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21st Feb 2023

Mum puts her kids in a cardboard box so she can have some alone time

Charlie Herbert

Some have labelled it ‘genius’ whilst others have said it’s lazy parenting

A mum-of-two has divided opinion after putting her children in a box so she can have some peace and quiet and get jobs done.

Gabrielle Dunn posted a video on TikTok showing what she described as the ‘ultimate mum hack’, placing her toddler and baby in a cardboard box with their crayons.

She then demonstrates all the jobs and activities she can do while they are contained in the box, such as vacuuming in peace.

“Glad we didn’t break down that box yet,” she said, as she enjoyed a few minutes of productivity without having to worry about what her two girls were up to.

Her video has been viewed over 10.3 million times and has nearly 9000 comments.

@mrs.gabidunn #stitch with @abbyfranco6 PURE GENIUS. Glad we hadn’t broken the box down yet!! #toddlermom #babysitter #nanny #mom #momlife #momsoftiktok #cleantok #toddlerhack #parentingtips #parenthack ♬ Gangsta’s Paradise (feat. L.V.) – Coolio

Many were full of praise for the idea.

“Love this, you are thinking inside the box,” one mum said.

“Honestly, parents are genius,” added another.

Another shared, “OMG THIS IS AMAZING!!! My little girl is an absolute nightmare with crayons, pencils etc and wants to draw everywhere!! I know what I’m going to go get!!”

According to someone else, this trick also works with pets.

“It works the same for cats and children!!! If it fits, it sits!!!” the TikToker joked.

But whilst some think Gabrielle is a genius for this, others reckon it’s cruel and lazy parenting.

“When they get bored and break out and use those crayons on the walls just remember it was your fault,” one woman said.

“Imagine not wanting to hang out with your kids,” said another.

“This just reinforces that it is okay to draw on walls,” one sad said.

“Don’t they have a bedroom to play in?” questioned another.

But one mum probably spoke for many when she said her kids would never last 30 minutes “trapped”.

Another said that her boys would “get bored and start wrestling and pulling each other around” the box.

Gabrielle admitted she had got the idea from another TikTok mum, Abby Franco, who claimed the hack gave her “30 minutes of cleaning time” whenever she did it.

“I like to work smarter not harder,” she said.

@abbyfranco6 Work smart not hard ? #momoftiktok #hacks ♬ Gangsta’s Paradise (feat. L.V.) – Coolio

Meanwhile, others revealed similar life hacks that their own parents had used.

“When my parents bought a patio set I made a spaceship with the box and it is a prime core memory for me,” one woman said.

“We did this when we got out bathroom vanity. It was great for five days and then the box was too big for the house,” another said.

And this person reflected on their childhood: “My mother used to just get us giant boxes as kids. I lived in a fridge box for weeks.”

And someone else wrote: “My dad used to get boxes from an appliance store and he made a supermarket with one and a checkout stand with another one. We had so much fun!!”

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