The Best Parent Life Hack To Keep Your Sanity

A Strategy That Eased All The Frustration

    It’s 8pm and time for Baby Bird to go to bed. The usual bed time routine is taking place. First we change her diaper, then put her sleeper on, then put her in her sleep sack. Then she feeds, gets drowsy, and finally we begin the ‘soothe to sleep’ process.  Rocking, bouncing, singing, or all of the above.  We do whatever works on that particular day.  Bedtime is something we look forward to because it means that Mama Bird and I get a few hours of hang out time whether it be working on the blog, watching TV or discussing our life dreams and how we hope to achieve them (always a fun conversation).  But tonight, the routine isn’t working. Throughout the entire process Baby Bird has been resisting. It’s getting difficult to deal with. Now, before you judge me on being a dead beat, impatient parent, let’s back up a bit and put things in perspective.

    The previous night was not a good one. Actually the previous 5 nights were not good ones. Baby Bird has been consistently getting up multiple times throughout the night. And tonight made 5 nights in a row. That’s 5 nights of disrupted sleep all compiled. So this morning when my alarm went off at 5am it felt too early, even for me. But regardless I got up (because my morning routine is more important than sleep in my mind) and quietly made my way downstairs. I fed the dogs and let them outside. I heated up my breakfast and grabbed a coffee. I set everything in front of my work station (which is my spot at the kitchen table with my computer), and I’m ready to start my day off right. This is one of my favourite moments of the day. It’s quiet, it’s dark outside…and inside too.  I only like to have 1 tiny light on in the morning. It just feels right. I have my coffee, breakfast, water, and computer in front of me as well as the baby monitor. The dogs are sleeping on the floor beside me. It’s time to start writing and working and getting my day going. I’m confident Baby Bird will stay sleeping for a few hours because she just got up a couple hours ago for a feed and a poop. I have plenty of time.    

    Wrong! Before I’m even done my breakfast, about 10 minutes since I sat down, and all of a sudden I hear her crying on the baby monitor and see her flailing her arms and legs. I think to myself “Are you kidding me! Well, I guess there won’t be work time for me this morning!” Begrudgingly, I make my way upstairs to get her changed and then take her to Mama Bird for a feed. After she is done, I take her back to her room and begin the attempt to get her back to sleep. The process is not working. It doesn’t seem to matter what position I put her in. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m walking, bouncing, or rocking. Nothing is working. She is wiggling and expressing her discontent. So downstairs we go, because she isn’t going back to sleep which means my quiet morning time for work is cut short. Abruptly.

    So after the morning of getting nothing accomplished, I’m hopeful the day will have a better flow to it. Wrong again! The day is filled with crying, screaming, and no naps from Baby Bird.  Which means frustration, tiredness, and anxiety from Mama Bird and I. So now fastforward to the current bed time with Baby Bird still not having it. It doesn’t matter what I seem to do, she just isn’t receptive to it. Mama Bird asks if she can make an attempt at it but I say, “Thanks but no I got this”. I am stubborn and determined to get her to fall asleep. It’s tough but I am up for the challenge.  But tonight I’m trying a different approach.  

    I start talking to Baby Bird, but not in the usual high voice that most people talk to babies in. I start talking to her like I’m a boss at a big company and she is an employee that came into my office and we have to discuss her performance, in a calm professional way. I say, “Alright baby, I know it has been a tough week and a really rough day. I’m sure you probably have some poo pains and you’re teething. Now I know that’s not fun to go through but you can’t take it out on your Mom and I. It’s just not right.” As I’m talking to her, she actually stops squirming and crying and starts listening (or what I think is listening. It’s probably just her trying to process, “why is my Dad making so much noise”). I continue with, “I’m going to need you to start improving your attitude and stop crying because it isn’t benefitting anyone and is not conducive to a healthy household. In fact, it makes it quite difficult for us to deal with you and I know that’s not how you want to come across. You’re an amazing baby and everybody loves you. You are going to have to stay calm and know that everything is ok. Now I just want to spend some time with your Mom, so you really need to fall asleep and stay asleep for me. Ok?” 

    It was instantaneous relief. Literally every bit of frustration I had built up from the past 5 days was all gone. It was great! And on top of that, while I was talking, she fell asleep. Boom! That’s what I’m talking about! That’s how it’s done! I set her in her crib and came downstairs for a nice night with Mama Bird. Life hack achievement unlocked. Talk to your baby like a boss! If you are ever feeling like you’re ready to pull your hair out from frustration with your baby, all I can say is talk it out.  Just talk it out. You release all that frustration through communication and now you’re all good to go. But now I want to hear from you, what parent life hacks have changed your life? What works best for you? Let me know in the comments down below and don't forget to share this on social media or with anyone you know who hasn't read it!

- Papa Bird