On sleepless parenting

One of the most frequently repeated things that people preparing for parenting read is that there will be a huge lack of sleep during the first months after the baby is born. Most of the parents remember this time as the hardest time of their life.

Indeed, sleep is a very important part of every person’s life. Cutting the sleep is, I guess, similar to eating less. People get sad, depressive, and all psychodelic when denied the recharge of batteries. Brain needs rest or it will get fried, overwhelmed with information.

During my last few days as being non-father I am trying to imagine how bad can that be. One of the thoughts that sort of calms me down is that most people (of those who call the first few months the hardest time in their lives) have to go through a major change when the baby is born. Most people sleep during the night and stay awake during the day. With the newborn baby this changes, as do a lot of other things, and the young parent gets a lot of stress due to these many changes. I myself don’t use the night for sleep. With my work in the NOC, I get all sorts of shifts. I regularly switch between night shifts (from 23:00 until 08:00) and office work (from 09:00 until 18:00). I don’t always go to bed in the morning after the night shift. In fact, I don’t sleep that much anyway. Sometimes I can sleep for just 2 or 3 hours and go for the next 24 hours without sleep. Sometimes 5 hours per day (broken into pieces) make me feel recovered. I don’t have any problem falling asleep at any time of the day. And I don’t have that big of a problem waking up. I think that not that many people sleep in this way. That gives me hope that the first few month won’t be as hard for me as they are for most parents.

Not that they will be totally easy, but just easier than for most. I will still have to deal with the stress of responsibility, huge amounts of information, and a bunch of new tasks. We’ll see how it goes…

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