Filing for Reimbursement of Time Spent Folding Laundry

Hi, I’d like to submit my yearly hours of time spent folding laundry—mine, my sons’ and the communal laundry (sheets, towels, and occasionally the sofa cover)—for reimbursement.  I am not looking for monetary reimbursement, I would specifically like to be reimbursed in time spent.  As we’ve recently gone paperless, please notify me via e-mail when these hours have been added back onto my life.

I’ve invoiced you for about 2,500 hours which seems high but please take into account that I have a young baby at home who blows through outfits faster than Lady Gaga at the Superbowl halftime show, albeit for different reasons.

Please note that I have invoiced you for both laundry and non-laundry -related tasks

My current rate is one meaningful hour of existence for every hour spent doing any of the following:

-Folding laundry
-Sorting laundry
-Washing dishes
-Cleaning the stove
-Cleaning the countertops
-Frantically scrubbing burnt brownie pans in an attempt to make them look new again (NOT SUCCESSFUL)
-Cleaning food off the floor like the janitorial staff at Medieval Times
-Scrubbing urine out of the carpet
-Putting away things that I did not take out/use
-Pushing crumbs under the rug with my hand
-Occasionally cooking something
-Sending out holiday cards


"Why did I bother?" That's a great question. Let me get back to you on that.
“Why did I bother?”   Let me get back to you on that.


Please note that I have not invoiced you for hours walking the dog, as walking the dog allows me to walk around the neighborhood listening to podcasts, pretending that I am twenty four years old and do not have any kids or pressing responsibilities.

Please note that I am not invoicing you for time spent dusting or cleaning the bathroom because I have abandoned those duties completely and am content to let the bathroom and the dust-coated window blinds disintegrate and/or rot back into the earth.

Because I’ve had issues with your billing department in the past, please note that the hours should be added to the present day.  I’m not looking for hours to be added to my life when I’m in my late 80’s with one tooth left—the age where I spend half the day either urinating or complaining about the humidity.  Please add all reimbursed hours to the current time so that I can enjoy my kids while they’re young instead of just chasing after them with a dustpan like a freelance disaster management agency.

Payment within 30 days is appreciated, as they are both getting older quickly.  This time, as you are well aware, goes so fast, and I would much rather be on the floor of the living room playing with them than standing in my bedroom folding 2,000 pairs of miniature underpants.

Thank you so much for your business!

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Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this piece, please feel free to purchase one of the following:

My book, Welcome to the Club, particularly if you are looking for a baby shower gift (or a holiday gift for someone with a young child).  Available here.  (Fun note!  It has two one-star reviews– one from a woman who said the book made her question “whether getting pregnant was the right choice” (maybe not?) and one from someone upset that when the book arrived the cover was banged up)

My husband’s chapbook, The Secret Traits of Everyday Things by Encircle Publications. For those four people who still read poetry, he’s a lovely and talented guy who also just won first prize in the Ledbury Poetry competition.  

You can also pre-order my new book, The Welcome to the Club Journal, which is a more interesting way to keep a baby book.  Because everyone says, “Oh, I don’t have time to fill out a baby book” but we all somehow have time to fill out that online quiz that tells us which Golden Girl we are?  (I’m Rose)  It’s about priorities.  

Also, this bathing suit, which I saw in the window of a SoHo store years ago and think about from time to time.

12 CommentsComment

  1. So hilarious! Yes! I need to be reimbursed for soooooo many of those hours. And yes, right now please.

  2. Just read your Real Simple piece. As a happily working woman with 2 kids (3 soon), I get that perhaps I’m not your target audience. But isn’t there enough Mommy Guilt in the cultural subconscious right now that we don’t need reminders like “Am I also crazy to consider working insane hours to pay a stranger to watch my daughter?”

    Maybe a job would actually be rewarding AND your kids would still thrive with the “stranger” AND you’d be able to buy the Eileen Fisher you fantasized about AND you’d be able to afford a few hours to yourself . . .

    I don’t usually write comments like this (really I don’t!) but I was really really annoyed by your article that was supposed to be funny.

    — HAPPY (seriously!) working mother with thriving kids who thinks the guilt narrative needs to die. (Are men supposed to feel that too? Hmm . . .)

    • Avatar

      Raquel D'Apice

      Hey– I’m so sorry the piece came across like a re-enforcement of mommy guilt. It was written to try and reflect the feelings of a lot of moms I’ve talked to who feel stressed out and judged and who keep questioning all their decisions because no one in the world will cut them a break and they feel like no matter what they do people critique them– the idea was that it’d be nice to have a Magic 8 ball make the decisions because then if people got on your case about it you could just blame the ball.

      There are obviously moms who don’t constantly feel guilty and I’m glad you are one of them and I wish there were more of you. The piece is a caricature of my actual voice (I’m not actually a big Eileen Fisher person although I think her things are very pretty) but when I’m home taking care of a baby I feel guilty/disappointed that I’m not in a job where I can really utilize my potential and when I’m working a lot (I do a lot of Freelance) I start to feel guilty that my kids aren’t seeing me enough.

      It’s hard for all of us in different ways. I was in no way trying to encourage the guilt narrative, just trying to point out in a humorous way that it exists and that we all have to deal with it. I know humor is subjective so I’m sorry the piece made you as angry as it did. Please know that was never my intention.

      • Thank you for your reply. I agree with you that humor is subjective – interestingly on my blog ( many women felt the way I did, but some of them loved the piece. So perhaps to some degree it’s in the interpretation.

        I hope (for your sake!) that you can get away from the guilt (as a source of material, or in general). It implies you’ve done something wrong, which doesn’t appear to be the case at all – you clearly love your child and have made an intentional choice about your career for now, and there’s nothing to apologize/feel bad about. I think to me the piece had an accepting/almost celebratory tone towards said guilt which is what rubbed me the wrong way. But I appreciate your response!!

  3. Love it! You need to discover Norwex for that brownie pan 😊 Two words…cleaning paste. It’s magical!

  4. Love the swimsuit… would totally wear it! ( I am 74 and STILL folding too much laundry …).

  5. Love your work – the bathing suit just tops it off!

  6. Hey, you’re back! And right on point, as usual. While my life is completely different from yours, I’d personally like to be reimbursed as well. I’ll take reimbursements for the hours I spend on the phone with customers who are lying through their teeth about when they’ll pay their bills as I smile and nod.

  7. Favorite tip: Downy wrinkle remover…I never iron anymore. However, I will tell you, it didn’t work on my face.

  8. Your brownie pan has that whole chippy/antique/farmhouse vibe. People pay good money for that.

  9. If only…..
    Maybe we can just all wear wrinkly clothes, until our kids are bigger, and folding clothes can become a family activity?

  10. Amazing as usual! Thank you!

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