Thursday, April 12, 2012


I have already posted about people saying Baby Spouse is lucky, and how to make people realise it is not lucky if you cannot grow up with your original family. We have tended also to emphasise what an easy baby he is and how rewarding. But I was caught out the other day when I was surprised when someone offered me a seat on public transport when I had him in the sling. Surely I already have an advantage and I should be giving up my seat?

There have been a few amusing posts on STFU Parents about things not to say to your childless friends, and about "mommyjacking". One common theme is telling people they cannot possibly know the meaning of the word "tired" until they have children. As I say, we are very lucky in how easy Baby Spouse is and the fact that he actually sleeps, but I can think of at least four things in the past that have left me at least as tired:

- Shift work (as a volunteer, but coming just before starting medical school, it was very good for me in that it played a part in my, very sensible, decision to follow a different career).

- Insomnia, which at times has been chronic.

- Being in charge of a group of school aged children on a multi-day holiday (it's when they take it in turns to have nightmares/arguments/homesickness).

- Being in charge of a single, very ill school aged child who can't be left alone, even for one night (thanks to that parent who still sent her daughter on sleepover).

The last two I know are likely to happen again (the first because I'm a masochist and the second because I know there will be illness at some point). But if you are awake feeding a newborn (at least, our newborn), you don't need to be nearly as alert as if you have a sleepwalker or cough-till-you-vomiter. These thoughts leave me to conclude that my recent ennui was not entirely tiredness-based.

In other news, Baby Spouse's cousins adore him, naturally, and vice versa (five year olds are very amusing to a baby). The clans aka all my friends will descend on our London flat tomorrow and the next day (approx 8 adults and more children). And everyone at my work is taking it in turns to be a pain in the proverbial about matters adoption-leave-related.


Rachel said...

H was an easy baby too, but I can honestly say I have never done anything as exhausting as caring for him for 12 hours in a row. Every day. For a week. Yes, we've had some visitors or friends or classes to distract him, but doing this full time since he has turned 2 is much more difficult than any job I have ever done. (Although, it is also much more rewarding.)

DrSpouse said...

Hmmm... well hopefully I will be going back to work then! But it always seems like the STFU Parents posters are talking about lack of sleep with newborns, and I have felt this much more acutely when doing other things than caring for this particular newborn.