What the Parenting Books Don’t Tell You About: Dishes

Monday February 3, 2020 // Past Bedtime

I want to talk about something the parenting books and blogs and coworker with six kids doesn’t warn you about enough — dishes. The sheer amount of dishes one does as a new parent is mind-boggling.

Dishes take up about 4% of my waking life. How’d I get to this calculation? I’m awake from approximately 5:30 AM – 10:30 PM. That’s 17 hours or 1,020 minutes. I spend roughly 40 minutes doing dishes each day. 40/1020 = 3.9%. How can I be a 100% father when that much of my day is dedicated to a sponge?

Let’s rewind to pre-baby me. If you would have said I’d devote 4% of my daily life to [insert goal here] and if you’d ask me where I’d be 7 months later I’d think I would have said pretty darn far along. I’m going to spend 4% of my day learning to play the harmonica? Move over, John Popper.

There’s nothing rewarding about dishes. At best you get back to the baseline of zero dirty dishes. You get an empty sink, pruney fingers, and a bottle drying rack that overflowing and the slightest bump will knock your bottle-Jenga over (thus creating more dishes to re-wash).

“yeah, dishes are gonna suck…”

some friend who didn’t actually properly warn you about dishes

I know, I know. 40 minutes to do dishes? Yes, I’m the type of person that washes the dishes with a sponge before they go into the dishwasher. This is how you properly wash dishes and don’t break your dishwasher, folks. Nine years of working in a restaurant will make you overly-sensitive to utensil and dish cleanliness.

I also don’t get the chance to do the dishes around 8:00 PM at the earliest. So I can’t throw all his daycare bottles in the dishwasher because we make them the night before to make the mornings easier. These bottles along with whatever doesn’t fit in the dishwasher get hand-washed.

Okay, so why am I ticked off about this? I wasn’t warned. Sure, a couple people said, “yeah dishes are gonna suck…” but no one beat👏🏼this👏🏼point👏🏼into👏🏼me👏🏼like👏🏼a👏🏼good👏🏼friend👏🏼would.

Washing six bottles a day is a lot of dishes. It’s not like washing six cups. There’s the body of the bottle. Then there’s the nipple. The piece the nipple sits in (what’s that called anyway?). And the lid. Four pieces per bottle. That’s 24 items to wash and that’s just the bottles for a day. Then there’s pump parts, the milk and/or formula storage containers, pacifiers, sippy cups (which are multiple pieces!), teething rings, the other teething things that frozen fruit sit inside of, and every other plastic and glass thing you can think of.

So to my friends who are about to have kids or one day will have kids, please remember this: you will be doing so many dishes once this kid is here and seven months in you’re doing more because they eat more. The dishes never end.

That’s it. My hands are withering away from all the water and typing.

– Josh // aka “Pruney Hands”

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