For the last several weeks I have struggled with creating my new normal now that I am back at work, with the baby at home, while also maintaining my dynamic. I have found that I don't have many people to talk to who will understand what I am going through. There seems to be two strains of advice whenever I express frustration with anything to do with the housework. The one I get most often is "Just make your partners do more." I have grown up around families where this is what the person who wanted more done, more often, and more specifically attempted to do and it never ended well. The person who kept trying to get their partner to do more and do it their way ended up being a person they didn't want to be (a bitch, a nag, an asshole), their partner dreaded everything that came out of their mouth and felt less than and unaccepted, and they ended up doing all those things anyway because it doesn't work. Also, the people that I talk to don't take into account the M/s dynamic that I would like to maintain with the Professor. In fact, in the week before I went back to work, we already hit that and the Professor pointed it out to me. When I was nagging him about his sleep schedule, he peevishly responded, "I am a grown man. I do not need to be told when to go to bed. I will be up whenever I need to be to take care of our daughter, no matter how much sleep I don't get. That's all that matters. But I'm a grown man, not a kid, not your kid, not a sub, not a slave, not a babygirl. I don't need to be told when to go to bed." That's when I realized how insulting it was to him, and to the dynamic that I claim to want.
Of course, the other answer is to just give up on it ever being clean again because I now had a child. There is a certain amount of this that is true. It isn't going to be as clean as I might have made it before. There will be weird things that are icky (favorite growing up - jelly in the vcr) and found in weird places. And I am learning to let some things go. But even when no one wants to do our dishes, bottles must be cleaned. Once she can crawl and grab stuff, we will have to clean stuff off the tables and vacuum more. Ginger and I must at least have clean work clothes, if nothing else. I am learning to prioritize much more and to let go of things that don't need to be done right now when I am not feeling up to it or when doing it will make me feel resentful. But I also know something these people don't- that I need to have my living space in some kind of order or I will go crazy. When I do my version of things that my partners find to be vacation, like I fall into non-stop tv and movies or reading books until I only get a few hours of sleep a night versus their rereading books they've read before or falling into video games, that is the first sign that I am falling into a depression. That is bad. Keeping my surroundings clean and orderly before I fall into things like that or as I do things like that (like watching tv while I do dishes) is me staying sane. So I can't just let everything go.
I also really want to keep and expand upon the Master / slave dynamic that I want with the Professor. I know that many of the things that people who call themselves Master or Mistress do is just a lot of work and especially since he is expending so much energy taking care of our daughter that is just too much for him to do. But that doesn't mean that I can't do the things on my end that will make me a better 'slave' and that work to keep me in the right headspace when I am home. I know that he sees and will reward me for that, as he always has. This weekend we have looked at several day collars so I can always be reminded of my place.
Over this weekend, another issue has presented itself. The Professor and Ginger need to work on their relationship. I cannot magically make it better, but there are a few things I can do. For the last year, everything has been about me, the pregnancy, and the baby. Just like anyone, the Professor only has enough emotional energy to expend at any time. To give more in one area you have to take from another area. I can work to be less work. I can work to deal with my own issues, to have less issues, and to find other places to vent those issues. I can't make him then put that emotional energy to his relationship with Ginger and his relationship with himself, but I can hope that he does.
SO TO BE RESOLVED
I will be a good and loving partner to my partners. I will strive to keep myself mentally healthy as much as I strive to keep myself financially healthy for this family. I will let things go that don't need to be done right now if doing them will make me angry or resentful because I know my partners don't care. I will strive to be a good slave, who doesn't require micromanagement to happily, respectfully, and unobtrusively perform my duties for my Master because I know he appreciates me and will reward me in due time.