I think many moms do that because of the reaction they expect to get from Dad. I think they also feel disappointed in themselves for not having it done and/or their kid(s) for not doing it, with the later likely still translating into (more) disappointment in themselves. They may feel unappreciated/not cared for, and Dad may feel the same way when he comes home to dirty dishes. Meanwhile, she hates that he feels that way and blames herself, knowing the feeling of feeling unappreciated. She may also feel like she let him down, and just wants to return the favor of his hard work with hard work herself. I think part of it may be self-validation as well. I’m not saying this is everyone, as clearly it is not (A lot of people, though). If they’re a single-mom or single-dad, they may feel unappreciated (as mentioned before), like the dad in the previous scenario, as well as overwhelmed. In any scenario, having to do the dishes after a (hard) day’s work can be overwhelming when he/she (whether it’s Dad or Mom in that position) may be burnt out and/or just wants to relax and wind down. So, although chores may seem like small things, they can actually greatly help your parents and their health and relationship, and yours as well. As a kid, I wish I would’ve realized this more… Of course, in the sadly turning into an ever-less usual case of two parents together, the blame (which could be self-blame, come from the spouse, or both) could still (and seemingly usually does) fall on the spouse at home, even though it was the child(ren’s) job, as the parent(s) hold you and your actions under their responsibility. Try to help out your parent’s whenever you can. It is worth it, as it is not only rewarding and best for everyone, but you may regret (for a lot of reasons) not doing it later. They’ll greatly appreciate it, and they’ll feel like they’re doing a good job with you and their responsibilities (you and the dishes being a couple of them). This helps them be their best for not only you, but everyone they come in contact with. With these, the world changes for the better. Be a superhero and help bring everyone to salvation by doing the not-so-little-after-all things!