Baby gets these bouts of colic that I believe are mostly from gas. When she has it, she can't stand to be horizontal, and really just wants to be held over the shoulder and patted. That's okay for a while, but sometimes it goes for an hour, which is exhausting. Most days it only happens once, but rarely it occurs over and over throughout the day.
We had a pretty bad day, and I found myself just losing my mind. You get so hungry and tired, but you can't take a break, and you start thinking "shut the fuck up! WTF do you want god dammit". In a real bad moment I started getting these weird impulses "like maybe if I throw the baby on the floor it will shut up" or "maybe shaking a baby isn't that bad". And then you just have to go whoah, keep it together, calm down.
It made me realize that if I was somewhat more irresponsible, more prone to rage, or less in control of myself, I easily could shake a baby, or one of those awful other things that people do (just lock it in a room to cry itself out, or give it booze, or whatever).
In fact it made me sort of understand those moms that kill their children, or the dads that go out for cigarettes and never come back. There's this feeling that these fucking kids are ruining your life and you can't do anything about it and you're going to be stuck with them for the next 18 years and there's this sudden feeling of helpless desperation. I can sympathize with the impulse, but of course that's where being an adult with some self control comes in.
I'm in awe of the women who had to take care of their kids all alone, with no help from their selfish misogynist husband that wouldn't touch a diaper or cook for the family, and appalled at those husbands.
Part of my thinking in having a baby was that I understood perfectly well that I would lose going out to eat, and travel, and pretty much every activity out of the house. And I'm okay with that, because those things fucking suck anyway. I don't understand what old single people do. I feel like I've done pretty much everything (*) there is to do in this life, and I don't need to keep doing the same shit over and over. I'm fine with losing all of that. But I do miss the ability to just have a quiet moment for myself, especially at the end of the day when I'm exhausted and frazzled.
(* = obviously not actually everything, nor everything that I want to do; what I have done is everything that's *easy* to do, which is all that normal people ever do. Things like going to restuarants and driving cars on race tracks and skydiving and travel and watching movies - how fucking boring and pathetic is all of that, don't you have any creativity? That's just the easy default consumerist way to waste your time - pay some money and get some superficial kicks. The actual good activities are things like : make your own internet comedy, assassinate an evil politician, find sponsors and be a motorcycle racer, go horseback camping on your own across the Russian steppe. But everyone's just too lazy and boring to ever do anything good with their life, and so am I. So just have a kid.)
One thing I've realized is that a good parent is never annoyed; a good parent never says "not now". You need to be always able to drop what you're doing, or get up off the couch and help your kid. I've always been the kind of person who has moments where I'll socialize and other times when I really want to be left alone, and if someone tries to talk to me during the left alone time I'm really pissy at that them. That's not okay for a parent, you can't be pissy at your kid because they talked to you when you're tired or hungry or trying to work.
(I suppose this is related to a realization I had some time ago, which is if you believe you are a nice person except when you are tired or hungry or cranky or busy or having a bad day - you're not a nice person. Your character is how you behave in the difficult times.)
A good parent doesn't only love their children when they're behaving well. If you only like them when they're being quiet and happy, you're an asshole. A good dad has unconditional love that is not taken away when they misbehave; if anything you need to have more kindness in your heart when they're bad, because that's when they need it from you the most. Don't be a pissy little selfish whiney baby who's like "whaah the kids are being jerks to me so I'm justified in yelling at them or just running away to my office". You're the adult, you're supposed to be the bigger person than them. (in fact a good adult treats other adults the same way)
I really miss sleeping. I'm getting way more sleep than my wife, but it's still just not enough; I suppose the draining hard work of caring for baby is part of the problem, I really need even more sleep than usual and instead I'm getting less. I can feel my brain is not working the way it used to, and that feels horrible.
Maybe most of all I miss being able to have a moment where I know I don't have to do anything. So I can finally stop working, so I can let down my guard and just relax and know I'm not going to get have to start up the diesel engine again. I may never have that again in my life, because kid issues can occur at any time; you can't knock yourself out on heroin anymore; you never get that time when you know you can just shut off your brain. Parents have to be always-on, and that's just exhausting.
I guess one of the problems for me is that I give my all to work; I don't stop working for the day until I feel completely drained, like I have nothing left, and then I just can't deal with any more tasks, I need to crash, be left alone. That's been a shitty thing for me to do my whole life; it's been shitty to my girlfriends and wife that I get home from work and just have no energy for them, but perhaps even more so it's been shitty to myself. Even morons (smarter than me) who work retail or whatever know that you shouldn't give all your energy to the stupid job; of course you should be texting your friends while you work, planning your night's activities, and when you get off work you shouldn't be drained, you should have energy to hang out, be nice to people, have a life outside of work. Anyway, when there's a whole mess of baby work to be done when you get off work; you really can't afford to work 'til you drop.
In other shitty-but-true news : if I was hiring programmers, and I had the choice between a dad and a single guy, I would not hire the dad. They would have to be massively better to compensate for the drain of children. Only young single guys will stupidly throw away their lives on work the way a manager really wants.