Dishwater Blues

My name is Amber and I hate doing dishes. Hate it, with the fire of 10,000 suns. I have ever since I was a kid. Cleaning is not my idea of a good time, in general, but I can stomach tidying toys or vacuuming or scrubbing toilets. Doing the dishes, on the other hand, leaves me feeling sullen and angry.

I think my dish hatred stems from my experience at Brownie camp as a 7-year-old. After each meal we had to wash our own dishes. They had sinks set up – one for washing, one for rinsing, one for sterilizing. There were 20 little girls lined up to wash and we weren’t all as diligent about scraping our plates as we should have been. By the time you got to the end of the line the water was awful. Dunking my plate in that water rendered it dirtier rather than cleaner. Those soap commercials that show a sparkling glass emerging from a sink that has already washed a dozen greasy pans? They lie.

Following my Brownie camp adventures I learned to fear what lies beneath the dishwater. As a single woman I only washed my dishes when I absolutely had to, and frequently found myself cleaning a single bowl so that I could eat soup. I alienated more than one roommate with my less-than-stellar kitchen cleaning. When Jon and I got married and went searching for our first shared apartment, a dishwasher was at the top of our list of requirements. I wasn’t going to lose my husband over my hatred of washing by hand.

More dishes
This is a mostly staged photo of me happily rinsing a pot.

While we do have a dishwasher these days, the sad truth is it doesn’t save you from having to clean your kitchen. There’s the loading and unloading, of course. There are also items that need to be washed by hand, surfaces that have to be wiped, and kids’ spills to contend with. Thankfully, Jon usually steps up to the plate. Approximately 5 nights out of 7 he tackles the kitchen and I thank my lucky stars for him. He’s a prince among men.

Sadly for me, my prince is currently on day 15 of 18 of Olympic work. The days he’s working are long and he doesn’t get home most nights until after 10pm. I have had to do far more kitchen cleaning than I normally would. It turns out that ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, and my Samantha Stevens nose-wiggle is on the fritz. There’s nothing for it but to hold my nose and dive in. Practice is not making perfect for me, and I hate the dishes as much as ever. Luckily, though, my kids seem to like them, so maybe in a few years I can pass them off.

So, tell me – what’s the household chore you hate the most? Or are you a happy soul who can find joy in even the most mundane of tasks? Please share!

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  1. the never-ending pile of laundry that is made up of 30% DD#1's clothes, 30% DD#2's clothes, 30% DH's clothes and 10% of mine! grrr!

  2. all of them quite frankly. although washing up has got to be my worst. that and putting laundry away, hate it.
    .-= Heather´s last post ..What Do You think Of Vlogging? =-.

  3. I agree, dishes are daunting. But the ones I can toss into the dishwasher are okay. It’s the daily dishes that are used in my sons lunch pack or the pots/pans that we use at night. Those will sit till the morning hours when I’m scrambling to get the lunch packed for the day. I always yell at myself, ‘Why didn’t you just clean this up last night?!’ My procrastination always beats me up.
    I also hate doing my laundry or even putting the clean clothes away. I just can’t be bothered with it.
    .-= Sara´s last post ..Dreaming of the past =-.

  4. I do all the dishes in my house. We don’t have a dishwasher. So, I know – sounds like a lot to complain about, right? But I never say a peep because my husband does all the cooking and what I really, really hate is cooking.

  5. I used to hate dishes but I don’t mind so much anymore. My most LOATHED chore has got to be anything to do with the bathroom. Toilets, tubs, sinks, ugh. HATE IT!! I really really REALLY want to get a maid service to come in once a month to JUST do the bathrooms.
    .-= Carrie´s last post ..Wordless Wednesday: Spring!! =-.

  6. We differ on this one. In girl guide camp I discovered my love for cleaning toilets. Yup, I’m a a strange one. Outhouse toilets at that. I have no idea why and I also think it is the weirdest thing about me, but it’s true. I like cleaning. Last year I took a job cleaning my daughter’s pre school so I could have some “me” time on the weekends. There’s something about the finished product that I really like. Call me a clean geek if you like. I can handle it. 😉
    .-= Melodie´s last post ..I’ll Be Brief: How To Overcome Breastfeeding Challenges =-.

