Parenting: Go the Fuck to Sleep

Parenting: Go the Fuck to SleepAh, parenthood! You have heard it before, but it is true; there is nothing in life quite as wonderful as becoming a parent. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved my wife. Still, the love of a parent is a different type all together. It is unfailing, unconditional, and it is a love that I never understood existed until I became a parent myself.

 

Seeing your child for the first time is incomparable to any other experience that a person can have. Watching your little bundle of joy grow fills you with a sense of love and pride like no other. Yes, I believe that being a parent truly brings more happiness to your life than any other experience possibly could. It fills your soul with more love than you can possibly imagine.

 

…Most of the time…

 

Other times, being a parent makes you want to tear your freaking hair out! It makes you wonder which head you were thinking with when you decided to bring those little monsters into the world. Listening to your 3-year-old talk for 90 minutes without taking a breath can really test your sanity. You might give yourself a pat on the back for only having a minor breakdown after your 1-year-old’s hour-long scream fest. And, as any parent will attest, you nearly go bonkers after a hard days work when all you want is a little peace and quiet…yet your precious gremlin refuses to go to sleep.

 

God, it suuuuuccccckkkkks!

 

However, possibly the worst thing that parents have to deal with is getting woken up in the middle of the night by those bloodsucking little energy vampires. I’m not talking about getting woken up by an infant either. That is tough, but you get over that because they need to eat. I’m talking about getting woken up by a preschooler. Every. Single. Night. For 2 months!!! For a glass of water…or because she misses you…or because her blankets aren’t right…or because you set the temperature at 69 instead of 70…Honestly, you just want to scream, “GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP!” When you actually refrain from doing that, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment. You are a true champion of parenthood! You feel like you have won the day!

 

Lately, I’ve been losing.

 

We don’t know why, but our 3-year-old has decided that it is fun to wake us up around 2-3 A.M. for about 35 of the last 40 nights. We’ve tried to figure out what is waking her. We’ve tried discipline. We’ve taken away privileges. We’ve tried positive reinforcement. We’ve tried ignoring it. We’ve tried it all. I think the only thing left is to just give in and try to sleep through it.  Unfortunately, the screaming is happening right outside our door, so sleeping hasn’t been a very realistic option.

 

If you are in the same boat we are, here are some cheap tips to help you sleep through the night.

 

Sound Spas

Sound spas are these cool things that are basically noise makers. We have one in our bedroom and our little rascals each have one in theirs. In theory, they are a good tool to keep the kids from getting distracted or woken by any outside noises when they are supposed to be sleeping. We use ours because we like having just a little bit of ambient noise in the room when we fall asleep.

 

Sound spas also work great when you are trying to ignore the screaming little bastards in the middle of the night. Don’t want to listen to a crying 2-year-old? Just pump up the volume on the “rainforest” setting. Tired of listening to your 3-year-old sing “Pop Goes the Weasel”…at 4 A.M.? Crank up the sound spa’s ”waterfall” feature. These can be a lifesaver when you are trying to get some badly needed sleep.

 

Ear Plugs

You’ve all seen these little foam ear plugs, right? They can be a great tool to help take the edge of any young demon’s scream. Just smash the little foam pieces with your fingers, stick them in your ears, and wallah! You have instantly decreased the screaming volume by 15-30 decibels! As a special bonus, should your power go out, you may be able to use the ear plugs later as candles. Now, that is being a resourceful frugalnista!

 

The only drawback to ear plugs is that they are not foolproof. They do not completely shut out the noise. They only decrease it. So, if you are within close range of the infernal wailing, like in a car for instance, the ear plugs may only dull the sound. Instead of a piercing shrill scream, you now have a dull echoing scream…but a scream nonetheless. I can tell you from experience that you may want to find a more substantial product if you are looking to drown out the screaming during – say – a 14-hour car ride.

 

Protective Ear Muffs

You’ve all seen those fancy looking headphone thingys that people use when they are shooting guns or near a jet engine. Those are protective ear muffs. Like ear plugs, protective ear muffs only reduce your personal hell by about 15-30 decibels. However, you can use these protective ear muffs in combination with the ear plugs to further eliminate noise.

 

Of course, sleeping with these contraptions around your head may take some getting used to. Try it for a while, and let me know what you think. (You didn’t think I was going to try this first, did you?!?)

 

Getting a your beauty sleep is important for anybody. This is especially true for parents. It takes a lot of energy to keep yourself from losing your damn mind during a 4-hour marathon of Dora the Explorer. The least your little brats could do is go the fuck to sleep. When they don’t, I hope these tips will help you to find a little peace and quiet for yourself.

