laying it all on the table

I don't know how people do this.

The simple act of feeding my family has become the most stupid challenge EVER from the moment I took this job.  I'm not home in the evenings to cook and haven't been able to get my act together enough to cook ahead.  Besides, I have very little control over what the Mister does with the girls for dinner since I'm not around to be part of that.  Thus, my children have been living on pasta and pesto and restaurant food. 

I hate this.

And I've got all this resentment as to how our lives are working (or not working) out lately.  I came home the other night to find that the laundry was still in stacks all over the living room and (once again) Lily's lunch box hadn't been emptied which had invited an army of ants into our living room.  I totally snapped.  I got the Mister out of bed to deal with the ants and then spent the next 20 minutes railing at the man about life, the universe and everything.  How hard is it to feed the kids, put them to bed and the LOOK AROUND at what needs to happen?

And here's where I start to get a good idea about what I'm really angry about: expectations. 

Back when I was in college I got myself a little minor in Woman's Studies.  I still remember the discussion about how men are totally let off the hook, even when both partners work equally.  If someone walks into a messy home, it doesn't matter if it's the guys job to clean it up, SHE is still the one they immediately condemn.  Living with housemates means that this is constantly in my mind.  Despite the fact that I very much doubt they are judging me all the time, I still feel it.  My home is a mess = I am at fault. 

This has put me into a rather nasty little hole.  Instead of getting stuff done in the day, I can feel myself giving up.  If the Misters full expectation is to simply feed and put the kids to bed before he sits himself in front of the TV or computer, than why am I busting my ass in the small amount of time I am home? 

To be fair, when that man decides to clean something, he cleans it to within an inch of it's life.  And he does attack many large projects.  But it's the day to day that has me discouraged.  And damn am I discouraged these days.  I recently came under fire from a couple random people via this blog and it made me feel even more like I was living under a microscope.  I have to remind myself over and over again that I don't blog for random people.  I blog for my kids, so they can have a clear look at what their mother was like when they were little, and I blog for myself, so I don't go insane.  Which leads me to get really pissed off when I feel like my blog is giving people the impression that they know me well enough to criticize my actions, thoughts and practices.

Most of you don't know me.  Most of you will never be in the same room as me, much less shake my hand.  Most of you have never seen me parent my children nor share an evening with my Mister.  Most of you only know what I offer, which is undoubtedly biased considering it's my blog.  But I do try to be honest with you, because I'm working damn hard to be honest with my children and myself. 

Honestly, I'm floundering.  I don't have all the answers. I make HUGE mistakes as well as little ones.  I sometimes yell at my kids and my Mister and even the damn dog.  I am full of doubt and anger and fear and spend a whole lot of time just muddling through each moment hoping I'm not screwing it up too deeply.  I am drowning in flaws, people. I never claimed otherwise.  And yet, I am somehow expected to live up to some picture or ideal that some of you have created for me.  How could anyone ever do that?

So this is it: my home is a mess.  I am having a hard time.  My children deserve a mother who isn't flailing around like an idiot all the time, but for now, they get me.  My Mister doesn't deserve a wife who is so angry at him for taking what he needs to stay sane (time out).  At the same time, it's OK for me to expect more from him and not try to leave him unscathed from this transition to me working full time again.  Somewhere there is balance.  Nobody said it would immediately reveal itself to me.

I just wish I knew how people do this.