collar of a shirt, a skirt, or a blouse. I keep the ironing board set up in our spare closet so it is easy to do when it needs done.

HRHM August 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

I haven’t picked up the iron in >10 years, although we do own one and a board. DHs dress shirts and pants go to the cleaners and so do my (rarely used) nice clothes. Our daily wear (jeans, t-shirts cotton shorts, etc) don’t get ironed because they don’t need to…here’s the rub. I instructed AP very carefully the first week “If you put clothes directly from the washer to the dryer and then remove them immediately and fold them neatly or hang them up, they won’t GET wrinkles and won’t need to be ironed” She understood based on her response and actions, but over time, she has now gotten into the habit of leaving things in the washer and dryer overnight and in a ball in a basket in her room for DAYS! So now my kids clothes look like CRAP. I notice she hangs her clothes out to dry or gets them folded quickly, but can’t seem to manage it with the girls’ two loads of wash each Thursday. I have nicely hinted that if she has a problem with it, we can just have her start ironing it all, but so far she’s not taking the hint. DD starts school in 3 weeks, and I’ll be darned if she’s going to school in uniforms that look like she slept in them! Any suggestions?

Pa mama August 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Tell her the clothes, especially the uniforms, must looked pressed. It is required for school. Teachers will not accept slovenly uniforms (at least mine didn’t). Either get them out of the dryer pronto so they are straight, or else iron them.

Should be working August 10, 2010 at 8:31 am

HRHM, neither my AP NOR my DH have ever gotten the ‘hint’, nor even followed the direct instructions, regarding not letting things sit crumpled in the dryer! This makes me crazy, it makes everything so much easier if the laundry is promptly folded or hung up!

CS Nanny August 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I agree with Anna, and nothing should be considered demeaning in this job. “Au pair” in French literally means “on part with”, and so it should be expected that you (as an AP) would be doing the same thing their mother/father would do. Ironing, changing diapers, etc., all come along with the job. I do think having an AP iron things like bed sheets or undergarments is silly though. But I ironed for my second host family, and it wasn’t a problem. But in Switzerland, you are not just limited to the children’s laundry. Parent’s laundry is also free game. So the AP’s in the US should be happy it’s just the children’s stuff! LOL

SotaGal August 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I love the extreme ironing! That sounds like THE sport for me!!!

I have asked au pairs to iron some things, similar to what is mentioned in the original article. It is usually just hems, sashes and collars or anything than be easily ironed. I tend to be pretty OCD so I save the crazy ironing for myself – pillow cases, duvets, heavily pleated or ruffled things that belong to our children…. Not that I don’t feel any of our AP’s could have ironed them, but because some of the things are ironed more for me and my sanity than an items actual appearance.

I have an ironing board and iron that I leave in the AP room because I need mine almost daily and don’t want to share. I have had AP’s that have gone the whole year ironing nothing of their own to those like me, that iron most of their things.

calif mom August 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

We own an iron. I believe it even works. There is also an ironing board. The only reason we have them are because a past au pair asked for them!

(And for emergency touch-ups before high-ticket date nights.)

Seriously, everything is either wash-n-wear or sent to the cleaners. Very little middle ground on this one.

StephinBoston August 10, 2010 at 8:25 am

We rarely iron anything, I work from home, HD works in a very laid back environment, we have 2 boys thus VERY little ironing ever happens here. But if I did need something of the kids ironed, I would ask my au pair to do it. I would NEVER ask her to iron my clothes or HDs.

Ann from NE August 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I never asked my AP to iron my daughter’s clothes but certainly would have considered it within her job description. However, my AP always ironed her clothes because she was used to it and volunteered to iron our tablecloths before a couple of important dinner parties. I always think of her now when preparing for (rare) formal dinners.

She had far “dirtier child-related tasks to deal with than ironing clean clothes, but she never complained. My daugher had recurring gastrointestinal allergies and symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, etc) to cow’s milk, soy milk, etc. her first three years, so to help me prepare for GI doctor visits, the AP was several times requested to keep and refrigerate my daughter’s stool sample (poopy diaper), for a while keep a daily log of my daughters’ GI symptoms and stool colors, carefully follow instructions of how many ounces of what my daughter could drink every day during recurring “milk vs. formula challenges,” etc. Not to mention hand-scrub clothing to get stains out before putting in the washing machine when toilet training, diarrhea occured etc. I did the same when AP was off duty, so we all were equal. Just part of the natural physical care and raising of a child.

Taking a Computer Lunch August 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Oh my goodness, if I cataloged all the disgusting things my APs have had to do “just because,” or out of the goodness of their own hearts–I have done my best to make sure they got rewarded. The AP who gave the hamster a peanut butter massage to get him off a gluetrap and the glue out of his hair, even though she hated the smell of peanut butter (but she loved my son). Certainly not in any AP job description, but how could you let a little boy’s hamster die? But the worse was the 4 1/2 months that The Camel was in halo traction after spinal fusion surgery to stop the progression of a potentially fatal medical condition. Everything went into the sheepskin-lined vest that held the traction in place, and the AP who cleaned her every day was a saint (we cleaned her every day, too, it was a task that didn’t end until the traction came off).