  7. I hate sweeping. I never do a good enough job at it. Washing dishes is just fine though.
    .-= Lady M´s last post ..The Magic Kingdom, Take One =-.

  8. I use gloves and it makes the handwashing easier to bear – no in contact with ‘the floaters’.

    But hands down (pardon the pun) my most hated job is scrubbing the toilets and their surroundings. For one things (and yes, I use gloves for this task too), your face is sooooooo close to the business end of things and neither of ‘my boys’ aim particularly straight. Ewwww! Things have only marginally improved since I learned how to take the toilet seat stuff apart so I can give the whole thing a really good scrub, all the nooks and crannies where the foul stains lurk.

    This is not what I trained for, is all I can think while in motion (but then again what I did train for is sticking my hand up the backside of a cow so maybe I’m not that far off the mark?)

    geez! i’ve just written myself out of my midlife crisis – thanks Amber! 🙂
    .-= pomomama aka ebbandflo´s last post ..sunday specials =-.

  9. I think it’s terribly UNFAIR that I have to clean up after 2 boys and the husband on our three toilets. I used to be blissfully ignorant of things like overspray and course-correction mishaps until I got married. (HOW do they get pee on the seat?!) It’s not just the toilet, it’s the floor, area behind the toilet and a good way up the wall —- ewwwwww!

    But I sympathize with the dishes too. I got tired enough of that as a kid. Thankfully we have a really nice tradition in this house, that whomever cooks dinner is excused from doing the dishes, and since I cook 95% of the dinners, I rarely have to clean up. Of course if hubby wasn’t home, I wouldn’t get that perk, so I really feel your pain! One solution is making skillet dinners. My big, deep pan and a cutting board is all I need to prepare the dinner, and the dishwasher can handle the plates. Easy clean up and my kids seem to like almost anything that comes out of it.

    Actually the only chores I like are: folding the laundry (not puttng it away), dusting, wiping the counters, grocery shopping and cooking. The rest I’d rather ignore, honestly!

  10. I’m with you on dishes! Really don’t like them! But neither does my husband so we each do a few. 🙂 or should it be 🙁
    .-= mamasapplecores´s last post ..Valentines for the kids =-.

    • Angel Meza says:

      At least I’m not alone at 32 with four kids, a hate doing dishes, I have tried passing the chore to my 13 and 11 year old to say the least its still a work in process…

  11. Yeah, I basically HAD kids so I’d have built-in dishwashers at some point. Not really, but I’m looking forward to it. I was fine washing dishes when we didn’t have a dishwasher, but I don’t think, once you have one, you can ever go back. I hate anything to do with bathrooms too. I like doing laundry.
    .-= allison´s last post ..****************Balance. On skates. While swinging a bat. And eating McDonald’s. =-.

  12. Sweeping and mopping the floors…oh, how I LOATHE sweeping and mopping the floors. And dusting, I can’t stand dusting. My kids can (and do) draw 3D pictures in the dust that accumulates on some of our shelves and cabinets. Dishes, I don’t mind.

  13. Washing up
    Putting laundry away
    Stopped ironing a few years ago
    Mopping floors
    Cleaning as such

    Seriously, I am not much of a housewife.
    .-= Mel´s last post ..Things that make LOL this morning =-.

  14. Jasie VanGesen says:

    I like doing dishes, though Seth does about a third of them, usually. My secret is not to plug and fill the sink AT ALL. I also am scared of what hides in dishwater and therefore I avoid dishwater. I keep the faucet running and with sponge in hand, I scrub and rinse in one fell swoop. 😛 Then straight into the dish drainer to my right. I’ve never owned a dishwasher and am actually kind of scared. I’ve never loaded one or turned it on. Growing up my mom wouldn’t let me touch the dishwasher, even as a teen, for fear I’d “do it wrong”. Thanks mom.

