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This viral photo shows one genius father's nap hack 😂

He's posing while his kids draw him (but also napping).

This viral photo shows one genius father's nap hack 😂

As much as we would all love to be present for our children there's something we don't often admit aloud: Not only is playing with kids hard work, it can get boring. When we've been running around fulfilling all our grownup responsibilities, even a simple tea party or game of Candyland can feel so hard. One exhausted dad in Colorado recently came up with the perfect solution to this problem.


"I'll keep the kids so you can grocery shop in peace," Michael Weber, a father of four and OR nurse told his wife Monica, according to her viral Facebook post from November.

"I'm pretty sure he's the most brilliant man I've ever known," Monica, a doula in Fort Collins, wrote. "He has them doing 'realism art' while he 'poses' AKA naps. The winner gets a chocolate, but let's be honest, @michael.w.weberjr is the one winning lmao."

Indeed, the photo shows their four kids attentively drawing their dad, as he reclines, eyes closed, on the sofa.

Before you go thinking he devised this clever trick out of laziness or reluctance to play, Monica explained to Motherly that Michael had just finished an overnight shift at work. But since it was cold and snowy outside, and the kids were being rambunctious, he thought they'd be too much for his wife to handle at the grocery store.

"We recently moved from New Jersey, where all our friends and family were, so we have had to think of ingenious ways to balance it all," she told us. "When I arrived back and called my oldest to come help with groceries he informed me that I had to be really quiet because they were doing 'realism art' and if dad moved it would ruin their hard work."

The rules of the contest were that the most complete drawing would get the chocolate prize, thus keeping them glued to the spot for the 20 or so minutes of Monica's trip to the store. The four Weber kids were old enough to realize what their dad was doing (and old enough to rouse him from his light snooze if they needed to) but since they all enjoy art anyway, they played along.

"[Michael] spent the first eight years of our kiddos' lives in the military, and since he was always coming or going, I got stuck being the rule maker and him the fun one," Monica said. "He never really outgrew that role."

Michael's favorite parenting technique is to make contests of things, as he did this time.

"I wouldn't say we have any ingenious hacks, we're just regular parents with four fun and adventurous kids trying to do our best," Monica said when we asked if they had any other brilliant ideas to share. "There are plenty of days the house is a mess and everyone is out of sorts, which is why I thought it was important to celebrate these little parenting victories."

Monica's post has been shared 36,000 times and has 28,000 likes since she posted it a little over a month ago.

We wouldn't be surprised if a few more parents became live models for budding artists before winter break is over!

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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