Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

I'd like to ask your forgiveness upfront.  This post will be full of me whining and complaining.  I won't be offended if you skip out entirely.  Here is a really great video you can watch instead: Life After Death by PowerPoint. It is a hilarious look at all the things you shouldn't do with PowerPoint.

I wish I could write a really clear post about why I want to make today MY Independence Day too. Mostly though, my brain is just full of frustration and annoyance. I'm feeling very put-upon these days. Since this is for my own benefit, let me list the ways...

  • Cook meals (always dinner for 4 and usually lunches too)
  • Clean up after meals (almost always dinner dishes, sometimes dishes from lunch too)
  • Wash clothes, towels, etc.
  • Sweep, vacuum, mop the floors
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean up the clutter
  • Hound the kids to do their own cleaning
  • Hound the husband to help
  • Buy the groceries
  • Plan menus
  • Discipline/Encourage the kids
I could go on - we all know the story.  What makes me any different?  I work as a teacher, so from August to June I'm always on the go.  I've gotten better about getting things done at work so I don't bring home stacks and stacks of things to do.  My husband works too - but here is the critical difference: he works 2nd shift, from 2pm to 11pm. He recently changed his schedule (used to work 4 to 11) so he can now come home for dinner with the family.

Sounds great at first glance.  Except now it means instead of cooking simple meals for the kids and me, I'm expected to produce meals with multiple parts, served on real dishes (not paper plates!), and to have it ready to eat when he walks in the door.  Then I'm expected to clean it all up (alone) so he can go back to work.  So you'd think on the weekends he'd cook meals (he is off on Saturday and Sunday.)  Nope, still all me.  He will do the dishes (eventually) but often I come and do them so that I can cook the next meal.

If he's home during the day, you'd think he could pitch in with the household chores, right? Nope, he's far too busy playing the virtual game of "Second Life."  He's gotten to where he spends upwards of 5 hours a day on it.  Probably many more, since he often stays up late and gets up very early just to play.

I wish I could declare my independence from being the only family member who cares about meals, groceries, clean clothes, and having a clean house.  I'd love to go "on strike" and let them fend for themselves.  But I know myself too well - I don't think I could do it. I just don't think I have the support structure to pull it off.  I feel so frustrated and alone sometimes. I'm trying so hard and just can't any more. I don't want to look back on this summer and feel like it was torture, but that is how it is shaping up to be.

I could continue, but I think I've complained enough.  I'm sorry - I wish I had a better way to vent this stuff, but hey - it IS my blog.  I can complain if I need to.  I'll try to cook up a happier post for tomorrow.

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