The older kid has night terrors and the baby is teething, so you got about 15 minutes of sleep last night. You're so bleary-eyed that you'd trade a kidney for a day in bed, but that ain't happening. Because you're a mom. So how are you supposed to make it through the day without passing out on top of your children and crushing them? Try some of these proven sleep deprivation survival tactics:
Suggest a game of hide and seek. Always hide in your bed.
Chase your coffee with a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew. Avoid water, which will do nothing for you, unless you're spraying it at your face.
RELATED: 20 Signs You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom
Initiate imaginative play. I know, sounds exhausting, but here are the only roles for you: comatose patient in a hospital, napping baby in a family or inanimate tea party utensil, but not like the talking kind from "Beauty and the Beast." The totally silent and still kind.
Allow the kids to turn the master bedroom into a giant pillow fort. Offer to test it. Tell them to add more blankets.
Invite someone over. Literally, anyone. The refrigerator repairman will do a better job playing with your kids right now than you.
Turn on the TV (Duh). Pro tip: if you're hoping to rest your eyes, you don't want anyone whining for you to fast-forward through commercials or search for the next show. You need a series on Netflix that will automatically play every episode while you space out. "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" is probably a better choice than "Orange is the New Black," but I'm not judging.
Close the blinds, hide the clocks and yawn a lot while you serve dinner at 4:30 p.m. Is it bedtime already?
Play salon. You can sit still with your eyes closed while they ruin your hair and makeup. Just hide the scissors.
Bust out the emergency toys. Those gifts you were saving for Christmas? Looks like Christmas came early! Anything that distracts your children so that you can put in minimal effort is money well spent.
Have a dance party. But forget about kids' music—play whatever it takes to wake your ass up, even if it's gangsta rap. Kids gotta learn some time.
Call your lifeline. Your mom lives 3,000 miles away? That's no excuse for not babysitting. Strap kids into high chairs and Facetime her so she can sing songs and read stories while you smack yourself repeatedly in the face.
Play the "Quiet Game." Whoever stays quiet the longest will win an amazing prize that you'll figure out just as soon as you Zzzzzzzzzz.
Turn the A/C on full blast and play the "Frozen" soundtrack. The cold will keep you awake.
Go visit Daddy at work. Surprise, honey! It's your children. Don't mind me, I'm just going to stretch out on your office couch for a second.
Inspire your kids to play independently with just three simple words: clean-up time! They will beg for "five more minutes," during which you will lie down. And since they have no sense of time, five minutes might be 50.
Fake an early bedtime. Close the blinds, hide the clocks and yawn a lot while you serve dinner at 4:30 p.m. Is it bedtime already? We all have our pajamas on, so it must be! Nighty night.
Photograph by: Amy Wruble