To begin with I have some pretty unpleasant memories of washing dishes as a child. I never wanted my kids to do it until they were old enough to do it right, as in, the way I do it. I'd rather do most jobs myself and have them done to my satisfaction than to parcel out chores for them to do their best on but never quite met up to my requirements, but that's a whole different blog related to a streak of cleanly perfection I am a quarter embarrassed to possess.
But kids need an allowance, and they need to earn that allowance, and the first easy chore of childhood is really dish washing. After years of trying and failing to have the kids trade off weeks or setting up a schedule that meant one washed dishes Friday,Sunday, Tuesday, and the other washed Monday, Thursday, Saturday, I finally said we were going to simplify it even more.
They have to remember who washed dishes last, and trade off. Regardless of nights or weeks or what have you. This simple taking turns system has turned out to be great. Part of the reason behind the schedule change was our family tended to eat out on Friday nights, so one kid always had a dish free night.
And as I am the Queen Mother of Fairness, this was not fair and had to be fixed.
So now after dinner, one kid clears the table and one washes the dishes. By hand. We do not have a dishwasher (much to their strong conviction that a dishwasher would make their life a million times easier), I have a stronger conviction that our old house kitchen has no place for a dishwasher, and washing by hand is easy.
But my husband has recently asked why I wash dishes when I get home from work....it's an added chore that I shouldn't be doing since it is our kids chore. Well, true. He's right. Dishes are dishes whether they belong to late night ice cream or a scrambled egg breakfast plate or an after school slice of cheese or dinner. I could leave them in the sink, but I can't.
I really can't!
In order for me to cook dinner (which I strongly dislike doing), I need a clean kitchen. I do. A clean kitchen makes it easier for me to chop and dice and rinse and boil....and what makes it easier also makes me feel not so crazed.
After hearing that, my husband gently pushed me to the side and took over the dish washing before dinner chore. I think he's 100% behind anything that helps me cook dinner without turning into a frazzled stressed out mess.
I really hate cooking dinner, but washing dishes, I don't mind so much!