In every day life, though, there are many, many more mundane, yet in many ways significant examples of this. Recently one came to light when we were having dinner with our tablemates on the cruise we took in May. Of the four couples, three were childfree by choice. The other couple had 3 children. On the final night of the cruise during our last dinner together, we were psychologically preparing ourselves for the end of cruise ship hedonism and the return to "the real world" where we are not waited on hand and foot day and night. We talked about returning to work, having to cook our own meals again (and clean up afterwards), and then Carol (the mother of three kids) lamented, "having to do 13 loads of laundry per week".
Yes indeed, she confirmed that she does about 13 loads of laundry per week! She explained this by saying that her kids are not that good about keeping their clean clothes and dirty clothes separate - throwing clean clothes on the floor and then everything getting tossed in the hamper, to which I replied "those kids need some training!" I just couldn't get over that 13-loads-per-week figure. I pictured a house run by out-of-control kids and poor Carol slaving away over the washer and dryer, spending all of her free time doing laundry!
After the cruise, I mentioned this story to a coworker who also has 3 children. She replied that she also does about 12-13 loads of laundry per week! Knowing my coworker is pretty on top of the kids, I am pretty confident their kids do not have issues about mixing together clean and dirty clothes.
Can you imagine how much time and effort is involved in sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away 13 loads of laundry (not to mention the expense of electricity and cleaning products)! For hubby and me, I do about 2 loads a week - once in awhile 3 - and I complain all the time about what a cumbersome pain-in-the-ass it is, how it seems to multiply on its own and how I spend all my time doing laundry. Ha! Well, you can bet I no longer complain like that anymore. I realize now that I live the life of leisure compared to people with kids!