It had been a long day…no different than any other day, really. There was breakfast to make and clean up after, children to dress, teeth to brush and laundry to fold. There were errands to do, the garden to water, juice spills to clean up and then lunch. Then there was cleaning up after lunch, picking up toys, wiping off chins and breaking up squabbles. Then there was dinner to make, a dog to feed, baths to taken and stories to be read. And when the kids were finally in bed, I had a gigantic stack of dirty dishes to hand wash.

Our dishwasher had died the night before and I suddenly felt like a housewife from the 1940s (or from the frontier days, for that matter!) standing at the kitchen sink elbow deep in sudsy water. It took me at least half an hour to wash all of the dishes and it made me very, very grateful for the time I had spent with my newly deceased dishwasher. I thought of my grandmother and all of the dishes she must have washed. And I thought of my own mother, who has washed many a dish herself after long work days followed by parenting and household chores.

It comes as absolutely no surprise to me that this modern-day necessity was invented by a woman, Josephine Cochrane. Cochrane, being upper-class, never actually washed her own dishes but (according to Wikipedia) but grew sick of her servants chipping her china when they were hand-washing it.

Thankfully I was only without a dishwasher for about a week but I’ve gotta tell ya, it really added a lot of extra work to my daily list of duties! I cannot imagine being without both an automatic dishwasher and a clothes washer and dryer. Or worse, my vacuum, with my crumb-dropping kids and a dog and cat who shed year round. What would I do? Drag the rugs out and beat them with a stick?? I don’t currently work outside of the house and as it is, I feel like I am cooking, cleaning and caring for kinder non-stop. But without these appliances, I would literally have to work from dawn til dusk to make up for these luxuries that I was definitely taking for granted.

What about you? Which is your least favorite household chore and which is the appliance you couldn’t live without? Which appliance could you give up and not miss? I can’t thing of a single one!