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Exhausted Mom (and Dad) Survival Kit

Heather van Mil58 comments12550 views

Let me set the scene for you. It was 5 am and my toddler was up for the day. This isn’t unusual, but when added on top of 2 nights of her not sleeping much at all, baking and decorating 48 elaborate cupcakes for my daughter’s class party, mad holiday prep and regular workload, this mama was at her wit’s end. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open and the coffee to my lips; the thought of entertaining a very active, danger magnet was more than I could fathom at the time.

Luckily (or unluckily) for me, I have had lots of practice keeping my kids alive and fairly happy with little to no movement. Between 2 horrendously ill, medicated, bed rest filled pregnancies AND 2 patellar (knee cap) dislocations (not to mention 2 kiddos who don’t like to sleep much), I have spent more than my fair share of time on the couch trying to keep my sanity and theirs. With our family 3000 miles away, I’ve had to be pretty ingenious about it too. Lucky for you, I’m happy to share my secrets!

I started out calling these Lazy Mom games, as a tongue-in-cheek moniker, but really they are Exhausted, Injured, Sick, Breastfeeding, Fill-In-The-Adjective Mom (and Dad!) Games for those times when your hands are full or you just can’t manage to get up for whatever reason!

1. Possum: One of my favourites that involves the least amount of effort. Kids run around like mad while you snooze  sip your coffee. Every once in a while you shout out “DANGER” and they drop to the floor pretending to be dead. Leave them there as long as you like before saying “Danger’s gone”. Repeat.

2. Fetch: Fairly self-explanatory; find a soft object or ball to throw, child runs after it and brings in back in their mouth. Give their head a pat and repeat. For variety, pretend to throw it and hide it behind your back while they try to find it. This little variation can extend each round significantly.

3. Bubble Wrap Jump: If you happen to have some bubble wrap around the house, this is a special treat that will not only give you some rest but entertainment as well. My toddler and 6-year-old can spend hours jumping up and down on a sheet of bubble wrap, giggling their heads off. Priceless!

4. Animal Abracadabra: Anything can be a magic wand in this game – a stick, a pencil crayon, a fork – whatever! You wave your wand and say the magic words “Abracadabra bibbity bog, I turn Aven into a dog!” and tap them on the head. They then move and make the sounds of said animal for a few minutes. Repeat. This involves a little more brainpower as the magic only works when you rhyme the 3rd word with the name of the animal. Also beware, your kids might want a turn with the magic wand and then rest time is over

5. Drive the Car: My kids LOVE getting the chance to sit in the front seat of the car and pretend to drive. I usually save this game for when I need to clean the car out because it smells like something has died, or send a few emails, but there’s nothing to say you couldn’t catch a siesta in the passenger seat while they go to town (figuratively, not literally – I suggest hiding the keys and checking that they can’t release the emergency brake first 😉 )

6. When all else fails, you’ve run out of games and the kids are threatening mutiny, Netflix is a lifesaver. They have so many kids shows that I’m actually happy to sit down and enjoy with the kids, and the continuous play feature works a charm when you’ve accidentally fallen asleep you’re just resting your eyes. My favourites for my toddler are Curious George and SuperWhy, while my 6-year-old is currently obsessed with Littlest Pet Shop. They both also love any live action movie with animals (Babe, Pet Party, Air Bud 1-6000, etc), and I was SUPER excited to check out the newly released All Hail king Julian.

Because I know how hard it is to be a parent of young children, and I love ya’ll so much, I’m giving away not one but TWO Exhausted Mom (and Dad) Survival Kits! These life savers include a gift card to the coffee shop of your choice, the Lazy Mom Games essentials; magic wand, fetch ball and bubble wrap (I kid you not – best toy ever), PLUS a 1 year subscription to Netflix!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Whether you win or not, enjoy these games and know there is light at the end of the tunnel – I promise! Tell me what simple games do you do with your kids? I need to add to my repertoire! 


All on the Table Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam program, and receive special perks for sharing all my family’s favourites with you. I was not financially compensated for this post, and I would never share anything less than superbly stellar with my fave readers! 


  1. I would put in Coffee, Chocolate, Blanket to make a fort and lots of DVD’s (or Netflix works too).

  2. A tablet (if I had one) or smartphone (which I have), diet Pepsi, gum and emergency snacks.

    1. you have your instagram handle wrong in the rafflecopter. It should be heather_vmil (without the underscore it comes up page not found) 🙂

  3. I would put coffee, hot chocolate, a soft and cozy blanket, a small bottle of Advil or Excedrin, Maybe a few candles and a gift card to Redbox or Netflix in my gift basket for exhausted moms and dads. 🙂

  4. Takeout menus and gift cards for local eateries, coffee, nuts and other snacks, coloring books, movies, and an offer for one night babysitting service.

  5. Honestly my dog is a huge source of help in moments like these because the two of them will just play and play – I just need a big basket!

  6. I would put lots if coffee and and when I am stressed I like to watch disaster movies like Titanic or Armegeddon . I dont know why but it seems to reduce my stress lol so I would put a couple of DVDs in there

  7. Some hot cocoa, Tylenol, a box for them to be entertained with some bubble wrap in it. That way they are busy while I’m relaxing with my hot cocoa.

  8. i would put in coffee and chocolate for me and games and bubble for my kids

  9. We play a lot of simon says. Mostly Simon says to be quiet and freeze for long periods of time 😉 I would add duck-tape, headphones, tequila and comfy pajamas to my survival kit.

  10. Hi! I would put a gift certificate to a babysitter so they could go out or just get some sleep. Thank-you for this generous chance. 🙂

  11. I would put in some chocolate, wine and bubble bath :). Thanks for the great giveaway.

  12. Mine would include card games, a dvd player & mp3 players with headphones for the kids… and for mommy some coffee with bailey’s, a heated magic bag for my sore back, my laptop & a great book.

  13. I would put in gift certificates for cleaning services so that someone else can come clean my house!

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