23 September 2008

Parenting is not a lot of work

Our first child was born last week! A healthy bouncing baby boy. In the time leading up to his birth so many people told us "Having kids is a lot of work, but it's worth it."

Having kids is not a lot of work. Starting a business is a lot of work. Digging your own swimming pool is a lot of work. Having a kid is more of an Herculean Task. There's so much to learn and so many things to do. But I think the pinnacle of it all is that it's a full time job. No wait, working 40 to 80 hours a week is a full time job... having a kid is--what ever 24 x 7 hours a week is--kind of job. Real full time, all the time.

On our first day the nurses told us "rule number 1 is sleep when ever he sleeps." Sounds like fun, I thought. No, it's obligatory. There is no other time

I once took a 53 hour trans-continental flight to Australia from Canada. It had 5 stopovers. I pulled a lot of all-nighters in school. I've been to some pretty crazy all-night parties. But then after each of these tiny explorations of sleep-deprivation, I slept for 10 hours and got back to normal. The point I'm at now is a constant sort of twighlight zone feeling where I'm tired and half brain-dead, but still functioning somehow because I must.

To understand my current sleep pattern you can try this at home:
  • Take a 6-sided die with these numbers on it: 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes
  • Now roll this die and write down the number you rolled. Continue until you have a list that adds up to 24 hours
  • Now randomly write down the following activities beside each rolled number: change diaper, stare at how cute he is, visit doctor, feed him, check diaper but there's nothing there, try to feed him but he's not hungry afterall, wonder if he's still sleeping and go check, feed him, wonder why he's still awake, have people visit, wonder why he won't sleep, feed him, feed yourself, do something to remind yourself that you're still normal like brushing your teeth or having a shower, try to sleep before baby wakes up
  • repeat constantly day and night and day and night and day and night and...
So having a kid is worth it. That's already true in spades. But it's not a lot of work. Some day when he's old enough, we hope he'll spend a weekend with his grand parents so we can take a fantasy vacation: sleep for a whole night and wake up when we're not tired anymore.


  1. New world huh??


  2. congratulations on your first kid..'Mr.Eratic'?

    On your last post you where wondering what to do with this blog. Something about no one reading this anyway...
    Maybe chronicling the experience would be a good subject.
    It seems at least a few people have you bookmarked.

    ( I think I got here looking for music and bookmarked for the link list....'articficial lover' was a great house set. any other finds like that would be awesome, as there is so much crappy house out there)


  3. Congratulations as well!

    You will do your best to teach him, but you will be amazed at what he teaches you.

  4. Told you it will be fun ;) but it does get better.


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