Friday, December 9, 2016

In the loving memory of Sleep..

And using the bathroom alone..

And showering on time or showering at all !

And the day-offs, nightlife, hangovers, and just the usual sanity of life..

And many other daily activities that I took for granted before I had a baby. You can read a thousand books and attend a hundred classes but nothing can prepare you for what comes with a baby than the baby itself.
I went from sleeping 12 -15 hours a day (peak pregnancy bliss rest-hours) to 12-15 min naps every two hours or so. If anything contributed to my postpartum moodiness, that did. Clearly my baby wasn't the one to abide by "sleep like a baby" saying. Sleep like a Baby. WHAT A JOKE !

They are the worst sleepers awake on a creak of the door, or sound of retreating tired feet on a carpeted floor or even a slight whisper not louder than a breathe! Infact I have a suspicious inkling that the one who invented the said saying never had a baby or was referring to someone named "Baby" who had lost it on sleeping pills.

There is also an advice that is passed around a lot - Sleep when the baby sleeps.
I would if I had magical house elves around the house. I don't. Brushing teeth, showering, using the loo, cleaning the house, sorting the laundry, cooking and then eating breakfast, lunch or dinner (time loses meaning when you are on snooze mode for baby alarm)..things one would usually spend an entire day doing would now require to be done in 30 mins. And when you would actually sit down, put your feet up to follow on that advice..poof ! Time's up.

Now, it wasn't always like this, There were some rare occasions when I would successfully tuck in the baby for a nap and sneak out to the bathroom for a long awaited shower/bath. Run the water, 10 seconds in, I could hear the baby crying. Rush upto him and ofcourse, he is still calmly sleeping all snuggled up. Restart the cleansing and I could swear I hear him again! I would stand still concentrating, making sure that is exactly what I hear. 2 seconds later, halfway through my shampoo, I would again be running to my still peacefully asleep baby. This happened EVERY SINGLE TIME I went to use the bathroom. I called them 'phantom' baby cries. The irony is you can't ignore them because the one you ignore, mostly turned out to be the actual baby war-cry.

This paranoia is not of my making because now, 22 months down the line, not just me but everyone else who knows us admits that my little one is a real bad sleeper. I mean even now if he has been sleeping for four hours on a stretch, I get nervous and rush over to check on him. Once I overcome my initial shock of him actually sleeping soundly, I make a mental note of what is working for me - the ambiance, the temp ,white noise, etc. Ofcourse the same thing never works twice.

You know what, it's easier to make plans and create ideas around what kinda parent you would become, but its only when it actually happens that the complete significance of 'desperate time desperate measures' is understood. Like that time when you have been holding your pee in the anticipation that your cluster-feeding baby would let go of you for one tiny moment but he hasn't in the past couple of hours. And you then rush to the loo with that baby still latched onto you hanging for his dear life. YUP, sat on that seat with a nursing baby. Quite a few times.
Or dragging the entire crib to the bathroom to ensure the phantom cries don't bother you or also sometimes so the baby can see you. I tell you, these little human beings make the best trackers. Won't let you out of their sight.
Or when the baby won't sleep anywhere but on you. So they get used as tiny tables for lunch plates or books. Desperate time desperate measures.
The sacred-sanctum-me-zone that used to be the washroom, is now a forced-shared utility space where you always have a little person as an audience. It's either that or discovering how a fully baby-proofed house can be brought down to pieces by a 10-months old in about 30secs.

To be honest, I am not proud about the aforementioned, but it did give me a reality check.  It is not always easy or organised or ideal being a parent, but it has shown me what I am capable of achieving while functioning on a 4 hour sleep and meals that are mostly baby-food leftovers!
I am often told that this will not last forever and am certain it is true. Our little ones grow so fast and the time just slips by. But us..parents? Once a parent, always a parent. No matter how grown up my boy gets, I know I will never stop caring about him, losing sleep over him or making sure he still has a good night's sleep. There are and will be countless sleepless nights, meaningless tantrums and just the general whining. Nothing that the unconditional love that comes with it (and a glass of wine!) can't overcome.

Being a parent is the hardest and the happiest part of my life.


  1. No words, Neha ur writings make it so easy to visualize... Looking forward for more of ur writings.