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Monday, January 23, 2006

Oh! Baby: Sleep deprivation for all

Now that Toddler in Chief sleeps through the night, there are limited nighttime duties. Fill up the occasional water cup. Occasionally rearrange the twisted blanket. But as any parent knows, that isn't always the case. A new baby is exhausting. Having to be on duty during the night for a new baby can throw really throw you off balance physically, emotionally and mentally. During those first several months, sleep is a commodity that doesn't come in very large quantities--I think a four-hour stretch was a glorious and rare gift. It's hard. It's hard for the at-home parent. It's hard for the parent who works outside the home.

And when we decided to have a baby, we both knew that helping out with all the hard stuff would be something we both participated in. I've been home with TIC, but being able to diaper, feed, nurse, change, and learn to care for him was overwhelming in the beginning. I needed sleep just as much as Father in Chief. Fortunately he took on some of the overnight burden so that I could get slightly bigger chunks of sleep. We were both a mess for a while. But as with much of babyhood, it was short-lived. And helping out with the good and the bad--regardless of where you work--is part of parenthood.

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