We kept hearing it: “Wait until baby arrives, you will become sleep deprived zombies.” But after Milo’s birth, I realised that new borns are like casinos; And you have to play to win.
I always found casinos interesting. They use so many tactics to keep you in one place; there is no natural daylight or clocks so you never know the time. Location wise, they are usually hard to get into and out of, so it’s a hassle to leave – why not stay longer? Free drinks? Thanks!
Oxygen is pumped so you always stay awake – no need to sleep. Sleep deprivation is key. And then there’s all the cacophony of “winning” sounds to mask the losing.
And the promise: You could win the BIG one. It could change your life.
Ultimately time favours the casino: the longer you stay, the more you play, the richer they get.
So yes, first few weeks with a new born is sleep deprived. You live by their rules and their schedule. A new born has the same agenda as a casino: keep you locked down, in place, keep you awake to feed, burp and clean, keep you engaged and produce noises to make sure you know where the action is.
Milo is now five months old. He naps three to four times per day and sleeps 11 hours at night, waking approximately two to three times to feed. The initial hard slog is over and a distant memory; eye bags have been sent packing and life is a little more predictable.
In a way having a baby is a big gamble, but here we now park this baby/casino analogy because here is where they split: in the long term (one hopes) the baby gamble will pay off. Hopefully, as parents you’ve introduced something wonderful to society.
Child rearing is a massive long term play where you will lose at the start: money, time, sleep, career, quality of life. But keep playing the right cards and in time the rewards will blossom. One day my child might buy me a drink. It’s like a free drink. Kinda.