Dirty Dishes

Kitchen Sink

Dirty dishes are a permanent fixture in my kitchen.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true.  Even when the rest of our house is guest-ready and the table is set with food, drinks and snacks – my kitchen sink always runneth over.  Surely dirty plates and bowls follow me all the hours of my day!  I’ve had several visiting friends graciously offer to do my dishes.  Argh…!! {Insert embarrassing blush & hide face in shame} 🙁

This is when I start wishing we owned a dishwasher.  Doesn’t anyone else hear a choir singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” when they open a dishwasher in a home appliance store?  No?  Well me neither… {Insert sheepish grin here}

Well, the truth is that the last time we shopped at a home appliance store, I passed by the dishwasher section a hundred times…  OK that’s an exaggeration…  I went past it only 32 times and opened & peeked inside only 29 times! 😀  What can I say… I look at a dishwasher the way my husband looks at a Bentley or Jaguar!  {Insert picture of lady with a dreamy dishwasher bubble over her head}.  OK, now burst that bubble… and we’re back to reality {CRASH!}.

It doesn’t matter that I had just finished washing a towering pile of dishes tottering on the brink of a crash.  Two minutes later, I end up with a sink full of dirty dishes… again!  Blame it on the kids using up all the cups in the house… or using several bowls at a time to munch their evening snack… or using plates & spoons as musical instruments… or the water being too cold to wash dishes at night… or the fact that I’m rarely able to cook & clean on the same day… blah blah blah… the fact remains that dirty dishes rule my kitchen.

So, here’s what I do about it:

  1. Limit the cups my sons drink water from and remind them to leave them on the counter, not in the sink, so they can be reused again.
  2. Limit the number of bowls & plates the sons use – either for their evening snack or for any other fun activity they may come up with.
  3. Try to wash the dishes once in the afternoons, so I don’t have an already overflowing sink when I start cooking in the evenings.
  4. Set apart a half-hour in the night to wash dishes and clean the kitchen.
  5. Keep the cooking light – this is actually a prerequisite to Point 4 above, so I’m not too exhausted to complete the half-hour cleanup.
  6. Buy a pair of well fitting rubber gloves, so the water temperature isn’t a hindrance to Point 4 above.
  7. Let my husband do it.  Yup!  I have an awesome husband who gladly takes over chores when they start to overwhelm me.
  8. Let a guest do it – as a last resort…  My mother & mother-in-law always take it on themselves to wash the dishes whenever they visit.  I’ve also let a gracious friend do the dishes when we had to leave on a trip and my husband and I were still winding up the house and getting the kids ready.

Truthfully, I don’t detest doing the dishes.  If fact once I start, I really do get into a rhythm and enjoy the task at hand.  But when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted, I have to remember to give myself grace and accept help.

And at those times when I simply lack the motivation to complete mundane tasks, this helps…  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)

Photo Credit: Rachel Zack

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