When baby doesn't sleep through the night life can be tough! Sleep deprivation is just the worst! On average parents lose 44 days of sleep in the first year. The first time Teddy actually slept through the night Lee and I shot up and looked at each other in a panic...
Me: Did you get up?
Lee: No, did you?
*while peering over the Snuz Pod, checking to see if he is still alive!
Just when you think you're onto a winning streak something will change in their routine and you're back to doing the zombie shuffle up and down the landing...
But who is getting up?
Is it Mummy?
Is this an expectation?
With Lee being up for work the next day, the lack of sleep can be a killer and it makes everyday tasks more difficult. So I totally get it!
I get that it's acceptable to expect that the "breadwinner" will be knocking out zeds while the mother is up all hours because she is "just at home"...
We have no deadlines or "actual work" to do! *rolls eyes!
So should Dads be getting up to the crying and the feeding?
In our house Dad does!
Lee has openly confessed that being at work is easier than being at home with Teddy!
There are a few reasons why we share the load:
Sharing is caring! While we were both off in the beginning we took it in shifts, one night would be me, the next would be Lee. This way we were both catching up on some sleep. As time has moved on we are still more or less taking it in turns. To be honest there are some nights when I don't even wake up I'm so drained! But when one is out for the count the other is taking one for the team.
Being at home with a baby is hard:
MUMS! Be sure to meet your baby's nutritional, emotional, social and physical needs, don't over stimulate them or under stimulate them, go to the latest groups and classes, keep up to date with the newest apps, sensory gadgets and development opportunities, leave them to cry but not long enough so that they feel abandoned, cuddle them but not too much so that they are clingy, wean them, don't wean them, home made or ready made, be gender neutral, its not a competition but why is their baby sitting and ours isn't, establish a bedtime routine, talk to him, play with him and don't forget your pelvic floor!
It's really hard work! Rewarding, but physically and emotionally draining. We are on the go all day long! When Teddy is in a nasty leap or if he's just having an off day, it takes me to new levels of exhaustion. When Lee comes home I do the handover...
"Hi baby, how was your day? Yeah, aw yeah he's been fine, yeah I'm good yeah, yeah, ahhhh I know so cute, great, okay... PLEASE TAKE YOUR CHILD".
Mums, you know the score when Daddy's home! You're running around like a blue arse fly because the house looks like you've been burgled, you need a wee and you all need fed!
Lee is more involved in child care
Lee knows how to soothe Teddy when he is being fussy! He knows that he prefers to have his dummy in and likes to fall asleep with his "fluffy"! He can rock him to sleep without me, it may take a bit longer but he does it. Teddy is used to us BOTH comforting him. I don't need to leave a set of instructions. We talk and make a plan together if something isn't working. He pulls his weight!
It's nice to be equal!
It's harder when you're breastfeeding because its all on you. But even when I was breastfeeding he would do nappy changes, keep me company or help around the house.
But now he brings me wine!
I definitely feel less resentful when I'm getting help through the night. It can be isolating dealing with it all on your own. I'm not slamming Dads who don't get up. Different routines will work for different families! Maybe Dad's job would be too challenging with less sleep or maybe Mum is able to function on less sleep or even catch up on sleep through the day if she's lucky.
I'm not an expert but one thing that I do know is that nobody should ever feel under appreciated regardless of whether they are up for night feeds, at work or at home with the baby.
Communicate with each other, share the load, show each other how much you care and get some rest!
Peace and love