I have been hearing this phrase a lot said to me, "Wow, you have 5 children now?! You NEED to get a dishwasher!" It even started to get me thinking that I must need one now that I have "so many children," and although it would be nice to have, it's a want not a need. I used to have a dishwasher until we moved into this home 5 years ago and there wasn't one here. I went through a bit of withdrawal, but quickly adapted as I am quite capable of washing dishes. I have a sink, water, dish soap and capable hands. Therefore I don't need a dishwasher.
Today, as I was washing up the morning dishes (dishes only get washed twice a day here, once after lunch and once after supper), I got thinking more about a dishwasher. First of all, I would have to save up the money to buy a dishwasher because, as far as I know, they don't just hand them out. Then I would either need a plumber to come in to my home ($$) and put the plumbing in for a built in and thereby lose some cupboard space, or I would have to have a place for my dishwasher to sit throughout the day as it gets loaded and then move it over to the faucet to be used at night.
If I had a dishwasher I would need to have more dishes because there wouldn't be enough glasses, plates, bowls to go through everyone for the entire day. That would be an added expense. I would need to buy or make dishwasher detergent and jet dry. I would have to set money aside for the repair man to come at some point or to buy a new dishwasher when it doesn't work any more. There goes a lot of money that I can really use for other things that I truly need.
If I had a dishwasher I would have to get after everyone to put their dishes in the dishwasher, then I would have to rearrange it afterwards to ensure that everything was cleaned properly. Not to mention that I would still have to wash the pots and pans and the plastic lunch dishes (don't worry, they aren't leaching BPA, no microwaves are being used and no dishwashers). I would also have to rewash anything that the dishwasher didn't clean properly the first time. Not to mention the pre rinsing that everyone seems to have to do for their dishwasher so the food doesn't get stuck on. Where is the time being saved? Then there's the drying and putting the dishes away the next day because I would be saving money and not using the heated dry in the dishwasher. So far it sounds like it's costing me a lot more time and money than my current doing the dishes by hand bit.
Speaking of which, I can wash all the dishes for the entire day with my family of 7 and the dishes the after school children use in 30 minutes. Then I just let them drip dry when I wash them. My home economics teacher taught me that this is much more hygienic to let them air dry then drying them with a dish towel.
Also, I would miss out on the time I get to either have by myself if I am doing the dishes alone, because no one bugs me when I am washing dishes as I hand them a towel to help out, or I would miss out on those lovely conversations that I do have with my children when they are helping. It's amazing what things spill out of their mouths while they are drying dishes.
Plus, we have 5 children, two of which are old enough and responsible enough to wash and dry the dishes on their own and have them clean enough to eat on. We started getting the two oldest to wash and dry the supper dishes most nights because they needed the time to work together. They were bickering and picking on each other too much that we realized that they needed to serve together. What progress has been made in their relationship, although, I won't tell them that. They have gone from fighting with one another and tattling that so and so isn't working hard/long/fast enough, to hearing giggles and laughter coming from the kitchen as they joke/commiserate/confide in one another. Having a dishwasher wouldn't have them together long enough to have this relationship develop. Not that I don't have a LONG list of other chores for them to work together on.
You may bring up that with a dishwasher at least the dirty dishes aren't seen throughout the day. Well, aside from glasses, they aren't. My father told me how his mother used to have a dish pan under the sink that the dirty dishes were stacked in throughout the day so that the counters were clear and clean. I am now doing the same thing. It drives my mother crazy.
Soon after our fourth child was born, my mother was over helping out and volunteered to do the dishes thinking it was just the ones from our current meal. As she looked in the cupboard under the sink for the dish soap, I heard her yell almost sounding like an expletive, "Minnie Pearl!" That was my grandmother's name. She said that my grandmother would always have a stack of dishes under the sink when mom went to wash too.
So you see, I don't need a dishwasher. I would lose out on all of this goodness, growth, money and time. What are your thoughts on dishwashing vs dishwashers?
Enjoy your day!