I put in my handbook “We don’t ask you to do anything we won’t do.” (Which is why our APs have to do all sorts of yucky things, but not iron clothes ;-) ). No one has ever complained, because they’ve seen us do it, too. (And it’s not fair to The Camel to save anything for the next person to find – she makes it clear that she favors being clean.)

jj host mom August 10, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I think as long as you follow the general rule of not asking the au pair to do anything you wouldn’t do if you had an extra 45 hours a week, you’ll be fine.

OnceAnAuPair August 11, 2010 at 1:49 am

Honestly, I find ironing somewhat relaxing. When I get home from work, I usually take whats dry off the drying rack (we live in an apartment-no clothesline and def. no dryers in europe!), and iron for 20-30 minutes while listening to Norah Jones :).

I don’t think it’s demeaning, just as long as it’s not out control (towels, your underwear, maybe even the parents’ clothes). And as long as the au pair has plenty of time to do the ironing and have free time for herself (I hated it when my “chores” took all my free time during the day while the kids were at school, nearly 7 hours a day!).

chithu August 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

the question here is not whether ironing is demeaning or not. the real issue is – it possible to cure a “idea” that has been ingrained in a person’s mind for years.

i am from a country where somebody in a good place in life will never clean the toilet (even if it leaks/stinks/is about to blow up in my face). nobody from even a financially-struggling family will do it himself, even if they personally know what to do to make it okay. they will call for proffessional cleaners, there are people who will, for monetary remuneration, do the job (specifically, they are people who clean toilets and bathrooms and yes, they belong to the lowest class in India, which is probably why folks from “good” families consider it as a demeaning thing).

so if my host mom had asked me to clean the kids toilet, i would have said no. my toilet, yes – luckily, i have matured enough to do that (thanks to studying and living abroad), unlike my peers, my other Indian friends who will blanch at the thought of cleaning their own bathrooms.

but, other’s toilet, even the kids’, no,I wouldn’t have and I have also declined one au pair job because it required me to clean the kids’ toilets thrice a week (i know quite a few non-Indian au pairs in London who clean kids’ toilet without any problem).

(again, i’m not equating toilet cleaning with laundry. i am only equating the thought process.)

i am not saying this sort of thinking is good. i am not happy with myself for thinking this way, and i am not proud that my country is infected with such caste systems. in fact, i am jealous of most western folks because the phrase “dignity of labour” finds its true meaning in the west and i admire americans for diligently practicing it…

i just want to stress that – if you have been *brought up* to believe something (for eg. your religion is better than others, you shall never be dependant on anybody, something is beneath yourself et etc.), then it is VERY difficult to change that opinion by talk or gesture. something life changing or drastic (for eg. host mom says to the au pair she has to go if she can’t iron kids clothes) must happen to really change that outlook.

Mumsy August 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Chithu,
Thank you for your post, which gives a great perspective on how cultural differences can cause expectations to not be met. Although the concept of national culture is painting the picture of an individual using vry broad brushstrokes, it is a useful guide that should be considered when dealing with someone from a different culture. (Even within the US, there are many cultural differences between regions.)

When we had AP’s, we were very thoughtful about how cultural differences would come into play. We specifically looked for AP’s in certain countries (those that are more egalitarian) and avoided others (with very obvious tiered class systems). We also set out all the AP’s duties and the things she’d need to do as a member of our family in the interview process. We also looked at the class that the AP was coming from (not only to determine her potential willingness to do what some might consider “menial” or “dirty work” but also to determine how likely she was to fit in with us, the people in our area, etc.) This sets the expectations up-front and reduces the potential for the clash of cultures.

chithu August 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm

thank you, mumsy, i’m glad i managed to convey my thoughts properly… i’m often misundertood when i write something, as i don’t use the right words! and for the record, ever since i came to london, thanks to the recession, i have sold brochures in the street and cleaned attics/gardens/homes for pay, so it HAS shaped my character and I am humbled and grateful for the experience… but I just couldn’t bring myself to do toilets!

chithu August 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm

and personaly – i love ironing (i have a bit of OCD and it is extremely relaxinf!)

chithu August 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm

i hope i haven’t come across as rigid or unfriendly in my last 2 posts, english is not my mother tongue, so i am not always able to exactly translate what i really want to say… my point is when you select an au pair from a different culture, you also will see the pluses and minuses of the culture/world she is from…

on a slightly different/OT angle, au pairs also experience the same huh-what? moments, most of the cultural type… for eg. even after living 2 yrs in london, i never really understand how sons/daughters in the west just leave home after they become adults and lost track of their parents… in my culture, it is the duty of the son to look after his parents… it is like parents look after kids when they are young, and the kids look after their parents when they become old… it’s a cycle that is mutually loving and beneficial… the parents live with their sons till they die (and the son lives with his son when he is old and so on it goes)…

but i am also amazed to see that parents too in the west DO NOT want their adult children living with them… i once had a london mom actually shudder when i asked her if she would live with her grown up kids… so it works bothways i guess… but as somebody who’s grown up with uncles and aunts and cousins and grandparents in the same house, i cannot for the life of me understand how people have no problem with permanently losing touch with their parents/children…

so, to cut a long story short, as a well-travelled, convent-educated adult, i (my educated mind) knows that children all over the world leave home when they hit 18 but i, a person from a different culture, just CANNOT understand how it is done, how in the west parents are content to live alone with no help from their kids after they gave their best years to their children… just like how people cannot understand how ironing can be demeaning, yet, to a select % of people, it IS demeaning…!!!

