Chapter 14: Adapting to Live Aboard Life, Laundry Day


Normal daily life continues in spacious places as well as tiny spaces. For a family of six, I was used to doing a load of laundry a day. Building our boat, I was so sure I NEEDED a washer on board. But then, living aboard, vertical closet space was more a necessity than a machine! And, for the cost of the machine, I could do a load of laundry a day at the marina for 2.5 years before breaking even with the investment. Honestly, I still sometimes need to give myself a pep talk to walk the almost ¼ mile round trip carrying our laundry on my back…but if other mamas walk great distances to take care of their families in other countries, I can set an example for my children and find the fun in this job that must get done!

On laundry days, I ask my children who would like to be my helper? Sometimes when we walk to the laundry mat we play “red light green light,” or “don’t step on any seagull poop.” To help get the chore done, each of my children has a job to do. Their favorite parts are inserting the $2 worth of quarters into the slot, pressing the start button, transferring clean wet clothes into the dryer and tossing dryer balls into the machine. What is my favorite part? Pulling fresh, clean, warm clothes out of the dryer. Knowing many times my children and I can walk 3 or more miles to wash and dry as many loads as we need to, is nothing less than extremely satisfying! I am constantly challenged to not grumble or complain when accomplishing this mandatory chore, simply because I don’t want my children to mirror me by whining and complaining themselves!

A long time ago, I found an image on Pinterest that really resonated with me. It’s a drawing of a mom holding her children’s hands. “If you ever feel like giving up, just remember there are three little girls (and a little boy) watching who want to be just like you…don’t disappoint them!”

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