Airing my Dirty Dishes

I am a perfectionist, often to the detriment of those around me (and myself). If there were 48 hours in a day, I would still not accomplish all that I would like, or even a fraction of my to-do list. Not by a long shot.

Which is why the seasons of newborns are so, so good for me. Because it makes me realize how much time I spend doing things that just aren’t that important. Does it really matter at the moment if my spice rack is alphabetized? Or is it more important that my family feels loved, a love that I can only give them when I am aware that I am loved by my Heavenly Father?

This was the state of my sink this afternoon when I was able to put our sweet little guy down for a brief nap:

In the moments before I put him down, my mind was racing to establish the most efficient way to accomplish the innumerable tasks that I wanted to complete in the next 20 minutes in which I would have my hands free until he woke up.

And then my 3 year old asked me to read him a book. True, I am a softie for reading to my kids, but I am also quite adamant about an empty sink. My head wanted to get the dishes cleaned up, but my heart and the Holy Spirit told me to snuggle with my 3 year old and a book.

And I did. And then I was joined by my other two sons. The baby woke up exactly when I expected and my husband came home to find the sink in a somewhat worse state than what is pictured here. But, sometimes, that’s ok.

There may be times when a sink full of dirty dishes is evidence of laziness, but, today, it evidenced an act of love. Because that is what is really important.

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

    Good for you! I would have had a hard time settling in to a story time with a kitchen like that, but I think that you did the right thing. For me it is tough to go to bed with tasks undone, but the exhaustion of this pregnancy has forced me to rest — and realize that we will all make it through the night in a house with a dirty kitchen, and that I can get back on top in the morning — I think in the back of my mind there is always the fear of mess or laundry spiraling out of control to the point of no recovery.

  • JMB

    When I have days like that, and I still do sometimes but not because I am caring for an infant, I say to myself: “It will take me 15 min at most to do the dishes. It can wait”. It is hard to do this and I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes I imagine that my house has no roof and God can see what I do all day long and if I’m not being “productive” I’m indulging in slothful behavior. It’s not healthy to be like this, but I’m trying to work on it. Humans are more important than things, and work can wait sometimes. Congratulations on the new baby!

  • http://youngmarriedmom.com Lindsay (Young Married Mom)

    I love the idea that an insignificant task left undone is the sign of something more worthy happening. I wonder, if I took stock of the real value of all the tasks in a given day, would they show the love I want to be giving? Great food for thought–and prayer!

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

    Okay, so I have to admit that I have a new fear developing tonight — after seeing the legos strewn all over the boys’ room and thinking that we will deal with it in the morning – that I am going to go into labor tonight and then my mother in law is going to come watch my kids and see that I have allowed them to trash my house!

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Oh Lordy, you all need to come over to my house at the moment. We are deep into babydom and the kids’ rooms are unsightly. Should I get on their cases about cleaning? Yes. But at the moment, I’ve been harping on them for so many other things, I think they deserve a break from their nagging mother. And so that’s where we are at and where we’ll probably remain until the weekend and I can create some semblance of a plan for cleaning!

    Tex, you have excuses for 4 more of those full sinks. Maybe we all need to do some “keepin’ it real” posts about the disorder of our homes. I could definitely contribute!!

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Katrina

    Good for you, Tex! By the way, your sink area doesn’t look too terrible :) But I know what you mean – a clean sink, even if the rest of the house is a disaster, can save my sanity!

  • http://krazykflyinginformation.blogspot.com/ Suzi K

    One of my greatest “AHA!” moments during a homily was when the priest said, “You can’t get water from a dry well”.


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