 

What are your tips for getting your kids to shut up at night? Are you completely disturbed by this tongue in cheek post? Have you seen the video that I posted below (the book starts at 0:50)? Are you interested in owning a copy of the book yourself? Leave us your comments below…and don’t forget to subscribe to our feed before you go!

 

 

 

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About Greg

Greg Johnson is a proud husband, father, and debt crusader who is in the process of becoming debt free. He is the co-founder of the personal finance website Club Thrifty, where he brings the awesome sauce each and every day.

Comments

  1. I really really really now understand how difficult it can be to get a child to sleep. Holy crap! Our bundle of joy just wouldn’t go to sleep last night and the minute you left him he would start wailing. Needless to say I am feeling a little tired today.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..The Cheapest, Easiest and Best ways to learn a Language in 2013My Profile

  2. This post makes me really happy that I don’t have kids…yet. I’m sure you are right that there is nothing like being a parent, and I’m sure I will experience that someday. But for some reason all I can think about is the lack of sleep and dealing with issues like this (a kid constantly waking you up every night!).

    I hope she starts sleeping through the night. My friends are going through a similar experience with their kid and it’s not fun.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..5 Ways to Save Money on Your Energy BillMy Profile

  3. This is absolutely hysterical! Oh, the joys of parenthood! I absolutely love our kids. I’d die for them, I’d kill for them…but man you’re so right on Greg! We’ve got it even worse in that we’re outnumbered now! ;) I wish I could say that we have figured it out yet, but then I’d be lying. We just roll with the punches and try not to kill each other in the process. :)
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..How to Take the Emotion Out of InvestingMy Profile

    • She woke up around 2 last night….for a hug! It takes everything I have to quietly and patiently put her back to bed and not freak out. Last night was a success!!!

  4. This doesn’t really help you, but the best thing ever is how an old friend responds to her toddler’s screaming. She’s deaf (but has a cochlear implant), so when her toddler is screaming, she removes the implant so she can’t hear him. It’s gotten to the point that if she just makes a move to take it out he calms down dramatically because he knows the screaming is useless.
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..Kitty PoP Speaks On Wealth And ConsumptionMy Profile

    • lol, yeah- I would do the same thing! Unfortunately its always in the middle of the night. Its like setting your alarm clock to SCREAM every night at 3am just for torturous fun. It’s making us crazy, crazy people.

  5. I was just talking about the perks of having no kids with a friend last night. I’d love to have some but the sleep deprivation is not something I am looking forward to. At the moment I love taking other peoples’ kids for a night or two, but being able to give them back and get real sleep is awesome.
    Pauline recently posted..13 money resolutions for 2013: #11 give back!My Profile

  6. So funny, so true! Yes, they drive you nuts. But take it from us; when they’re out of that baby stage and getting grown up, there’ll be a part of you that will long for the days when they woke you up in the middle of the night so you could hold them. They really do grow up in the blink of an eye. Sounds to me like your sweetie is going through a transitional period. We found during those stages that gentle discipline, patience, and lots of love gets them through. Good luck with that, especially at 3am :-)
    Laurie recently posted..Motivation: Learning From OthersMy Profile

  7. Omg, this is so funny! I don’t envy you at all. We are still DINKS, but will have kids eventually. The good thing is by then you will have mastered exactly what to do to prevent her from waking up, so I will get your tips. I like the tips that you have, but I would want to know what would prevent her from waking up all together.

    This might be a question for Dr. Phil.
    Call Me What You Want Even Cheap recently posted..Life Insurance At WorkMy Profile

  8. Love, love, love this post! I love how frank you are being about the less glamorous aspects of parenting. I’ve seen that book and wanted to give it to my sisters who have trouble with their children sleeping through the night. Fortunately, I’m child free, so the only thing that wakes me up in the middle of the night is the cat or dog. Coincidentally, they both kept my fiancé and I up last night from 4-5 am, which won them both exile from the bedroom and banishment to downstairs. I guess you can’t do that with kids though eh?
    Jordann @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Why I Care About What I EatMy Profile

  9. Ha this post makes me scared to have kids! :)
    Michelle recently posted..What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?My Profile

  10. THANK YOU!! Awesome article, we are blessed with 3 vampires, but they are in school, waking at night is mostly gone, unless sick! Every “season” of children has its tough moments. This article made my day, very well written. Thank you!

  11. We’re in a similar situation with our 2 y.o. He’s incredibly verbal, but still doesn’t have the emotional wherewithall nor the ability to understand “why?” yet.

