Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Wash my own dishes! What would the neighbors say? May 23, 2008

Have you seen that new commercial for Dixie paper plates? It begins with a mother smiling, “I won’t be defined by the number of dishes I do!”

What the?! How could any person be defined but such an arbitrary activity?
What on earth could this possibly mean? In what situation could this make sense?

At the Mommies Group:
—“Oh, there’s Jane. Did you hear that she does 17 dishes?”
—“I heard it was more like 24! Can you believe it? She must be…”

Be what? Managing a household? Living her life?
Really, who judges someone for cleaning what is soiled?

Maybe what Dixie is trying to infer is that doing dishes means you must be too “poor” to have a dishwasher—and who wants the shame of admitting economic struggle?

Or perhaps what Dixie is getting at is that people who can be defined by the sheer volume of dishes they must wash are fat. After all, how did all those dishes get dirty?

Later in the commercial, another mother shares her relief about how using paper plates allows her more time with her kids. Wouldn’t a mother who has her kids’ best interests in mind prefer to teach them about the environment, recycling and reducing waste? Not to mention the cost saved from not throwing away plate after plate, or the impact on landfills, you would think she’d be more relieved to know she’s protecting her children and grandchildren’s future by also saving some trees.

I’m not anti-paper plate. But I won’t be defined by them, either. And I’m confident that, unlike another one of the ad’s moms, I am stronger than even a Dixie paper plate.

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3 Responses to “Wash my own dishes! What would the neighbors say?”

  1. marti Says:

    I agree. The message taken away from that commercial is not a positive one. It cost more money to purchase disposable plates for each meal. It uses more energy with production, transportation, packaging, and then landfill space. And some of the best times each day are those spent washing the dishes with your kids and spouse. Talking while instilling a work ethic and being environmentally conscious is time well spent with your family. Shame on Dixie for suggesting otherwise!

  2. Ted Says:

    I also hope parents of babies and young children also find time to use towelling diapers or nappies which can be washed and therefore save on land fill space, which can be considerable where disposable diapers are concerned.

  3. rjlacko Says:

    Ted, I see your point about protecting the environment. It should be noted, however, when you factor in water, electricity and increasing frequency washing wet nappies, bed linens, clothes, etc., cloth diapers are not exactly a green solution either. We need to return to what life was like before disposable diapers were invented–teach the baby to use the potty. (Globally, this happens anywhere between the first month of life and 1 year.)


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