Oh yes! I am one of those people who leave dishes in the sink. Stand by, before noses start scrunching and fingers waggle, let's chat about it.
Here's an actual picture of my sink situation:
There is an ingrained chant about keeping your kitchen clean that spans generations, I’m sure. I do love a clean counter and sink; with the finish of lemon bleach wafting over the surfaces and handles.
However, there were plenty of days when I couldn’t be bothered and wasn’t going to feel bad about it. I'll tell you how I started not attaching the clean sink thing to my value as a good woman, mother, wife, etc.
Sometimes, I think we do attach these chores, these “jobs,” especially as stay at home moms, to our worth.
I became a stay at home mom for eight years before returning to work on a part-time basis. I was the mom who made homemade playdoh, and finger paint so my little one, if so inclined to ingest it, could fully enjoy her craft. I made sandboxes with rice instead, I had feeding/activity schedules on the refrigerator and her room was set up like I was running a Montessori. I did laundry twice a week just to mentally prep and dedicate the time that that task. Anyone else has a laundry basket sitting on the bed, that needs tending to? My then husband was in aviation, which meant he was not home most of the week.
I cleaned the house on Friday nights. I made homemade meals three times a day. I'm sure many of you can relate to the tedium of every week.My little one stopped napping at six months old. Nothing. She wasn't a "solid six-hour plus" sleeper until she was fifteen months old. No naps!I would put her down, but she just lay there chatting and gurgling, sometimes for hours, until she got bored.So, when 7 pm came around, after dinner, bath, baby massage, bedtime stories, and kisses, I gave myself a break. A bold Cabernet would make its way into a large goblet, and I would watch mindless T.V.
If I had friends or family who dropped by, well, sometimes, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday would go by before I even bothered loading the dishwasher. I know it's right there, so just do it, same effort. I know.
Nope. I absolutely could relax amidst that hot mess in the kitchen. I refused to allow that to stress me out. Knowing that I would get to it, gave me permission to do so.
We all know there is always something to do in the home, but getting to all of it generally meant knuckle-dragging to bed late without having that quiet moment to yourself.
Was I leaving them there for my then hubby to do? No, of course not. When he came home from traveling, he was so sure that I was trying to make a point to him. I also heard, "What do you do all day? Why can't you do the dishes?" It was one of his pet peeves and he NEEDED the sink to be emptied.
Nope. I wasn’t absorbing that guilt trip either.
I know some couples subscribe to if one cooks, the other cleans, but that never bothered me. I wasn't disturbed if I cooked and did the dishes. Sometimes, he did it all, so...
Even if company came over, they were friends. I didn't need to impress any of them or pretend. I much preferred to spend the time laughing over a glass of wine, or listening to music.
I always have this thought, at the end of the day, sliding into a grave, will I say, "I appreciated taking some time for myself," or "Gosh, I wish I had kept my sink cleaner."
Choosing to give my mental and physical self an hour or so in the evenings to unwind, over fussing with the dishes--among other chores, has been priceless.
The dishes really can wait.