    As far as cleaning I hate – the toilet. Hands down. The bathroom in general. That’s why Seth does a deep clean of it every Saturday morning, so I only have to touch up here and there instead of getting my hands actually dirty. Gross.

  15. I can handle doing the dishes, it’s the toilets that get me. I HATE cleaning the toilets, hate hate hate.
    .-= the Grumbles´s last post ..the long cut =-.

  16. Dishes are irksome. Cleaning the toilet is gross. But what I detest above all else is sweeping and mopping the floors. We have a cat, a dog, and a toddler, so they need to be done at least once a week–if not more–and oh, how I dread it!

  17. LOL, I’m the opposite of you; I detest seeing dishes in the sink or on the drying rack. I absolutely HAVE to wash them, dry them and put them away.

    And I don’t mind cleaning bathrooms. I usually just bring the cleaning supplies in the shower with me. Sure, I inhale the fumes of bleach and cleaners until I get a headache, but both me and the shower are sparkly by the time I’m done.

    The chore I hate more than anything is sorting laundry. My own is fine because I know where everything goes, but sorting wifey’s laundry is frustrating because I have no idea what goes where. Washing and drying is no problem and I don’t mind doing it – but sorting and putting away – UGH!

  18. The rule in our house is one person makes the dinner and the other cleans up. However my husband goes out of town for days on end too so sometimes I’m like you and have to cook and clean. Boo.

    I have two main hated chores. The regular hated chore is cleaning the bathrooms. I don’t mind wiping the counters and toilets but I really hate scrubbing the shower/bathtub. HATE IT.

    The semi-regular chore I hate is cleaning windows. I can scrub and scrub and be soooo careful to try to get every bit of the window and there will still be streaks. So frustrating.
    .-= Marilyn @ A Lot of Loves´s last post ..Dancing: Wordless Wednesday =-.

  19. We have a deal, the husband and I. I will do all the laundry and he does all the dishes. I still load and unload the dishwasher (which I could not live without) but I try to never wash dishes in the sink. So far so good.
    .-= Capital Mom´s last post ..Some =-.

  20. Those “happy souls” who can find joy in the most mundane tasks? I’m not one of them. And I think they must be pretty dull to hang out with. What is that quote? “Clean houses belong to boring people?” Something like that. I hate dishes too. My husband does them most of the time and I’m so thankful about that.
    .-= AmberDusick´s last post ..Nursery Shopping & Raised Beds =-.

  21. It’s funny, for someone whose home is so completely filthy as mine is right now, I can’t think of a single chore that I really hate. I used to hate the dishes, but have since come up with a system that involves rinsing and wiping the dishes *before* I wash them. (If they’re not going directly in the dishwasher.) It sounds crazy, but it means the dish water stays clean and the washing is almost pleasant. My main problem now is just feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of household chores that need to be done and the, like, 20 minutes a week I have allocated to doing them. Hmm … maybe I don’t need childcare, maybe I just need a cleaning lady.
    .-= Rebecca @ Playground Confidential´s last post ..For the Love of Hockey =-.

  22. I don’t have a dishwasher. I never have. And I hate doing dishes. I find that I plan my meals entirely upon the number of pans that I need to use, in order to minimize the dish washing.
    .-= Francesca´s last post ..In & out of these doors =-.

  23. Yeah, I hate doing dishes too. I do not have a dishwasher, but you’re right. It doesn’t matter. Dishwasher or no dishwasher, it’s still annoying.

    It’s so funny, because I just completed a mountain load of dishes this morning and I wanted to die.
    .-= Old School/New School Mom´s last post ..Fighting With Text Messaging =-.

  24. I hate unloading the dishwasher. I know, they are even clean! I will let my dirty dishes pile up in my sink and on my counter to avoid unloading clean dishes.

    However, what I loathe most? Putting away laundry (hmm… I am seeing a pattern emerge. I wonder what that is about).

    Hang in there… only a few more days.
    .-= Sarah´s last post ..Life Could be a Dream… =-.

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