Washing dishes makes me a better mom. Some people work out, others run, many do yoga. I wash dishes.
You may think this sounds crazy. And it’s entirely possible that you are right, but it works for me.
My day involves making breakfasts and lunches for five, corralling children off to child care, commuting in traffic, working with adults and students, commuting back, picking up kids, rushing home to send emails while I check homework, and making dinner. We usually rush through dinner because more often than not, it is time to leave for practice! Now now now! Hurry!
I love my life. I love my job. I love my kids. I love cooking for my family. I even love taking them to practices. (Maybe I don’t always love the commuting). But it is a lot. A lot of noticing, a lot of thinking, a lot of timing and planning. And not a lot of space for me.
Dishes can be finished. Doing so is an accomplishment. Things are in order, in a place. And they are sparkly. My dish soap smells a little bit like margaritas. Everyone leaves me alone while I do them (this may be because they don’t want to help. But, to be honest, I don’t want their help anyway!!!) I can decompress. I can slow down. I can clear my head. The muck and leftovers slip off the plates and out of my head. I begin to breathe and slow down. All the hats I have balanced on my head start to come off and get stored away.
And then, always too soon, I am finished. The kitchen is restored to order, plates drip-drip-drip-dry, and the coffee pot (and I) are both filled up and ready to begin again tomorrow.