Painfully Relatable

Mom Hilariously Captures The Torture Of Toddler Car Naps In Viral TikTok

Don't wake the baby!

TikTok mom Tatum hilariously discusses toddler car naps in a viral video.

We've all been there: You have a small window to run the errands you've been putting off for a week, but it's awfully close to nap time. Still, you feel reasonably confident you can make it back home in time for that noon-ish nap without altering the sleep schedule. There's just one hitch — thirty seconds into the car ride, your kiddo falls asleep. Never mind that all your child does when they're awake is whine about how the car seat is uncomfortable; when you most need her to be a little uncomfortable and stay awake, she zonks the f*ck out in the backseat before you even reach your destination. It's relatable (and infuriating), and no one captures it as perfectly as TikToker @cactustate, aka Tatum.

The oh-so-honest and hilarious mom is well-loved for her bluntness, realness, and physical comedy. Her recent trip to the store-turned-car-nap is no different. "I will never understand that black magic that is a car ride that puts this girl to sleep in seconds," she says, her voice softer than normal as she points to her snoozing daughter in the backseat. "Every time! She's out like a light. She's in a small coma."

Tatum proves her point by yelling her child’s name, which garners no response. Baby girl is zonked TF out. Normally, that would be a good thing. We all live for that naptime break from motherhood! But car naps are pure torture — no exaggeration necessary. They can throw your entire day off kilter.

“We get her in the car and it’s like she main-lined some f*cking Z-Quil,” Tatum says, sharing that typically her kiddo doesn’t even nap. Shoot... she barely even sleeps at night.

For many of us, the answer is to cut and run. Just go home and call it a day. Whatever we need can wait, right? Except sometimes it can’t. “I have things to do! I’m in a Walmart parking lot debating how badly I need tampons,” she continues. “I could just go home, wrap up that toilet paper and shove it in my underwear? No, I deserve tampons! I f*cking deserve a tampon. I drove all the way here.”

So, what are the options? Wake her up? Try to get her inside and keep her asleep? Will it work? Or will she scream bloody murder through the entire store? There are no right answers here, only wrong ones.

“She’s gonna be so mean to me. She gets that from me, so I can’t really blame her,” Tatum says, weighing her options. “Maybe I can bribe her. But she’s really hard to negotiate with when she’s grumpy. Also gets that from me! I’m f*cked. I am.”

Because moms on the internet are the best of humanity, many weighed in with advice for Tatum for dealing with car naps in the future:

  • “pro tip: stock up and use curbside, it's free if it's not a ‘small order’ and if you place the order ahead of time.”
  • “Just take a nap in the car with her for a little while.”
  • “Just get you some McDonald’s and eat it in the car while she rests then get her up and get your tampons.”
  • “Walmart Delivery will save your life.”

Others just commiserated because, well, waking a napping toddler from a car nap is no joke. “But the pure hell it takes to get them into the car 😂” commented one mom. “I sit in the car for hours if I have to to not wake a baby.” And some broke the hard news that this stage doesn’t end with toddlerhood, revealing, “My almost 4 yr old is still like this and she is just as mean to me if I wake her up.”

So, how desperate did Tatum get in her quest not to disturb her car-sleeping daughter? “Update: I sat in the car from 1:20-2:30 and then I woke her up she cried but I told her she could get bubbles,” Tatum admitted on her original video. “I secured the bubbles and tampons.”

Hey, we do what we gotta do.