You would think that a family that has a dishwasher really shouldn’t ever have to worry about washing the dishes . . . . right? But it seems like when you have an automatic dishwasher, Nobody thinks it is their job then to do the dishes. So after Somebody eventually loads up all the dirty dishes into the automatic dishwasher, Nobody still thinks that the job should be done by . . . Somebody. Who is usually Mom. Sometimes Dad, but around here, our Dad works at a job that takes him away from home for long hours and he really shouldn’t have to do dishes after all that. But since he likes to cook (and make HUGE messes in the kitchen!), he often does help out with washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen on the weekends.
I lived a long time without an automatic dishwasher, and it seemed like the dishes actually got washed quicker and more often than once we got that built-in machine that was supposed to make our life so much easier. I guess because the perception is that since there is an “automatic” dishwasher, that the human beings who live in this house shouldn’t have to wash a dish. Or two. But that’s not how this works, they said, that’s not how any of this works!
It’s been a challenge lately trying to keep up with washing the dishes at our house, but that’s not because I hate doing dishes. I actually hate piles of dirty dishes just about as much as I hate anything else in a messy house. I don’t mind washing the dishes, and I love having a clean kitchen, with the counter tops washed down and everything all spic and span. But the rest of the family . . . not so much. You know what I mean.
It’s just that it doesn’t bother them as much as it bothers me. Or maybe it’s just that they don’t even notice. But when the piles start to spill out of the sink, and onto the counter, and eventually there are no more clean dishes in the cupboards, that’s when I simply CAN’T. STAND. IT. ANY. MORE. And that’s when I stop what I’m doing and shift into my drill sergeant persona. Mostly that’s been happening when I am distracted with other projects that have deadlines, like writing and editing, and my focus is on what’s right in front of me. The other time that those piles seem to take on a life of their own is at night.
I’m a morning person, so pretty much anything that gets done in a day that requires a significant amount of brain power or physical energy has to happen before 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. And since the rest of my sweet little family are all night owls, they think nothing of fixing up a seven course meal at 9:00 p.m after I’ve cleaned up the kitchen for the day. They’re doing better about cleaning up if they mess up the kitchen that late at night because they know I’m NOT going to do dishes (or much of anything else!) at that hour of the day. I’m just done.
Unfortunately what that means is, if for whatever reason those who created the Big Mess in the kitchen get distracted with a television program or reading a book or watching a movie and they “forget” to wash the dishes, the kitchen looks like the gremlins came in and stirred everything around with a giant wooden spoon. The worst part is when they don’t clean the yucky food leftovers off the plates or bowls, and it sits there overnight.
We’re making progress in this department (I know, your kitchen is NEVER a mess, so bear with me here . . . . ) I’m doing better at reminding them to rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher before they go to bed OR . . . . JUST. DON’T. MAKE. A. MESS. THAT. LATE. AT. NIGHT. If you are hungry before bed, make a peanut butter sandwich or eat a bowl of cereal, but please, please, please, don’t start making tacos, or fried chicken, or hamburgers (the grease! I HATE the grease!).
As I’ve been determined to focus on making our home a place of peace and comfort, I’m trying to balance my family’s tendency to have fun (which is a good thing!), and eat good food (which is also a good thing), and just hang out in their jammies watching Netflix and eating chips and guacamole, with the very real necessity of keeping our home clean, tidy, and rodent-free. It’s a never-ending task, but I’m committed to making this work for my family. So I start every day by making sure that I wash the dishes (if my sweet little family didn’t remember!), and make the bed, and brush my teeth. Then I’m good to go. To work. In my jammies at the computer.
What about you? Does your family ever leave dirty dishes in the sink? Didn’t think so. But if they ever do, remember that you will feel so much better about your day if you wash the dishes!