I don't know how they do it. Parents, that is.
A select few of Jo's family have arrived at our local airport's doorstep all the way from the UK: Isobel, her mother; Jane, her little sister; and Georgia, Jane's one year old baby. It's a pity Jo's father wasn't able to join the party.
We got home at about 22:00, and after some sorting out Jane has decided to sleep on the sofa next to the cage (aka porter cot) we got for Georgia to sleep in. You see, we expected Georgia's jetlag to attack us, and attack us it did!
Come 4:00am, I first woke up with the sound of a "boom". Then came another boom, which was quickly followed by "how can you ignore me" type crying.
I got up with a headache (helped by this cold that I have) to see that Georgia was throwing toys from her cage in a bid for some attention. Then Jane got up and all was well and I could go back to bed; the thing is, the saga didn't end there for Jane.
The crying carried on for a while (enough to ruin a good night's sleep). Eventually, they went to bed together on the sofa.
I'll go back to my original statement: I don't know how parents can cope with that over a lengthy duration of years. No one ceases all the other pressures they have when the baby pops out; if anything, they have the additional pressures of less time for work accompanied by the need for more money in order to be able to maintain the lifestyle they're used to.
Things are even harder in the case of single parents. Both Jane and my sister are, in effect, single parents (the similarities between them do not end there, even though they never met and probably will never meet either - but that's probably a potential subject for another post); you can see how their lives end and everything now has to revolve around their babies.
There's enough food for thought in last night to make everyone doubt whether the need imprinted in all of us to advance the progression of our genes is worth the effort.