Every mother has a secret identity. The second they enter motherhood… ninja training begins. While I have learned that throughout this journey I will employ my newly acquired ninja skills for a multitude of tasks such as rapid diaper changes, the lethal pee dodge, the outfit change and other daily activities, the ninja skill that I am most thankful for is the ability to function on virtually no sleep.
I should have known he was not a sleeper, when we went to take his newborn pictures at my sister’s, who is a photographer… he refused to sleep. But 6 hours later… with a lot of work, we were able to get hime to sleep for a few pictures.
Before I went back to work, the altogether sleepless nights or even the nights waking up every two hours, were a breeze, because like everyone and their mother told me… you gotta sleep when the baby sleeps. That is a cute idea and all…unless you have a baby that just doesn’t like to sleep….ever.
Experts say that newborns sleep on and off, but in a 24 hour period should sleep about 15-18 hours a day… I don’t know who came up with that number… but it was a false hope for sure. On a good day, Turner gets 8 hours of sleep in. Don’t get me wrong, we will have the occasion 3-5 hour nap marathon… typical from 10 p.m. until 2 or 3 a.m., but on any given day… he is just wide awake.
When I was staying home with him, my 15-30 min naps during the day when he slept paired with Andrew rescuing me from about 8 p.m. until 11 or so were sufficient to keep me functioning, it was not until i returned to work that my ninja skills have showed themselves.
I selfishly kept Turner up the night before I went back to work because I missed him already and wanted to spend time with him, so getting up in the wee hours of the night… then working a 12 hour day and then staying up with a fussy little one last night…. when I got up at 7 this morning, my ninja skills were in full swing. I am astonished at how my body is functioning professionally right now, and with no mid day naps. I can’t really nap at my desk, especially on Tuesdays as I basically write an entire newspaper today. But luckily, my inner ninja has kicked in and I am as productive if not more productive than before I was pregnant.
And none of it makes any sense because I am exhausted. Just the act of brushing my teeth this morning took what little ambition I had left, and my eyelids feel as if I have little 10 lbs weights hanging off the end ( which is why I avoided mascara this morning, I could not afford the extra weight).
As soon as I catch myself zoning out and everything around me gets a little blurry, my ninja skills kick in and I get just enough energy to get over the hump. Maybe it is a mother’s intuition. My body knows I have a baby to tend to so I need to keep functioning regardless of sleep deprivation setting in. When I was in college, lack of sleep certainly hindered productivity and it was not that easy then…. but for some reason, I think it is manageable. Maybe because I know the very moment I am done, I get to go home and swoop that precious baby back up in my arms and do it all over again gladly.
When the reward is that amazing being that somehow Andrew and I perfectly crafted…. sleep deprivation never felt so good.