    He’s completely capable of defeating the both of us. And he’s strong willed enough to be able to not sleep any time he wants… This kid did NOT sleep a wink during a 3 hour car ride that started at 10pm. Got home at 1am and he finally fell asleep at 2am.

    We’re screwed… We live in a apartment type building with lousy sound protection between the units. When our boy doesn’t want to sleep or gets upset or frustrated he’s more than capable of screaming for 4+ hours without us being able to get him settled. We’ve had a neighobour pound on the wall at 1am because it was in hour 3 of his scream-fest…

    We are nearly at wits end.

    We cant just lock him in his room either… This kid defeated the child locks on the kitchen cabinets after 4 days when he was only 1 y.o and could barely walk.
    thestarvingartistcanada recently posted..FOOD: pizza sauceMy Profile

    • I hear ya. I hope that both of our situations are just a phase. Right now we feel as if she is holding our lives hostage. Its hard to function on such little sleep all the time. Today I have been up since 2:00 a.m.!

  12. Wow, I’m glad that I don’t have kids. I often laugh at how EVERYBODY I talk to says that “it’s great to have kids; they’re the greatest thing that will ever happen to you.” However, you talk to them 1 day later and they rant such as this. LOL. Our friends were going through a similar sleeping issue with their 2-year old. While I’m sure it really sucks, it’ll pass!

    Wouldn’t the ear plugs be unsafe if you were to try to sleep in them? I’d be scared they’d go too far into my ear if I slept on my side.
    Jason recently posted..Tips to Save Money on your Cable BillMy Profile

    • Don’t get me wrong, Jason. Having kids is amazing…just not ALL the time. Sometimes it is stressful. It is still way more good than bad though in my opinion!

  13. I can imagine waking up and thinking, “Who’s that kid crying in the rainforest?”
    AverageJoe recently posted..College Planning Strategy: A Creative (and Effective) OptionMy Profile

  14. Here is my tip – Grandparents! Convince your parents and kids that sleep overs are fun….. it will work at least once!

    Seriously though, I remember those days – not fun – but after you make sure nothing is really wrong, you do have to ignore them and set a pattern that allows the entire family to sleep – eventually it will happen.
    Marie at FamilyMoneyValues recently posted..Family Culture Factors Affecting Long Term WealthMy Profile

  15. I laughed when I first heard the story read by SLJ. It is great. I don’t have a child yet, but my baby doesn’t want to sleep. Some days I just want to pull my hair out. I know my wife does!
    Debt Roundup recently posted..Global Investment and the Fiscal Cliff – The Markets PerspectiveMy Profile

  16. My wife got me two books before our son was born:
    1. Was the Go the Fuck to sleep
    2. How not to Kill your baby.

    The second one is probably one of the greatest books ever written for the soon to be parent (mostly for dad)

  17. Haha I really like that childrens book. It is so true! I think i will take my time with having kids precisely for the fact that I really like to sleep through the night.
    Debt and the Girl recently posted..This is my 100th Post!!My Profile

    • Me too. I don’t do well without sleep. Greg functions a lot better, mostly because he is used to getting up in the middle of the night for his job. Not sleeping makes me useless!

  18. I don’t get the I just need a hug. Did I not give you four hundred right before bed? At five, we don’t go through this as often, but it still goes in phases. Usually a week or so at a time, then sleeps like mad. All things are less tolerable when Mommy gets no sleep too, so it’s like a vortex. I think we’ll laugh about it someday.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..How to Retire in Ten Years, Regardless of Your AgeMy Profile

  19. I don’t have kinds (and have never wanted them) but this made me laugh so hard. Not laughing at you of course, but just what you wrote. Thank you for being refreshingly honest about what it’s like to be a parent. Too often you just hear the one-sided, “oh it’s just the most precious thing to be a parent, when are you going to have kids.” Thankfully, now that I’m 42 I can just say, “I’m too old.” :) They can’t question that. The other day I went over to my producer’s house to pick up something for work. He had 3 screaming kids going all at the same time. The mom looked like she was at the end of her rope, and my producer exclaimed that he “couldn’t wait to get on a fucking flight to mexico” the next day for work. :)
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Food Wastin’ Hair DilemmaMy Profile

    • Truthfully, I enjoy my kids waaaaaaaaaaay more than they frustrate me. But, you’re right that it isn’t all rainbows and ponies. There are difficult moments. Luckily we can laugh about them =)

  20. This post = better than condoms!
    Kathleen, Frugal Portland recently posted..Spirituality lesson from my baby sisterMy Profile

  21. OMG, I am still laughing as I type this! My daughter is almost 3 and I haven’t hit this phase yet. But when I do, I will refer back to this post to help me get through it :)
    Mackenzie recently posted..Would You Spend Money On It?My Profile

  22. Read the book. It was cute language was horrible. Will never read it to a child. We did not have this problem. We went the other way. Our child slept through everything. We could not even wake him up to feed. He ate on his schedule.

