Mike Weber, an operating room charge nurse, created a special memory for his family despite being exhausted after a 12-hour shift.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 21, 2023. It has since been updated.
The Weber family could have been just another family struggling to get out the door. But thanks to Mike Weber's creative parenting hack, they managed to turn a stressful situation into a beautiful moment. We all know parenting can be an overwhelming experience. But at the same time, it can also be filled with beautiful, unforgettable moments. Weber, an operating room charge nurse, created one of these special moments in 2019 when he stepped up to help his wife, Monica, with their four kids despite being exhausted after a 12-hour overnight shift.
"It was snowy out and I was trying to convince the kids to cooperate and get dressed so we could run down the road for some groceries," Monica Weber told TODAY Parents. "My husband saw I was not being successful and was a tad stressed, so he insisted the kids stay with him while I grabbed some groceries and a bit of alone time."
Having just returned from a long shift, Weber came up with an ingenious idea to keep their kids occupied while Monica ran to the store. He promised a chocolate bar to the person who would complete the most realistic drawing of him sleeping on the couch.
Monica came home to find her kids "doing realism art," quietly drawing her husband while he took a nap. She snapped a photo of her kids—who ranged in age from 12 to 5 at the time—and shared it on Facebook, commending her husband for his ingenuity.
"When I got back I called my son to help with the groceries and he begged me to be really quiet as I came in because they were doing 'realism art,'" said Monica. "When I walked in, they were all sitting quietly drawing my husband asleep on the couch. When I asked what they were doing they said, 'Dad promised a chocolate bar to the person who has the most complete drawing and said if we were loud and woke him up before everyone was done then he would move and we would have to start all over so please be quiet so he doesn't wake up.'"
For those concerned about the only adult in the house sleeping while young children are in the house, Monica wrote on Facebook: "Between his time in the military and job as an OR nurse, he is the lightest sleeper ever. The two oldest are more than capable of letting him know if something needed his attention although he would likely wake up well before they even thought to wake him. I was gone maybe 20 minutes, no one was hurt, no houses burned down [and] no eyes poked out with pencils."
In a world where parenting can often be lonely and overwhelming, Weber's creative parenting hack was a reminder to celebrate the little things that bring joy and create lasting memories for kids.
"You have times in your parenting journey where the house is a mess, the kids are fighting and everyone is acting crazy—and then there are times like this where it seems all the stars align so I figured it was something worth celebrating," said Monica. "My husband is notorious for reminding me to celebrate the little things that bring us joy so all the tough days don't swallow you up, and this was just another example of one of his off-the-wall ideas making lasting memories for our kids."
He demonstrated that it's possible to turn a stressful situation into a beautiful moment. Weber's creative parenting hack was a lesson to us all that parenting can be a difficult experience, but it can also be filled with beautiful moments that will be remembered for years to come.