So IMHO, chalk it up to these lines – fact is often stranger than fiction and it takes all types to make this world… your au pair definitely needs to grow up and understand the concept ‘dignity of labour’… you can teach her, of course, if you have the patience and inclination, but she is probably young and opinioninated and just entered the western world, so it will probably take her some time (pref in the university of hard knocks!) to mature emotionally and culturally…

Deb Schwarz August 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Chithu,

Thanks for sharing your culture. I have learned so much from your posts here. I really appreciate your openess and candor – and cultural enlightenment. I would LOVE for my kids to take care of me in my old age… I have heard that’s part of the Chinese culture as well?

In this vein, I have had several au pairs that have had difficulties working with Indian families. Other LCCs have experienced this as well. I wonder if it has to do with cultural differences? Any insight that you have would be very helpful….it could just have been “outliers” but I’m interested to know if you might have any insight on possible reasons for this? Are there some cultures that might be a better match for Indian families?

Deb

chithu August 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Hi deb,
than you for your comments, i just saw ur reply, will try to answer your question as best as i can.

yes it is very difficult for people from liberated countries to work for indian families, as there might be a big cultural clash. i really do wish i have something good to say about it, but sadly, i don’t. IMHO, it’s better if non-Indian au pairs avoid indian families. Affluent indians, that is, the ones who usually settle in the west grow up with servants at home (coming from a middle class family, even i had servants at home, albeit only for a few hours a day, labour is very cheap! – and indian middle class family is equal to the western working class family) so they have difficulty understanding that au pairs are not servants.

again, upringing plays a large part in this mentality. when you grow up seeing servants bossed around by your mother, you eventually start to think that their duty is to be meek and docile and do whatever you order them to do. since grandparents usually live with their sons, they take care of children when the parents are at work, and these grandparents might employ a girl to help them in taking care of the babies. this girl – in some cases midwives – is called an ayah, a glorified version of a servant and a localised version of an au pair.

in indian homes, the servant – including the ayah – cannot have down time. she has to work every minute she has agreed to work in the house, she can’t talk back and usually she is not allowed to enter/be in certain places of the houses. because of this, some old-fashioned and time-warped indians might not really understand or prefer to have a western au pair who is outspoken, insists on doing only certain duties and wants to have access to all parts of the house. you might see ads online, where indian families ask for indian au pairs. this is because they hope that they won’t run into such problems.

this is not always the case, of course there are exceptions… 2nd gen or 3rd gen indians abroad, as long as they don’t have the previous generations living with them, can be a great pleasure to work with… i worked as a summer au pair in london for an indian family, and the husband and wife (just 7 yrs elder than me) were very sweet, and treated me more like a friend. but the guy’s parents, when they visited from india, had great difficulty accepting this. the guy’s mom would especially order me about in an obviously bossy voice and then will bite her lips, just remembering in time that i am not a servant in india!

she also would not give me a minute’s rest between chores, always watching me a hawk to make sure that i was kept on my toes all the time! she reminded me of my own mother so i was not too mad at her – in her mind, au pair or ayah, she was paying me, so was entitled to get the most for the money. as an indian, i can understand this mentality and bcos i needed the pay badly, i was able to shrug it off and adjust. i highly doubt an au pair from another culture would!

P.S. – these are my opinions, formed as a result of my own personal experiences. not intended to hurt anybody!

AuPair August 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I do not iron, and I just did 1 time for a party one of my HC has, but I have 4 kids and I have to do laundry every single day, and I have the 4 kids all day, if I fold clothes everyday I am gonna need to do it in my off time, so I’m very sorry is the clothes have wrinkles, but I leave all in a basket and pick thing from it when I need it and when I have time I fold it… And I used to have a lot of time off when were just 2 kids and in school, so I fold HP clothes, I still do the laundry cuz they wash everything together, am I supposed to take out the HP clothes and just make the HC clothes??? And the HM leave her clothes in the basket for days, I’m not really sure if ishe is waiting for me to do it…

HRHM August 14, 2010 at 6:01 am

If you are in the US, then yes, you should separate the kids clothes from the HP clothes and wash only them. In our house, HD and I have a basket in our room for our stuff and them there is a sorter in the laundry room for kid clothes. We actually take kid clothes out of our hamper (DD will sometimes put something in there) and move it to the laundry room one. This is not to make AP’s job harder, but because we don’t always wash as often, kid clothes may be lost at the bottom of that basket for weeks otherwise. With 2 kids, she washes once weekly on Thursday (2 or 3 loads) – so with 4 you ought to be able to get away with 2-3 times a week, unless they own so few clothes that you will run out. Especially if you stop doing HPs clothes.

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