When The Dishes Don’t Wash Themselves

You see it in every inspirational momma magazine, devotional, blog, Facebook, and Pinterest quotes. You know, all the sayings about leave your dirty dishes in the sink and rock your babies. Then there is the one about leaving the cobwebs and dust to read to your children and build a fort or play candy land. I love all of these sweet reminders of how to view motherhood. In fact, I wholeheartedly agree that it is about all of the small moments of mothering that build these little souls into God-fearing men and women. But…the question I ask is…


When the heck do you ever wash those dishes in the sink that have been piling up? They aren’t going to wash themselves. I am not super OCD with my house being clean but it NEEDS to be functional and tidy to just keep on living. There are so many great resources out there about cleaning schedules for your home, list of activities to do with your kids, how to prepare amazing dishes every night on a budget, so on and so on. What about how to do all of that??? There are no books or blogs about doing it ALL. Sure there are some that talk about getting up early or staying up later only to find other opinions that explain the importance of rest so you are refreshed for your children.  Let’s face it there aren’t near enough hours in the day to even come close to fulfilling all of the requirements we put on ourselves.


For a little honesty, I compare myself to others sometimes but most of the time I compare myself to this idea of who I think I should be in my head. It is a constant battle going on of trying to decide the best way to utilize my time. For example, the other day I let my oldest stay awake during nap time to finish up some school stuff and read to her. To make that decision was tough! Y’all I LOVE nap time. My mind needs those few moments of quiet to help me make it through the later part of the day. We ended up having such a great time together that I was thinking I needed to let her stay up more often. Here I am the very next day with every kid upstairs in their beds while I type fiercely about all of these thoughts that encircle my poor brain all day.


As I type out all my thoughts I am seeing that there really is no right or wrong here. Sometimes the dirty dishes need to stay put, other times I need to tell them, “Go find something else to do I have some work to get done.” It’s decisions that can only be made in the moment. One thing I know for sure is how greatly I need the grace of God for the momma guilt that seems to seep in no matter what decision I make and for the discernment to make the right decisions.


For some of you reading this it may seem so trivial. You that I would have all day to accomplish this so what’s the big deal? For others you see right where I am coming from. We aren’t just raising kids to say yes ma’am and thank you. Its sooo much more than that. We are raising men and women of God, leaders, and Jesus followers. It’s hard not to crack under the pressure this is a BIG deal. I am confident that with every calling He equips us with everything we need to do the job well.


In conclusion I have no solid advice to offer except to tune  into God and do the next thing He has on the list. He very well may be telling you to get those dishes clean!


Are you right there with me talking to yourself all day? I hope so! Subscribe and share!




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9 Responses to When The Dishes Don’t Wash Themselves

  • Becca says:

    I absolutely agree with you and share the same sentiments! There is a lot of time that I spend playing with my kids, reading, crafting, cuddling; but there is also a real need to keep the house clean, tidy, and functioning for us to most fully enjoy those treasures of relationship. I have a 4 and 2 year old boy and they either “help me” clean (fold some towels, etc.) or I ask them to play/work on something while I clean for a while. I explain to them that just like Daddy goes to work, that apart from taking care of them, Mommy’s work is keeping the home! They really value hard work (especially my 4yo), so I feel like phrasing it as something that is upholding my responsibility makes perfect sense. I definitely value the reminders to keep them my main focus, but love what you said and share that comparing myself to this image of motherhood that I desire to uphold. LOVE this post!

  • Theresa Oaks says:

    I think that you need to do what you can when you can, and like the Bible says, for everything there is a season. Snuggle time and play time will pass in all too short of a time, but for it to remembered fondly Mama has to not be stressed. Flylady worked really well for me, to help balance everything I need to get done. You might want to take a look at her web site. It is flylady.net I think.
    Also, the grace that our Father loves us with can be applied here. No mama guilt allowed here. You are doing great things, and, from what I have read, doing them well. Keep it up, k? And dont forget to love yourself through this.
    Hopefully this made sense.

  • I definitely think there has to be a balance. As humans, we often try to compartmentalize things (e.g., doing crafts with the kids is in one compartment, washing the dishes is in one). In reality, things aren’t always compartmentalized. If a house were too messy, then it would inhibit our abilities to have sweet moments with our children and it might even threaten their safety.

  • Sandy says:

    I’m right there with ya. I need more time to play, but I also need a tidy home for my mind to rest and enjoy playtime.

    Have a great day!

  • Kitty Swing says:

    Your last line hit the nail on the head. God knows your to-do list, the practical and emotional and spiritual, and He will help you with what you need to tackle next. Good for me to remember! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rach D says:

    Found your blog on the hop & am your newest follower 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    I totally agree. I have ten kids still at home, and if I didn’t do anything, the house would be a cesspool of filth. We have set times, three times a day, when everyone does their chores. With everyone working together, we can usually have the house presentable in 20 minutes.

  • Jenni says:

    Great points! Cleaning definitely can’t be crossed off the list altogether while we rock babies (as sweet as that poem is!). The key is finding that balance between the times you let the dishes (or another task) sit while being with a child and the times you settle the child doing something else so you can take care of the dishes. Both are important!
    I’m happy to have found you today via Welcome Home Wednesday at Raising Arrows!

  • KJ says:

    I was scanning all the topics in the Homestead Barn Hop before deciding which one to click on first. I stopped scanning when I read your topic. That hit home. I had just written in my blog how I’m a slave to my “to do” lists. My goal having a homestead was to simplify my life and I was fretting over all the things that have to be done. Dishes are my least favorite thing to do. I have an entire garage converted over to a dish room, and I have a 3-vat sink because I have a commercial kitchen. I wish dishes would wash themselves. I enjoyed your post. I am learning to be thankful in all things. While doing dishes, one can do some self-talk….”This too shall pass.” LOL Sometimes I have to wash a load, then take a break.

Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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