Urban Fathers' Liberation Front

Confused dads working out the city

I told you I was ill

on May 1, 2012

Bub is a month old today.  And the lack of sleep is catching up on me.  I remember with Toots that the first four weeks were the hardest – the fourth week was the worst, and gradually from there, things settled down. 

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather as it is.  I’ve had a sore throat for a little while – not a regular rasping sore throat that can be eased or soothed with blackcurrant Tunes (do they still sell those?), but an uncomfortable feeling, like a really close fitting polo neck jumper.  There are no other symptoms – or so I think – but it’s starting to drag me down a bit.  And last night, I felt dizzy.  I nearly fell over on the stairs, and I had a light headedness.  I’m overtired, like my boy.  And I only had  about three hours last night, with the rain crashing on the windowsill and the things I need to achieve in my business ringing my senses in the night.

With not physically going out to work at the moment, I am being drawn more into the caring for Bub, something that didn’t happen with Toots, when I was working five days a week in central London.  That forced me out of the house and made me focus on maintaining my sanity for that; it made it easy to sleep in the spare room, and I maintained some control in my working life, even though the first baby is more of a worry. But this time, I’m in the room with Bub, and in bed with my wife.  We both wake twice or more in the night, we both do the changing if it’s needed and we both wait tensely after a feed as he growls and squawks before falling asleep again.

And I’m knackered.  I have my work to do Wednesday to Friday; I’m looking after Toots full-time because my wife has Bub, and I’m also looking to do other work in the other days.  I’ll probably be castrated by the women who read this, but biology must, logically, look after women who are feeding – after all, biology has naturally fostered an embryo through nine months and instinctively forced the mature baby out through the right passages and in to the open – there must be something in the chemistry of a women that allows some better control of the sleepless nights and the trials that a newborn baby brings.  There must be.

But for men?  Maybe were all saps, but it some ways – whisper it – it’s harder for those of us who continue to make a living and try to maintain the housework and engage fully in fatherhood.  Well, that’s how I see it.


One response to “I told you I was ill

  1. babymother says:

    HMMMMM. I have to say, I was NOT equipped with the biology to cope with the lack of sleep that having babies brought on. If anything, my post-natal hormones left me jittery and neurotic, and made it harder to cope. There were times when the exhilaration of having this gift of life saw me through, but those times were few and far between. I think the issue is that anyone, male or female, will find it hard to concentrate on work or meaningful thought when they haven’t slept AND have a toddler in their face all day! Perhaps it’s about taking turns to get enough sleep, according to what your responsibilities will be the next day?

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