Regarding immediate life in the home front and finding a method to the madness, my wife and I are starting to get things figured out. When Jack needs a diaper change, I put in his pacifier, “shush” him, and place my right hand over his chest while my wife handles the dirty business, delicately cleaning around his healing circumcised penis and belly button (similar to playing the Operation board game by Milton Bradley). Regarding sleep schedules, my wife has come up with this gracious plan: On weeknights, I sleep in the guest bedroom on a futon bed from midnight until 6 AM for 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then I get ready to leave for work. When I arrive home 12 hours later, I do whatever my wife needs me to, including but not limited to rocking him, holding him, and helping with the feedings. But during the weekends, I pretty much just take naps when I can.
Yes, this is my new normal. I look at the situation for my wife and I as “baby boot camp”. We are being broken down to the point now where we see two hour naps as a valuable prize, as sleep becomes the new currency in life. Though so many people have told us the “sleep when the baby sleeps” rule, he inconveniently sleeps between 4:30 and 8:00 PM, a time slot where I am always widest awake and eating dinner. Hopefully keeping him awake during this time will push back his schedule enough to ensure better sleep time for his parents.
I figure if we can make it through the difficulties of breastfeeding and learning to deal with sleep deprivation, we can officially handle all else that will come our way in raising him. So I remind myself that every good and present father has been through this too. I look at parenting as a necessary rite of passage for myself as a human being. It’s something I was meant to do in order to fully serve my purpose here on Earth; never really knowing all the positive chain-reacting side-effects that my influence on him will cause in the world. Deep.