No One Told Me I’d Think This Much About Socks


There have been a lot of things that surprised me about motherhood. I didn’t know how much motherhood would set off my anxiety. I didn’t know that I would have no idea how to do 5th-grade math. I didn’t know how much paperwork I’d have to do for things like school registration and doctor’s appointments.

But one of the biggest surprises is how much time I spend thinking about socks.


They are boring and not really that interesting. But they keep my world running.

I have four children. They each have two feet. That means every morning I better have 8 socks (preferably matched into pairs) ready to put on their feet.  If we don’t have socks, it means the kids can’t put on their shoes and if they can’t put on their shoes it means they aren’t going to leave the house.  And if they aren’t leaving the house  . . . well let’s just say that’s not a happy scenario.

I’ve tried to be smart about our socks. My kids are all basically the same size so thankfully they can all wear the same size socks. I only buy socks that are all one color because I learned years ago that buying any sort of patterned socks was just asking for mismatched socks. We keep all the paired socks in a bin near the front door so they don’t get lost in bedrooms. We have another bin for unmatched socks on the dryer. And a third bin for dirty socks.

At the beginning of the school year, I always try to buy enough socks to last us through a whole school week. So that’s 4 pairs times 5 days equals 20 pairs. That’s 40 individual socks. Plus I try to have more for weekends and to have some sort of buffer for when socks are in the laundry.

But even with all those preparations, I still seem to be searching for socks more often than seems reasonable.

My kids wear their socks to bed and take them off under the covers where the socks stay for days. Or my kids put on new socks if they have to put their shoes on for a second time in a day. Or they leave them in the car. Or the socks get left in suitcases after weekend trips.

Soon I’m doing laundry every couple of days just to keep the socks we do have in rotation.

At these times I feel like I’m shaking my kids down for socks. I’ll go into their rooms and search for all the socks squished against the footboards of their beds. I’ll make the kids slide under the couch to look for socks hiding under there. I’ll remind everyone that we need to put socks in the dirty sock bin into the laundry in a timely manner.

After a successful sock hunt (or a trip to the store for more socks if it was unsuccessful), I’ll feel like a millionaire. I’ll say things like, “We have enough clean socks to get through the whole week!”

And I will be genuinely proud of that fact. Like it’s a huge accomplishment on par with finishing a marathon.

Which I guess it kind of is. Socks keep my life running after all.

But really, I never knew I’d think this much about socks.


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