As some people around these parts are just finding out, having kids changes everything for you. I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of having kids, but your world changes in enormous ways. One of those ways, hopefully just in the beginning, is sleep.
Our first child started sleeping through the night at about three months. At the time we thought we were going to die, but in retrospect three months was incredible. Those three months were brutal with the combination of new parenthood, lack of sleep and planning an international move while finishing things up where we were, but it was only three months.
Today our second daughter turns 7 months. Last night she woke up and screamed three times before 1am and then again at 4am. Because I had done the two feedings the night before, my wife took the pre-1ams and I was up at 4am. But whether you get out of bed or not, it's never a good idea to be woken up 2-4 times a night. Doing it for seven months straight is an even worse idea.
Sleep deprivation is one of the few legal ways you can break an interrogation subject - it may not be physical torture but it makes you lose your damn mind. For whatever reason I made no alternative plans to change my teaching/grant writing/paper writing schedule when we had the second child and I am now very much regretting that because everyone assumes that after about 6 months everything should be good with the baby. In most ways it is, but the sleep issue is getting worse as it drags on. I've agreed to two collaborative grants in the next two months, have two students finishing up and will be on an NSF panel in a month, on top of teaching.
On a normal schedule this is just another spring, but in a state of sleep deprivation this is stupidity. Not only am I working at half speed at work, but I no longer have a few evening hours to get some extra things done. The combination has effectively cut my weekly working hours by at least a third, but probably more. I am definitely the one-legged man in this ass-kicking competition right now.
But we quickly forget. As soon as the Weer One starts sleeping through the night, our minds will work hard to hide the evidence that there ever was a problem. If they didn't there would be a lot more single-child families.
Who would have thought that the thing I am most looking forward to as conferences approach is not the science or the travel, but the ability to sleep for more than 3 consecutive hours.