Does your husband empty the dishwasher?
Mine sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t.
It used to be an enormous source of contention for me. Not for him, just for me.
I like the dishwasher to be emptied at night, just before bedtime.
Here’s why. I spend the first 90 minutes or so of my day alone in the kitchen. I like to begin every day with a clean slate and so I like to start the day with a completely clean kitchen, this includes an empty dishwasher. (NO JUDGEMENT if you don’t start your day this way. This is what I love for me. I love for you, what you love for you.) It’s my favourite time of the day. I journal, plan out my day, read emails and prepare the snacks for school. In Winter, I often make something warm for breakfast like apple and carrot muffins or pancakes (because I like to), while catching up on my favourite podcasts. I do not love to spend the first part of the day cleaning up yesterday - literally or metaphorically.
This means that, ideally, the dishwasher should be emptied at night before going to bed. So that I get to feel how I want to feel when I start the next day - fresh, organised, forward facing.
I need to say that again because it is SO important. The reason I wanted the dishwasher to be emptied at night is so that I get to feel the way it is I want to the next morning. The only reason I want the dishwasher emptied is because of how I think it will make me feel.
The only reason we want ANYTHING is because of how we think it will make us feel when we have it.
Who loves emptying the dishwasher just before they go to bed? Not my husband. Sometimes, he does empty it to please me. Sometimes, he is working on something from home and gets too tired, sometimes he gets lost in a show on Netflix and just forgets. In other words, just like me, he’s a human. I used to get so annoyed about this. I would reference love, marriage vows, equality, go on feminist rants and be furious with him for not emptying the dishwasher. The fact that he wasn’t emptying the dishwasher at night was nothing to do with any of those things.
When I got angry because he hadn’t emptied the dishwasher, I was actually angry about the fact that I now felt my day was not off to the organised start I would like it to be and I blamed him for the fact that I now felt disorganised. I blamed him for the fact that rather than feeling fresh about the day ahead, I now felt, to be honest, a bit grubby.
When I learned that no one causes me to feel anything because all of my feelings are caused by my own thoughts, I stopped being furious with him. I could see very clearly what the truth of the situation was. He does empty the dishwasher, just not at 10pm, rather at 7:10am or 6pm the next evening with dishes stacking up in the sink, maybe. That’s the way of it.
So I get to choose - what’s more important to me, the knowledge that my husband is the dishwasheremptier - meaning, I really have to leave it up to him and not interfere. I could do this. It is possible for me to feel organised and forward facing starting my day, even with a full dishwasher.
But I don’t chose that because my preference is to start the day with a clean kitchen. I’m choosing to create for me, the life that I love. So I just empty the dishwasher if he hasn’t emptied it. No martyrdom. No heavy sighs. No slamming plates away so he for sure knows that I am now emptying the dishwasher. The person I am emptying it for, is me.
Because I love coming down the stairs every morning to that clean kitchen. Organised, fresh and forward facing into the day. I create those feelings, for me.
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