I am a stay at home mom, not a stay at home maid. I cannot be both. I have been trying so hard to be both, and it is making me crazy. So, I'm done trying. If the kids are awake, I will not attempt to clean or do laundry.
Back in August, at the end of my very first day alone with the two kids, Casey walked in the door from work and said (sarcastically), "Wow, the house looks nice..." I was so mad and so hurt; it was a really challenging day, and I was proud of myself just for keeping the kids alive. For once, I didn't care that the house was a mess. I knew Casey was joking, but that comment gave me a complex. From then on, I felt like I needed to prove myself everyday. Toys put away, kids dressed and happy, dinner started, grocery shopping and laundry done, bills paid. All with a smile.
It was difficult, because I was waking up with the kids; I had no kid-free time to do any work around the house. It would take the whole day to empty the dishwasher, because I'd put away 2 things and would have to pick up Parker or go play with Lucy. I was frustrated with myself and I felt like Casey was silently judging me every time he came home. I told myself the house was my responsibility, since he works full time and earns the majority of our income. It was too much, though. I was defeated before the day even started. I felt depressed and worthless, and it made me way less fun to be around.
It took me a long time, but I finally came to terms with the fact that I had to start waking up before the kids. So, for the past month, I've been getting up with Casey almost everyday...at 5 am. (And, for the record, there are still some nights that I stay up until 12, 1 and 2 am baking.) I even made a weekly chore schedule: Mondays - meal plan and shopping list, Tuesdays - laundry, etc. It seems to have helped somewhat. (I've also scaled back the baking operation to just one farmers market per week and custom orders; set some remodeling goals to help be more organized; and lowered my expectations in general.)
I cannot tell you how much less of an uptight bitch I am when I get enough sleep, the house is somewhat put together, and I don't have to bake. I actually feel happy. I actually enjoy my kids and being home. Amazing, huh??