Keep a clean house, including sweeping the floors, vacuuming the carpet, mopping, dusting, sparkling the bathrooms and kitchens, and making sure there's no cat hair on the couches or nose-prints (cats or kids) on the windows. Fix a healthy dinner every night and make sure it's ready for the dining table when the husband comes home from work. Keep the kitchen clean while you do this. Keep the baby fed, happy, and clean while teaching her to be independent and that she can rely on you at all times. Make sure she naps two to three times a day for two to three hours each time. Put her quietly down to bed so that you can spend quality time with your husband in order to meet his emotional and sexual needs. Wash, fold, and hang the laundry. Wash (x3), dry, and fold the cloth diapers. Shop for groceries while saving money and entertaining the baby. Make sure the animals are fed and have clean homes. In the non-winter months, keep the exterior of the house presentable by planting flowers, weeding the gardens, trimming the hedges, and mowing the grass. Take care of the vegetable garden so you can have very local food throughout the year. Make frequent stops at the farmer's market and put away fruits and veggies for colder months. Bake bread and make jam. Make sure your hair is done, your makeup is perfect and your clothes aren't covered in spit-up. Lose that weight by working out daily and eating only nutritious foods. And keep a smile on your face at all times.
It exhausts me just thinking about it. But this is my vision of what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Except you also need to add "Be a perfect student by reading & understanding all texts and writing insightful essays that go above and beyond the assignment." So it's no wonder I'm stressed, on edge, and snapping at Matt. It's not his fault - I promise that NONE of these are his expectations. It's all me. And you know what? I need to figure out - not just say, but really know - that THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. Honestly. No one does all that. It's just not possible.
So I need to rearrange my priorities and post them somewhere I'll see all the time. I need to lower my expectations to realistic levels and be happy when I can do something extra. Above all, I need to take time for myself without Emma Jayne or Matt so I can relax without worrying about anyone but myself.
But right now I will take a series of deep breaths and then go snuggle with my husband. Because I like doing that.