It’s been over a year since I wrote my last blog post. You see, I had a baby. And while I went on maternity leave from my nine to five job, I didn’t anticipate going on maternity leave from blogging. How naive was I. My “writing time” became “baby time.” More accurately, all of my time became baby time. As I’m sure most new parents can attest to, those early weeks and months of parenthood are like being in a zombie-like state complete with the slow dragging walk and constant wakefulness. Time is no longer your own and sleep and energy become non-existent. “Nap when your baby naps,” I read countless times. But what happens when your baby never naps or only sleeps when glued to you? I thought I’d blog while my baby slept. Clearly I underestimated the degree of sleep deprivation I’d suffer from and the total lack of creative energy I’d have as a result. Because my daughter was very colicky for nearly five straight months and would only sleep while being held, I used the time I couldn’t devote to thinking up and typing out blog posts to doing what I’ve always loved to do: watch movies.
I have to admit, those early months of being up all night and surviving on two or three hours of sleep a day tested me physically and emotionally like nothing ever had before. In those wee hours of the morning while my daughter slept soundly in my arms after I made numerous attempts to lay her down in her bassinet, I watched movies. Movies became a comfort and a salvation for me as I adjusted to being awake almost all day and night. Movies helped me get to the hour when my husband and I would switch “shifts” and it would be my turn to sleep briefly. Movies helped me during those trying days when my daughter would cry uninterrupted for hours at a time and I couldn’t hear the volume of the movies over her cries, but it didn’t matter because I’d seen the movies so many times that I knew what was being said and what was going on (oh, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Weird Science, how well I’ve come to know thee.)
I became acutely aware; certainly in a way that I never fully appreciated before, that movies have the unique ability to make me feel better and that to escape reality even briefly is itself a special form of rest and rejuvenation. When I think back to those sleepless nights with my daughter sound asleep and cradled in my arms while watching 80’s films that I love, I smile. Though the sleeplessness was hard, cuddling with my baby while engaging in my favourite hobby of watching films was pretty special. When my daughter grows up I’ll tell her about those days and nights she spent asleep in my arms while we sit down with a bucket of popcorn and a good movie, just like when she was a newborn and I was a new mom.