Torture-by-Baby: A Dad's Uncensored Take on Parenting

Writer Michael Lewis says that too few people tell the ugly truth about parental love -- or the lack of it

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Not many parents would publicly admit that they thought about throwing their sleep-deprivation-inducing newborn off a balcony. But writer Michael Lewis decided that it was important to tell the ugly truth about the development of parental love. In his book "Home Game," he talks about learning to be a father to his three children. Lewis talks to The Takeaway about the joys and travails of being a dad.
Read an excerpt from his book, Home Game.

"If you wanted to extract a confession from a terrorist, just make him take care of my child for a week. That would be enough."

— "Home Game" author Michael Lewis


Michael Lewis

Hosted by:

Andrea Bernstein

Comments [3]


My first baby didn't sleep for more than 3 hours at a time for the first 6 months. He could wake up 6 or 8 times in a night. It is incredibly debilitating to be sleep deprived over a long period of time. It is actually impossible to feel, to think clearly, or to process the experience as it is happening. I didn't feel love for my baby; I didn't feel much of anything. I was a zombie. I loved him by waking up every time he cried, no matter how painful it was. It was only much, much later that my emotions caught up with my new reality. I don't think it's narcissistic to warn parents-to-be that sleep deprivation is torture and causes you to have trouble processing thoughts and feelings-it is simple physiology. If you know someone with a new baby, please don't criticise them-go over and take care of the baby for an hour so they can have a nap. They don't need to be told that they are selfish because they can't feel love for the baby that wakes them up in the night-they need sleep!

Jun. 04 2009 06:01 PM

Seems to me like he's just trying to say there is more than one kind of parenting experience. Just the way that happy parents discuss their feelings, he should be able to discuss his and possibly give hope to other people who can't say how they feel because of just this type of criticism. I am sorry for the loss of your child, and I am sure Michael Lewis is too now that he has developed the kind of love that a father should have for his children. He would probably be the first person to offer his condolences.

Jun. 03 2009 10:19 AM

I don't think Michael Lewis is brave. As someone who just lost my first baby ( due to a birth injury) and expecting another, his self indulgent musings annoy me. what I wouldn't give to be up all night with a screaming baby. We live in a time where parents are too self centered. I don't think my parents read a single book on parenthood, and they are amzing parents. I find a lot of the new books written by parents,to be about how these people are so used to being the center of their universe and have a hard time shifting their consciousness and letting go of their ego. Too much navel gazing if you ask me.
Anne, Brooklyn Heights

Jun. 03 2009 09:42 AM

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