  23. When our girls were younger, we had earplugs. THere was just no other way. The earmuffs thing you said reminds me of Old School when he says “earmuffs” to the kid anytime they’re gonna say something “bad” and the kid covers his ears, haha
    TB at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..Snowplow Proofing Your MailboxMy Profile

  24. As someone who’s kid has slept through the night twice in the last 6 months, I can sympathize for sure. I’ve been there many a time for a 2 hour struggle at 3am to get our little man to sleep. For us, it’s exhausting, but we really do just remind oursleves what a blessing he is from God, and though it’s tough now, it’s not forever. Also, don’t listen to that one Darius Ruck song, “It won’t be like this for long”, unless you want to sob like a little girl who lost her favorite Barbie.

    I have heard stories that I was this exact same way as a kid, so I guess I’m just taking my own medecine, LoL. But man, like you said, no matter how zombified we are each morning, nothing could ever stop us from loving those little rascals, even though we might spend the whole morning banding our head against the coffee table :)
    Jacob @ iHeartBudgets recently posted..Churning Credit Cards For Travel and Hotel RewardsMy Profile

    • Totally agree!

      I think what happened is that we got spoiled. Our two kids have been amazing sleepers and we have had uninterrupted sleep for the last year until the last two months. Then all of a sudden we were being woken up every night for weeks on end. It’s making us crazy.

      But we still love ‘em and it’s hard to stay mad at them for long!

  25. Gosh, this must be sooo frustrating. I think your post added an extra year or two to my future baby plan, haha. Let us know how it goes!

  26. I can defiantly relate to your kids getting up in the middle of the night. My 5 year old will get up in the middle of the night sometimes because wants a drink of water or to go potty but what’s worse is he won’t tap me on the shoulder, instead he’ll stand their patiently staring me in the eyes until I realize someone there at which point he freaks me the F*%# OUT. I love my kids but why do they have to do this to me.

    Awesome article Greg, and hang in there I’ve found sometimes kids just want to do things in there own time.

  27. This was great…thanks for the laughs! With four of my own, I can clearly empathize with your joys and frustrations that come with the kiddos. We use box fans at our house to drown out noise. We have one in every bedroom (including our own) running every night. Seems to keep them from getting awake from outside noises.
    Brian Fourman recently posted..Ain’t Nobody Got Time For ThatMy Profile

    • Yeah, that is why we use the sound spas. We use the waterfall setting, which is basically ambient noise like a fan. Glad I could make you laugh :D

  28. When my niece was 3 she was waking up every night at 2am and screaming for no reason as well. It lasted for about a year. Her parents tried ignoring it, they tried sitting with her, all kinds of stuff. Many times she wasn’t fully awake either. When I babysat once she did the same thing and I just talked to her until she woke up. Then asked her what was wrong and she said nothing.

    Anyways, that was enough to show me that I never wanted to have my own kids.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..How Do You Define Success?My Profile

    • Yup! I’ve done the same thing with our little one and have gotten the same response. Kids really are awesome, but sometimes they can certainly be trying.

  29. SO I guess this post is reminding me why we don’t have kids yet…my ovaries just did a couple of somersaults…

  30. As other commenters have mentioned, it helps to remember everything is a phase with little kids!

    I worked as a nanny for a couple years, and while I was off at night I do vividly remember how frustrating it was when a kid wouldn’t fall asleep during break time, I mean nap time. :) Good luck!
    Alison Elissa Horner recently posted..Love, Money, Or BothMy Profile

  31. Definitely confirms I am not ready to be a mom haha! I hope your little one starts sleeping better!
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  32. This was great. I’m not a parent yet but I don’t know what I would do if my child woke me up in the middle of the night for a hug laugh or cry lol. I’ve been learning so much about being a parent by all these great posts by PF bloggers that are parents. No one said it would be easy but for love anything is worth it.
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling In Canada Part 2 of 2My Profile

    • Honestly, there really is nothing more fulfilling than watching your kids learn and grow! But, don’t let anybody fool you. There are these moments as well!

