I really despise those articles that smugly inform you to: “Forget about the dishes, laundry and other housework; sleep when your baby sleeps”. This is only vaguely possible with your first child, and even then it only works for a week or two at most. After that, daddy has gone back to work, the newness has worn off and everyone, although sympathetic, expects you to just get on with it!
The baby on the other hand, is still waking up to feed and will continue to do so for another few months. Your sleep is still broken and there is still work to be done! Exactly who is supposed to do it if you sleep when the baby sleeps? And even in that first week or two, when will you shower, or brush your teeth, or get dressed? When will you eat? Come on, give me some real advice!
Before my children were born, I was a heavy sleeper. I slept through a small earthquake once! But as soon as the first baby was born, a switch flipped and it doesn’t matter how deeply I am asleep, when my child stirs, I am awake. Men do not seem to have this switch!
It’s at that moment your tired body flops on the bed and your head finds the comfy contours of your pillow…and then you hear the baby stirring and you just know she’s getting ready to up. There will be no sleeping for you!
You decide that tomorrow night you will make daddy do the pajama-drill. He is a very involved father and is more than willing to help out where ever he can. But here is the problem: he is not the mama!
You hear the baby and you wait for hubby to hear it too. He keeps snoring. Soon, baby starts to moan loudly. He turns around and you think he heard her. You give him a nudge in the ribs, but even as the noise levels increase to high-pitched wails, he continues to sleep. You are fairly awake now. You give him a sharp elbow in the ribs and he looks at you quizzically through half-shut eyes. You explain that it is his turn to check on the baby. He nods, turns around and goes back to sleep. By now you are wide awake and it is by far easier to pick up the screaming baby and see to her yourself than to continue to try and wake up the chain-saw next to you.
The next morning at breakfast you get: “I don’t know what I did at the gym yesterday, but my ribs are really sore. Oh and by the way, did you sleep well, the baby didn’t wake up once!”