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Do you suffer from ‘freedom paralysis’ during naptime? Mom’s viral video is hilariously relatable

woman dressed up as fairy freedom paralysis during naptime
@emilyvondy/Instagram

If you’re a parent of multiple children, you know just how magical it can be when all your kids are napping at the same time. You also know that this pretty much never happens. Baby takes an abnormally short nap; toddler doesn’t nap at all; and chances are, if your kids are all miraculously sleeping at the same time, one is bound to wake up the second you start doing something (or god forbid, try to sit down and catch your breath!). Kids have some sort of sixth sense for these kinds of things.

But every once and a while the stars align and you are left with the freedom to do whatever you want while all your kids snooze away. Instagrammer Emily Vondy (@emilyvondy) hilariously depicted just how rare this phenomenon is (especially with five kids) in a viral reel.

“It is way too quiet out here,” she says as she walks into the living room to see her baby and two toddlers all asleep while her older kids are in school. “Am I dreaming?” she asks, and on cue the All Your Kids Are Napping fairy magically appears. “Fairies aren’t real,” Vondy says in disbelief, to which the fairy responds, “Neither is this current situation, but here we are.”

She then bombards the mom of five with ideas on what to do with her unexpected free time. She could shower (“Do you remember how to shower?” the fairy asks. “It’s been so long.”), work out, do laundry, watch The Bachelor, start a grocery order, or work on her New Year’s resolution of learning how to tap dance. Too many choices puts Vondy into a “freedom paralysis” just as the Mom Gets a Nap Unicorn tip toes in with a cozy blanket and pillow.

“She’s not sleeping, it’s freedom paralysis—too many options, she’s overwhelmed,” the fairy tells the unicorn. “Let’s just let her buffer for a bit. She’ll probably just lie there until one of them wakes up.”

The phrase “freedom paralysis” is so spot-on, and moms shared their personal experiences with the feeling in the comments.

“This is truly one of the most accurate descriptions of mothering in the little years,” wrote one mom. “My fairy usually finds me pounding dry granola looking out the window in a total brain fog.”

“Yeeees. I’ve always called it decision paralysis!” wrote another. “Or squirreling, because I’ll run around like a psycho starting everything I wanted to do and finishing NOTHING.”

The reel is so funny—but also so painfully accurate. It’s nearly impossible to get everything done around the house, and when we do get some unexpected extra free time it can be so overwhelming that we shut off (or scramble to try to get it all done). The next time your fairy comes and you want to use that time to get some chores checked off your list, great! But remember, it’s important to care for yourself as well. And if that means taking a nap or vegging out on the couch and watching a show, that’s OK too. Mom burnout is real and your mental health is more important than folding that load of laundry.