  33. K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! says:

    I had heard about the book sometime ago and found it hysterically funny. Then again I have yet to have a child so I can only imagine the level of frustration you’re experiencing with your toddler!
    Good luck to you both!
    K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! recently posted..All Yuh Mad! Trinidad MomentsMy Profile

  34. I don’t have kids yet, but this post had me laughing out loud. I know it’s not funny when it’s your kid and you can’t sleep. I worry about my ability to censor myself with kids (but I suspect if I can do it with clients I can probably do it with a 3 year old). Hang in there.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..Honoring Dr. King’s Birthday With a Day Off?My Profile

  35. This post just perfectly summarized alf of my reasons for not ever wanting to have kids. I cannot even function on six hours of sleep. If I sleep four hours, I become homicidal.
    Good Luck to you and your kids! I hope it is going to get better. Eventually. :)
    Aloysa @ My Broken Coin recently posted..What No One Ever Tells You About Costa RicaMy Profile

  36. Yikes! I can barely handle it when we babysit for friends for a weekend, and you’ve been dealing with it for two months?

    I salute you!

    Great product suggestions too!
    Alex @ Searching for Happy recently posted..Happy Thought of the Day: Mail!My Profile

  37. As someone who’s never been married and has no kids, I enjoyed this post and the F bomb in the title! Great post!
    Eddie recently posted..Finance Fox Blog Redesign Complete!My Profile

  38. hahaha My aunt bought that book for my husband for our baby shower. My daughter is almost 8months and STILL waking every 3hrs on average. WTH?! I know she’s not hungry, or cold, or have a wet bum etc she just wants mommy or the boob. AS SOON as I pick her up, shes usually sound asleep or will fuss till I nurse her. Kinda sweet but she needs to learn!

    When I was a nanny the 2.5yr old also use to wake at 5am every morning. We put a clock in his room and put electrical tape over the minutes and told him he wasn’t allowed to leave his room until he saw the #7….His parents (2 pediatricians…) also put a baby gate outside his bedroom door so he couldn’t leave his room. Good luck guys!
    Catherine recently posted..The Value of A Dollar Through Life’s StagesMy Profile

    • We nearly had to do the baby gate thing as well. She finally stopped leaving her room at about 2.5 months. Right now, she is just in a phase.

      Good luck to you too. She’ll learn eventually. We have been spoiled because our kids have been such good sleepers, until now. Your daughter will get the hang of it too.

  39. *gasp* No you didn’t!

    Yes, sometimes parenting can make you want to claw your own eyes out, huh? 3′s a tough age, especially if you have a sensitive/strong-willed child. Our oldest is this way and we had to get tough on her for a while. Made me feel horrible, but a little threatening goes a long way. I would just have to figure out what mattered to her most at the time and threaten to take it away. For the longest time she was “scared” of the smoke detector light in the hallway (seriously) and would freak out if she could see it from her room. After night after night of being a terror to put to bed and stay in bed, I think I threatened her with leaving her door open wide enough to see that light, and she quickly changed her tune. LOL Mean I know, right? Sometimes you gotta do what works!

    The older she got, reward charts really worked well. And now that she’s five, the thread of a spanking is all I need.
    Lena @ WhatMommyDoes recently posted..Spring Playdate Ideas for 2- to 5-Year-OldsMy Profile

    • Oh yes I did!!!! ;)

      We have tried taking everything away, being super nice, no shows or treats, etc. She got a call from Santa Claus right before Christmas, and that worked…for about a week. However, she seems like she is starting to come around, and I am so very greatful!

  40. OMG I feel your pain!! My two and four year olds BOTH get up in the middle of the night every night! And my oldest fights sleep so hard it literally takes me almost three hours after laying her down to get her to sleep. Frustrating!! Nothing has worked for me so I don’t have any tips except to get used to it lol
    Alexa recently posted..A Kid-Free Weekend for Me and A Free Book for One of YouMy Profile

  41. What’s been working for me is moving down to the guest bedroom. The kids are too afraid of going downstairs at night to bother me and too scared to leave their rooms when there’s no longer dad down the hall. Fear is a powerful behavior management tool.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Parenting: Go the Fuck to Sleep- Club Thrifty [...]

  2. [...] Thrifty: Parenting: Go the Fuck to Sleep. <<< Because this is exactly how I [...]

  3. [...] Greg at Club Thrifty writes a hilarious diatribe about children who refuse to sleep at night. [...]

  4. [...] Parenting: Go The F*** to Sleep! by Club Thrifty [...]

  5. [...] Thrifty’s post on how their child is waking up at 2 in the morning every night reminded me why we don’t have kids yet. I think my ovaries were thanking me as I read the [...]

  6. [...] Parenting: Go the Fuck to Sleep [...]

  7. [...] feel the best I have felt for years.  I feel aware, healthy, and full of energy.  Aside from not getting any sleep, I feel like a million bucks.  I have to think that it has something to do with our meat free diet [...]

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