One of the strange things about being a mother is how tiring it is. There is physical labor involved, what with lifting/carrying your child, following them around to make sure they don't do something dangerous, going on walks and playing, but compared to a workout at the gym (or even an active job like in food service) it's really not that bad.
What's tiring is the constant calls on your patience and the endless frustration of your impulses (no, you can't do dishes/go to the bathroom/rest/get dressed at the moment, because the baby needs/wants something): in other words, your willpower is constantly being drained.
Little R usually wakes up around 8 am, and by 6 pm I am usually really tired and grumpy after a day spent tending her. She goes to bed at 8 pm (and usually falls asleep right away, although the last few nights have been rough due to our recent vacation), but those last couple hours are the hardest of the day for me. What I really want to do at 6 or 6:30 is toss her at her father, have a cold drink, and read in peace and quiet for a while.
The problem is, I feel guilty about my reaction. Little R is a darling, low maintenance baby who takes 2 naps/day, and I don't have anything else I have to do; yet caring for her STILL turns me into an exhausted grump by the evening. I feel like it's a moral failing on my part. And honestly B has been busy all day too, so he would probably like a break of his own: why should my need for a break outweigh his?
But practicality trumps (probably dubious) moral scruples. The fact is, I can't keep my cool successfully in the evening, so I am going to have to develop some solutions which do work (like asking B for help).