Being a postpartum mom is completely exhausting, and not for the reasons you think.
I love getting up with my son in the night, especially since he only requires it of me once or twice. That is not why I'm tired.
I love taking naps in the daytime if I do find myself bushwacked, as my hubby is home and that is always an option for me. Again, not why I'm tired.
I love sending my older kids into the toy room when they come traipsing in in the morning to watch a "show." They keep themselves occupied and dad and I continue to snooze away until Austin needs us. So no, that is not why I am tired.
I am tired because it turns out that I am a completely hormonal whack job who likes to torment herself in the night.
Case in point: a few nights ago, as Brad and I riled up Austin for his now customary 8-10 pm "awake time," we started watching The Fugitive. A great, great movie and one that I have seen a number of times. I. Know. How. It. Ends. And I know that it's just a movie. But on this night, in this hormonally charged brain, I let it run a little too wild. The beginning of the movie freaked me out and I found myself getting all worked up over the one-armed man. I worked myself into such a lather that when Brad and I finally went to bed, I asked him to tell me a story so that I would stop thinking about it.
It didn't work.
I laid awake for quite some time, thinking of the one-armed man who was on his way to my house to murder us all in our sleep. (Except for me, I would be awake waiting for him and thus get to witness the killing of my entire family.) How I hate it when I'm psychotic.
Can you say prescription for Xanax three times fast?
I managed to fall asleep after awhile, but when I woke up to feed Austin, I found myself right back in the throes of a fight scene, but dear Harrison was no where around to protect me. Then the house noises started in and I kept peering into the night to wait for the one-armed man. After finishing with Austin and checking the kids in their rooms, as well as making a trip downstairs to make sure all was well, I finally retired to bed. And shockingly, the one-armed man never made his appearance.
Fast forward to the next day where I noticed a rash on my legs as I got out of the shower. Now, a normal person would think something along the lines of heat rash, since it's 100+ degrees out and maybe an allergic reaction to the new lotion I'm using. But no, not me.
Now I'm convinced I have leukemia. And I lay awake at night drafting letters to my kids for them to read on their wedding days since I will be DEAD.
Party of one for padded room? Check. Me. In.
What's weird about all of this is that I'm usually such an upbeat, positive person. And I still feel that way throughout the day. But at night, when I'm awake with sweet Austin and completely in awe of just how good my life is, I create ways to make the other shoe drop. Like I don't deserve this life or the good things that have come to me. Can someone get Freud on the line? I'm sure he could solve this lickety-split.
Luckily, the rational side of me knows that this is all hogwash and that I am indeed fine and right on track for a postpartum mama. I don't really think that someone is coming to kill me and my family and I know that my health is intact. Logically, I know that. But in the middle of the night, psychosis creeps in and I start making Britney look like my mature younger sibling.
In the meantime, it's exhausting. Exhausting to be so classically senile, exhausting to waste all this energy on bad things and morbid thoughts, exhausting to be in my head. I'm more than ready for the great hormonal flood of 2008 to come screaming through my body and wash away all this craziness, because while crazy and I might do okay as distant cousins, we don't do well all buddy-buddy like this.