Doing the Dishes

Aside from holidays, when I do both a lot of food prep and cook large amounts of food, I have always felt guilty about running the dishwasher more than once in a single day. That’s not to say it’s never happened, but I try not to do it too often. In general, once the dishwasher was at full capacity, I’d just finish the dishes by hand, or occasionally leave a few (usually something that needed a soak, anyway), for the next day. In a weird way, I guess I was punishing myself for using more what I thought was a “normal” amount of dishes in a day.

But this year has me looking for ways, if not to make my life easier (because what is easy this year?!?), at least to make a little less work for myself. And one way I discovered I could do that is by running the dishwasher twice in a day if I need to. After all, I don’t limit myself to how many loads of laundry are permitted to run through the washer and dryer in a day or week, and then wash everything else by hand once I hit that limit. Why should dishes be any different? As a large family, we use not only more clothes than “average,” but also more dishes (just think about how many dishes seven people can go through in 24 hours!), so why shouldn’t I run the dishwasher twice in one day like the washing machine if I need to?

This hasn’t become a daily occurrence (at least not yet), but I’ve given myself permission not to feel guilty about it when it does. And if a little guilt does creep in, I find consolation by reminding myself that I could be using disposable dishes instead of running the dishwasher more frequently, and doing that would make me feel much worse!

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