On balance

Spud has reintroduced the 2 am feed, which means I am once again getting at most three hours of sleep at a stretch, and only one such stretch per night. We think he maybe wants to go to bed earlier, but haven’t managed it yet.

I spent four hours on campus on Tuesday with Spud in tow, listening to my students practice their presentations and critiquing them. I went grocery shopping with Pea after and felt like I had been hit by bricks. Science bricks. I was grainy with fatigue.

I have made two errors while tired that have compromised Spud’s safety. He is fine, but it could have been bad. Really bad. I am shaken.

I have three meetings on Thursdays. Spud has cried through the first two (and been asleep for quite literally the entire rest of the day). He just cried through the third and is now condescending to be briefly awake for food. Except I didn’t post this so now it is Friday.

I am leaving Spud with Pea today to spend an afternoon on campus, as our seminar speaker is a good friend whom I invited. I will pop home after to tank Spud up again, but am then going to dinner. Spud will take a bottle, but under protest. It might be a rough day for Pea, and Spud.

I had an email from my postdoc advisor asking about the status of my one remaining paper (stalled indefinitely). She asked if she should give the project to someone else. It killed me, but I replied with a “yes, I can help with that transition”. She has just now replied that she has no one in mind and maybe we should work together and get it done but also make it bigger. I can’t. My 24 hours of relief from having ditched this paper were potent. She doesn’t really understand the word no, but I will find a way to gracefully recuse myself.

I am tired. I am frustrated. I am trying to minimize work, but even the bare minimum intrudes on my care of Spud. I don’t necessarily think Spud needs my attention 24/7, but he is my actual job right now. On the other hand, Spud’s sleep schedule may be dissolving my brain, and is certainly making this balance harder to achieve. 


8 thoughts on “On balance

  1. Mary

    Could Pea do the 2am feed w/ a bottle?

    Also, maybe I missed this, but since you’re working (even if not all day/every day) can you get a sitter/nanny for a few hours a day so you can sleep? Im assuming, (but maybe I’m wrong) that you’re getting paid by your job or the government or maybe both, so that there’s money available for a sitter.

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      Spud takes a bottle so reluctantly (read: lots and lots of yelling) that I can’t sleep through a night feed – we did try a few times but it just means Pea is up too, and Spud is angry rather than dozey at the end.
      I should get some help though. I can afford it, and I think I can’t keep assuming the next three months will involve more sleep and unfettered naps where I can be productive. That may be a pipe dream.

  2. Jill

    Sleep is so overrated! Or that’s what I keep telling myself. My youngest is a horrible sleeper, so I am feeling your pain. I think though, that as Spud gets older and isn’t quite as dependent during waking hours, the sleep (or lack of sleep) won’t affect you quite as much. That’s what I have found!

    The newborn stage is so hard. It’s amazing too, but when you are in the thick of it and tired it seems to last forever. But it won’t. His sleep, and yours, will get better!

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      I cling to this idea, that things will get better, when it is four am and the fourth time I’ve seen Spud that night. Thank you! Knowing it got better for everyone makes it statistically likely it will get better for me too!

      1. Jenny F. Scientist

        But it really does get better. 6 months/7 months was when it was better for all my kids – partly because of sleep training, i.e. I am going to ignore you now training – mine are the go back to sleep variety, not the cry until you throw up variety, which worked out well for me. Also partly because then they *can* soothe themselves back to sleep.

      2. labmonkeyftw Post author

        Spud seems to like to sleep well during developmental leaps, and terribly otherwise. We’re in day one of a leap, so I’m hopeful (but not expecting) for some longer stretches to balance his moodiness.
        I know it will all get better. At some point he’ll be a teenager sleeping for so many hours I complain about THAT! Ha ha ha.

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