Yep, that’s right. If you want to ensure both parents are sharing the load equally, you’ve got to think outside the box. Or look into the toy box.
When Samantha Mravik-Miller from Wisconsin was in the hospital in December 2019 after giving birth to her baby, she shared a photo to Facebook that wasn’t the usual new baby pic. It wasn’t of the sleeping newborn or the besotted parents. It was of the Nerf gun she packed in her hospital bag to make sure her husband didn’t sleep while she was awake with their new baby.
“Worried about the nights in the hospital with your new born [sic] & dad sleeping?” Mravik-Miller wrote in the caption. “Well … then don’t forget one of these in your hospital bag.”
When moms all over the world quit their virtual high-fives, they commented on the post in droves.
“This will be a game changer if we ever have another one,” one wrote, tagging her husband. Another fan of the idea advised her (presumably pregnant) friend to “practice your aim.” Still another tagged her significant other, saying, “Wish I would’ve had this instead of hitting you with ketchup packets.”
Mravik-Miller packed the Nerf gun because when her 5-year-old was born (she also has an 11-year-old), her husband slept through an incident in which she could have used his help.
In a Facebook video she posted later to explain her decision to bring the toy, she said that she had been put on oxygen for 12 hours during the labor for her 5-year-old, losing her voice as a result. At one point, she couldn’t reach her crying baby but had been awake for almost 48 hours straight. She could not find the call light to summon a nurse, so she ended up throwing a water bottle at her husband to wake him and missing; she had to get up and get her baby herself while still in recovery.
This time, on the morning she had a scheduled C-section, she found the Nerf gun under a table while cleaning up and decided to pack it knowing her recovery was likely to be more difficult than her previous experience.
“So I packed it, and I thought to myself, ‘Well, if there’s ever a point where the baby’s crying and I can’t wake him up, I’m going to have way better aim with a Nerf gun than an empty flimsy water bottle,'” she explains in her video.
However, it turned out that the weapon stayed in her hospital pack after all. Romper reports that her husband found it and asked her, “What the heck, did you bring a Nerf gun?”
“I told him better sleep with one eye open,” Mravik-Miller told Romper. And that seemed to do the trick.
Her video includes a disclaimer exonerating her husband: “I never had to use the Nerf gun,” she said. “I never used it, he was super super good — aside from snoring super loud.”