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Help me find the joy. . .

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
. . . in washing dishes.

Or any tedious task. There are some jobs that I have slowly learned to incorporate into a pleasurable routine. Then there are the jobs I hate. One of these is washing the evening dishes--I have to do it after DS is in bed. It's lonely, boring, and then there are the icky flourescent lights. I've been trying different ways to get myself motivated and was hoping I could get some brainstorming from ya'll.

So far I've . . .
  • listened to books-on-CD
  • sung (quietly)
  • lit candles
  • turned off the overhead so I'm almost washing dishes in the dark but at least it seems more pleasant. . .
  • used nice essential oils in the water

Any other "whistle while you work" strategies?
post #2 of 12
My solution to my single most dread task--trash duty--is to have someone else do it.

Do you have a portable phone? I don't mind dish duty, but if I did I might use that time to chat on the phone--catch up with my mom, or sister, or SIL or friends.

Can you change the lightbulb? Or plug in a table lamp somewhere in the kitchen?

If DC is old enough --say 2.5 or older--you could try to do this dishes right after dinner, with him up on a chair alongside you. I'm told this can be done--but honestly I've never tried it. Or you could give him something fun and special to do--maybe that could be playdo or crayon time--while you get this out of the way. I my experiece doing it right away helps make a dreaded task less of a drag.

Would great music help you?

Sorry I don't have better advice. How about Kegels?
post #3 of 12
Portable phones are great, what about comedy tapes?
If you have a dp make it couple time or if ds is over 2 saddle him up and let him rinse.

how about candles? doing some baking before so that you take 20 minutes to clean up and when you are done voila cookies (you could buy even the refigerator ones just bake two!)
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great ideas--thanks so much. Yesterday I called my mom and washed dishes for half an hour at her. And I'm loving the baking idea. Nothing motivates me like food!

Alas, I cannot rope the other members of my household into doing this. DH already does the trash and the laundry, despite having a busier schedule than I do, and DS is only 7 months old. By the time he's two years, I hope to have him doing all the dishes not just helping.

Thanks again. Must. . . go . . . get started. . . on dishes. . . .
post #5 of 12
Get a nice dish liquid. I use the lavander scented Trader Joe's brand. Especially with it being winter, I like washing dishes by hand in hot water.
post #6 of 12
i use tedious chores as my "time to think". i have a 3 yo and a 1 yo and get NO alone time to do chores straight through, without stopping ten thousand times to do this or that for them! also, my ds (the 1yo) NEVER leaves me alone to do anything. so, when my dh is home and can take the kids, i LOVE cleaning up by myself with NOONE bothering me! it's my "thinking time"! wait until your baby gets older and you don't have time to do the dishes without him bothering you... then you'll wish you had the time back!
by the way, if i'm really not in the mood, i look at the clock, pick an arbitrary time, and rush to see if i can get them done by that time! or start a pot of coffee and see if i can get done before the coffee's done, so i can sit and have a cup!
post #7 of 12
I am totally in love right now with Mrs. Meyers Clean Day cleaning products, particularly the dish soap. Nice and sudsy, but rinses easily, and great scents like Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Geranium...I have found that this, with candles, greatly improves my attitude while washing dishes (my least favorite job too, so I feel your pain....)
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jee'smom
by the way, if i'm really not in the mood, i look at the clock, pick an arbitrary time, and rush to see if i can get them done by that time! or start a pot of coffee and see if i can get done before the coffee's done, so i can sit and have a cup!
I do the same. I will start the coffee pot and usually I can finish the dishes in that time. I have been doing all of our fam. of 4's dishes by hand for going on 7 years, including cleaning the one bathroom, laundery, vacuum, etc. and run a business out of my home with 2-3 employees at a time. There have been times where I have had little mini meltdowns when dh can't manange to get his coffee cup in the sink ( or kitchen vincinity). I tried to trick myself into thinking that special smelly soap, or candles helped, but it really doesn't. It's like having a cold and taking a cough drop. I agree w/ the pp about using that time for thinking. I have a little mini radio and turn on NPR and get my fill of social and current events. I zone out and daydream unbothered, most of the time. The family knows I am the only one who actually does the dishes, so they are pretty good about leaving me alone. When I am home with babe though, I usually have to put out a bunch of toys, or snack stuff to keep him happy. If I am home alone with him, I do them until he gets mad and wants me to play. I hope it helps to hear that you are not alone!
post #9 of 12
Similarly to doing them for a set time, I do them while I'm waiting for something to be done, sometimes baking, sometimes boiling milk for yogurt. It's nice to have a vase of flowers nearby to admire. I like washing dishes when my hands are cold. Usually, I only do dishes when I need something that has been soaking for a week in the sink, so I have no business giving people advice
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Aargh. . . everytime I log on to thank everyone for the great suggestions, the boards are either down or busy, or something. So. Thanks so much for the great suggestions. Some of them (like the NPR idea) I've already implemented while doing the dishes during the day (lame local station stops broadcasting news by 6:30), but others are brand new. It is a question of tricking myself into doing them. I'm hoping that if I can generate enough ideas it will hold me until we get a dishwasher (c'mon, tax return!), and this is a great help.

I got another idea from a thread in Nutrition and Eating--I think I might "pay" myself a small set sum each time I actually finish the dishes and at the end of the week/month/whatever buy myself a little something. It is a sign of how far gone I am that I have to bribe myself like this, but there you have it.
post #11 of 12
post #12 of 12
I just remembered something I used to do when I had an hour-plus commute. I had a small boom box in my office and would tape my two favorite npr--carried interview shows--the connection and fresh air. Then I'd play them while driving, and reuse the tapes when I was done listening. When I knew the show was really something I was interested in I would sometimes look forward to the drive. Might work for you...
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