It's taken me ten years of mothering, and five children to understand this truth, but sometimes the dishes simply don't get done. I'm one of those moms that wants to do it all. I want the kids well dressed, the lunches made, and the dishes done before I walk out the door to work each morning. But, with a time pressure and so many children to help, I've finally learned to give in to the chaos a little. Now, don't get me wrong. By the time that I go to sleep at night the laundry will be done, the kids will be fed and bathed, and the darn dishes will be finished.
What I'm learning, however, is that everything doesn't have to be finished NOW. That's really the key, I think, to maintaining sanity while trying to be a busy, working mom. It's really ok if the dishes remain in the sink for 8 hours and it's alright if the laundry isn't folded until tomorrow. Giving myself this wiggle room and the ability to set priorities has really been freeing for me.
So, now, when I see the chaos I think to myself - ok eventually all of this will be cleaned up and taken care of. But, it's not going to be done right this second. Then, I decide what does need to be done right this second and take care of that task. The rest can wait.