A vicious rumour circulated throughout my pregnancy, that tending to a newborn child’s every need might just be a wee bit tiring. Totally unfounded of course, but I figured I needed a plan of action nonetheless. I knew it might take a week or two for the little man to sleep through the night, so until that time came, I needed a solution.
Fortunately, somewhere in the midst of my daily onslaught of baby advice, I managed to pick out the words “sleep when the baby sleeps”. Inspired, I thought. Why didn’t I think of that? I had this parenting malarkey in the bag. Go me.
What a crock of shiitake mushrooms
With hindsight, I can only assume whoever came up with this particular pearl of excrement was either:
- A multi-gazillionaire with fulltime PA, cook, personal shopper, butler, maid, gardener, stylist, makeup artist, baby whisperer and cushion fluffer.
- Not a parent.
- A moron.
- All of the above.
Sleeping when the baby sleeps is only sustainable in practise if you have the aforementioned hired help to prevent your home looking like the Launderette got rat-arsed with the Chinese takeaway and threw up all over the house. Here’s why:
Babies get through more clothes a day than Lady Gaga
They pee, poop, spit, dribble and puke up all over themselves on an almost tri-hourly basis – and with style. That’s a lot of costume changes – and a lot of wash loads.
The Cleaning Fairy does not exist. Dammit
When all else fails – bleach the loo, Febreeze the carpet and reposition some cushions on the sofa to mask that stubborn baby sick stain that looks frightfully like Paul McCartney.
Guests get kind of offended when you fall asleep on them
At a time when you can barely muster enough energy to sneeze, the world and his wife will descend on your home to coo over the awesome little mini-person you just made.
Brownie points shall be rewarded to visitors who:
- Do not drop the baby.
- Tell you you’re doing a fantastic job.
- Bring food.
- Make their own tea.
- Bugger off within an hour and a half – because they know you need to rest.
Your baby pooped on the memo about night and day
The good news is – you soon get used to watching Baby TV at 1:00am.
But whatever you do – step away from Google. Google is no longer your friend.
If you don’t eat – you will die
Nuke some lacklustre rubbery pasta in the microwave or call the takeaway (again) – just make sure you eat something.
Don’t expect it to be hot.
How can I put this? You stink
You’ve been in the same SpongeBob SquarePants pyjamas for three days, lost a comb in your hair several hours ago and your underarms smell of feet. Get a shower before scientists name a new fungus after you.
There will inevitably come a time for you to sleep when the baby sleeps. If you’re lucky – this may even be once or twice a day. But there’s more chance of giving birth through your left nostril than you sleeping every time the baby sleeps*.
*Unless you have said fulltime PA, cook, personal shopper, butler, maid, gardener, stylist, makeup artist, baby whisperer and cushion fluffer – in which case, may I borrow them?
One last thing – and I really can’t emphasise this enough: It is totally and utterly, undeniably worth it.