Back in 2012, my bhabhi fell ill. I went to Karachi to visit my brother and help him out with taking care of his daughter. Insha, my niece, was only 6-months-old and she was the cutest thing I had ever seen.
I fed, changed and bathed her, and put her to sleep for an entire month. It was easy at first, but her sleep cycle made it tiring and more difficult as time went on. I really don’t know how women do this with 3-4 small children – especially women with jobs. Women who work and have more than one small child are all Wonder Women in my book.
All babies are different. These are some of the challenges I faced with Inshu.
She would cry if left her alone for more than 20 seconds.
This was very annoying especially when I had to use the washroom and there was no one to watch her. I used to surround her with toys and put music in her crib that kept her busy for 5 minutes. Then she used to realize that she got played by her chachu and would start crying for attention.
Cooking was difficult.
By cooking, I mean stuff like porridge and stew for her, alongside whatever edible form of food I could find for an infant. Real gourmet cooking, I know. This was difficult because she would cry every time I would put her down. There’s a reason women are so good at multi-tasking. Kids got no chill!
Changing diapers is a shitty job (pun intended).
Babies shit all the time. I’m glad my brother was back by 6 pm because this was one job that there is no joy in. I couldn’t believe how something so cute and adorable could poop so much and fart like an adult.
Sometimes babies just cry for no reason at all.
Inshu once cried because my brother burped too loud. She once cried because she ate her cookie and that was the only one left. At another time, she cried because the sound of her own fart scared her. Sometimes, she would cry just for the sake of it. Apparently, all babies do that and it’s referred to as “teething.”
She wouldn’t sleep all night and barely slept during the day.
I thought she was possessed by a demon or something because I thought babies slept for at least half a day. Inshu only slept for 6 hours and she would only fall asleep after 4:00 am. I also had to sing her slow songs by Coldplay to soothe her into a reasonably deep slumber. I was exhausted that entire month.
She was the cutest baby ever (totally not biased) which made a lot of women come over to talk to me.
Whenever I would go to the park, or to watch a movie, or even to the mall, women used to come up to me and just start playing with Inshu. I met many new people this way. Babies are the ultimate way to get the attention of women – I had no clue. This has nothing to do with raising a baby – but it’s certainly a plus point.
It gets frustrating sometimes and you just want some adult company.
All that baby talk and all those baby songs get to you eventually. I’ll make sure to take my wife out every week when I have kids. Of course, first, I need to find a wife. Regardless, there needs to be a balance between baby time and adult time.
Well, that was my experience with handling a baby for a month. I do miss those times, if I’m being honest. It might have been tiring and frustrating at times but just seeing my baby niece smile every time she would look at me made it all worth the while. The experience also made me respect women more. I just don’t know how women manage everything and make it all look so easy. Kudos to you all, you’re superheroes in your own right.
I’m going to cap this off with a picture of my niece and I from 2012.
Ever had to look after a baby? What’s that been like for you? Let me know in the comments.
Cover image via theliberal.ie