I am tired.

I don’t mean like I should go to bed early and I’ll feel right tomorrow morning. Nor do I mean tired like I was “tired” freshman year of college when the stimuli was just! too! much! for me to sleep and so I didn’t for about four months and then collapsed in a gibbering heap over Christmas break. If I could go back…well, I wouldn’t change anything, but I might take that (much thinner and more coherent) version of myself by the (rather perky) shoulders and shake me until I went to bed.

I mean that I am exhausted in my bones, a tired that throbs down deep in my brain stem. And I feel like a wimp, since I know so many women go back to work–they have to. Not going back to work was not my first choice, but since the magazine folded like cheap origami in the recession’s wake I’m at home. I cannot imagine how exhausted I would be if I also worked.

Because I am at home, I hold myself to a higher standard. Tom does his share, but motherhood has morphed me into a one-woman force of nature. Floor isn’t clean? Why the fuck not, you’re home all day. *scrubscrubscrub* Why buy baby food, you’re home all day. *bake apples/process into sauce/freeze/repeat with varied fruits* Maggie’s down for a nap? Get cracking on that 20-item to-do list. Nothing to clean? Then there’s articles to write and professional opportunities to research while the baby catnaps. There are adult relationships to tend to via email and Facebook. GET BUSY, BITCH.

My home has never been cleaner, my Kitchenaid receiving the sort of attention I used to pay to TMZ and Perez Hilton. I stand triumphantly, finger on the trigger of my carefully researched eco-friendly home cleaning spray, poised for world takeover. I steal ten minutes here and there to update a blog and do a little writing for myself and I FEEL LIKE I’M BEING LAZY. I could be exercising, working off those pounds. From sunup to sundown my brain whirls like a tornado and I hit the bed after midnight like a brick dropped into a bowl of pudding, the last of the day’s thoughts splattering to make room for tomorrow’s to-do list.

Naps? Fuck that and fuck you, lazy stay at home mother. There’s stuff to do. Fuck naps. Losers nap. Winners can do it all. And they look GREAT while they do it, so make sure you put on a decent outfit and shave your legs. Do your eyebrows, too, and get a pedicure. Winners don’t have chipped polish.

Winners, incidentally, end up with the conversational skills of an aardvark and the intellectual curiosity of the tuna melt I ate for lunch. I am tired. TIRED. I forget things. Tom has to explain jokes to me, point out subtleties that I used to point out to him with relish. An episode of “30 Rock” pushes me to the absolute limits of my brain capacity. I haven’t completed a sentence on the first try in months.

I developed sciatica in my second trimester and the only comfortable position I could find was on my back. You can’t lie on your back when you’re pregnant. And I’m a paranoid mother. My body wakes me up every so often at night–even if the baby is sound asleep–to check on her. Plus, she is still nursing at night.

Put it this way–I have not completed a full sleep cycle in almost a year. You know that feeling you get when you eat too many Pringles and sugary snacks after chugging a coffee and you sit down to the computer lab with your best friend and you’re all like “I’m going to write my paper in WINGDINGS” and she’s all “DO IT” and you can feel Radio Tokyo vibrating in your toes? My brain is typing in Wingdings and transmitting Japanese pop and I am helpless to do anything but giggle. Not giggle like cute babies do. Giggle like Jack Nicholson on cocaine in the 70s giggle. It’s creepy. I repeat myself like a parrot.

I am losing my mind. I am going slowly around-the-bend insane. I am going happily, content with life and thankful for my loving husband and delightful daughter, but I am going insane. I cannot find the off switch. You know what the craziest, most insane part of this is? I WANT ANOTHER BABY. Not immediately, but in two or three years. I am having so much goddamn fun that sunshine is shooting out of my ass and painting everything a rosy baby pink. Sometimes I tell Tom that I want four kids and his face contorts and he says “My GOD, WOMAN, your brain is taxed enough with one, if we had four you would completely lose the ability to read, write, speak, and put on flip flops.”

Good point. I hadn’t thought of that. Like I said, I’m tired.