The house we bought last year was built in the 1960s. The adorable kitchen boasts original cabinets and the original layout. It has freshly painted yellow and green walls and all new appliances. The vinyl plank floor is waterproof and looks just like wood. But with all of the amenities, something is missing from my kitchen.
Guess what kitchens didn’t have in the ’60s? Dishwashers!
My dad helped us do a lot of renovation work on the house and kindly offered to install a dishwasher. I originally thought it was a must-have, but I really liked the look of the cabinets and didn’t want to mess them up. So I declined.
I was nervous about not having a dishwasher for a family of five.
I wondered if things would get overwhelming and thought I might change my mind. Much to my surprise, being a dishwasher-free family hasn’t been bad at all. Shockingly, our water bill is quite a bit lower. The dishes also seem a lot cleaner and don’t have any pesky streaks. Nine months in, I don’t even notice we don’t have one.
In fact, I discovered a dirty (or would it be a clean?) little secret: I enjoy being a handwasher!
Dishes time has become my me time. My floral “Pioneer Woman” towels and drying mats are so charming. With my pink gloves and some very pleasant-smelling dish soap, it hardly feels like a chore at all. While washing, I enjoy catching up on podcasts, listening to friends’ messages on Voxer, or even just thinking. It’s very peaceful.
No one wants to bother or interrupt a mom washing dishes.
Think of any family gathering. . . everyone disappears at dishes time. When I’m by myself washing dishes, I can listen to as much Justin Bieber as I want without the judging eyes of certain people (ahem, my husband!). While not a spa day, it is very relaxing to have my hands in warm water for a bit.
We hear a lot about the importance of self-care and resting from the demands of motherhood. Doing dishes by hand is a great way to work a bit of respite into a normal day. It forces me to slow down and enjoy time alone with the bonus of accomplishing a chore at the same time.
I don’t miss my dishwasher!
I’m not saying we should don red cloaks and create a little Handwasher’s Army. But, I am encouraging every mom to give washing by hand a try once in a while. It might just be the perfect little break.
Originally published February 2019
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