Even though Pregnant Women are Smug, Neil and I have both tried really hard not to be “smug parents” or let parenthood entirely consume or change us too much.
This has actually been pretty easy so far, especially these first 6 weeks while Isaac is highly portable and able to nap easily in his carseat, stroller, carrier or sling. We’re also very lucky to have a pretty easygoing baby. Not to say he doesn’t have his moments (or entire days), but more often than not, he’s a pretty chill, happy little guy.
So far, parenting (or, more accurately, the care and feeding of an infant) for us is Not Hard.
But one thing falls into the realm of “things parents can totally be smug about” in that “you can’t know until you’ve experienced it” way:
The total exhaustion that comes from not having slept more than 5 hours at one stretch (and usually more like 3 or 4) for so many weeks is physically draining in a way that’s hard to comprehend by anyone who hasn’t been there, done that.
I also grossly underestimated the energy drain that comes along with putting one’s abdominal cavity back together from the inside-out, and continuing to be the sole food-source for a now external little parasite. I suppose it makes sense that rearranging the contents of my torso and managing the conversion of nutrients into consumable and digestible milk, instead of mainlining nutrition through the umbilical cord are calorically intensive, but really, I had no idea. Honestly, it still doesn’t make sense that what feels like even sitting around doing nothing is so draining.
Not to say all I do when not feeding or changing Isaac is sit around, far from it. We visit and walk, run errands and do yoga and baby storytime. I love getting out of the house (especially now that the sun is coming out). I’m just now used to doing everything in a bit of a fog.
Neil isn’t immune either. His sleep is just as impacted, more actually, since he takes over the baby-wrangling in the late evenings and early mornings when I try to bookend the night with a couple extra hours of sleep. On top of that, he goes to work each day and actually has to *think* and be productive.
So yes. The sleep thing? I apologize to any parent I have said or thought were exaggerating. Because holy cats, it’s real.
At least so far any worries I had about feeling bored or under-stimulated are unfounded. Because honestly? Right now, thanks to that fog, I’m just too tired to care.