Life’s little creases – ironing and parenting in pursuit of perfection

Yeah I iron like that.
Yeah I iron like that.

Today I remembered why I have never bothered ironing.   I abandoned the pointless pursuit due to my obsessive compulsion to remove every crease and perfectly press every seam.  While I did want my clothes to be crease free, ironing bored me and I lacked the commitment to my compulsion.  I could not stand not being able to get it perfect.  Oh the irony.  Geddit.

I’ll admit that ironed clothes look better but, really, who would know what was ironed and what wasn’t after 15 minutes of wearing I would ask myself.  No point wasting my life ironing when the moment I lift up a child or put on my seat belt my beautifully ironed clothes would be creased to oblivion.  This would stress me out.  I thought it much better to be crinkly and wrinkly to start with.

I’ve recently been spoilt by a long visit by my Aunty who washed and ironed my clothes with fervour.  The instant that an item was in the washing basket it was washed, dried, ironed and put away.  OMG my walk-in closet (aka the spare-room-dumping-ground-for-clean-clothes) was empty.  My clothes had never looked better.  Now that she’s gone I’ve been inspired to iron again.

What started today easily enough with a couple of cotton items that really needed ironing ended up in an obsessive vortex, an ironing frenzy if you will Dear Reader.  I was lost ironing t-shirts, cargo pants, dresses, shorts and things that had been in my wardrobe unworn for years . . . I even ironed my husband’s dress shirts which he never bothers about.

My ironing took me all day in between getting food for the children, breaking up fights and needing to rest my arm.  I love looking at everything now hanging neatly and pressed in my wardrobe. It’s all so perfect I almost don’t want to ruin anything by wearing it.

The process was tiring but therapeutic in that I could see progress, I could see improvement and it was something that I could actually finish.  Unlike my parenting skills which never seem to get any better (to me) and the fact that parenting goes on forever.

I would like to think that I’m slowing ironing out some creases in regard to my parenting though.  Master 4 only occasionally tells me off for making a mistake, Master 2 will now actually swallow food rather than hold it for hours in his mouth like a chipmunk and Master 16 months is almost finished teething and may actually sleep through tonight.  Timeouts are working well for the older boys.

Something tells me these improvements are not something I can lay claim to though; they are just life’s little creases that smooth themselves out for a while and then pop up somewhere else to test any parent’s resolve.  However, tonight the children are all fed, bathed and sleeping soundly.  The house is quiet.  My brain is wallowing in the silence.  And the fucking ironing is done!  So for the moment I will congratulate myself on my amazing parenting and house-keeping skills and take it.

Yes, I fucking will.

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2 thoughts on “Life’s little creases – ironing and parenting in pursuit of perfection

  1. Am laughing b/c while I love to be crease-free, I do not iron. And while in Target, my son (at age 5), pointed to an iron and said–“What is that, Mommy?” The elderly woman in the aisle looked at me as if I hadn’t bathed in years:). I think she thought his lack of iron knowledge was a testament to my mothering skills . . .

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    1. Oh Kay that’s funny! I have another Aunt who irons everything from undies to sheets! I don’t think even my OCD would stretch that far! Ironing I think is a generational mindset . . . I’m still not sure I’m cut out for it 😉

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