Mum Makes Cardboard Cutouts of Herself to Stop Child Crying


See the woman in the picture above? Smiling contently as she kneels on the ground watching over her toddler? That mum – that calm, patient, loving mum…. she’s made of cardboard.

And she’s doing an epic job of keeping a clingy toddler happy while real mummy can actually get shit done.

Clingy toddler, meet cardboard mum

Like many of us mums of toddlers, the clever mum (the real one, not the cardboard one), longed for the days when she could make a cup of coffee, fold a load of washing or go to the toilet without her child screaming down the house in fear that she’s disappeared off the face of the planet.

Yes, separation anxiety is fun, isn’t it? Anyhoo, faced with a clingy one-year-old and a strong desire to NOT sit on the playmat all day long, a mum in Japan decided to clone herself using cardboard.

fake cardboard mum hack
Creepy, sure, Genius, YES! Photo: Twitter

She purchased two life-sized cardboard cutouts of herself, then placed them around the house to prevent her toddler from losing it anytime she leaves the room.

There’s ‘fake mummy kneeling down’ and ‘fake mummy standing up’, both of which look creepily real and would totally trick a toddler.

fake cardboard mummy
‘I’m watching you.’ Photo: Twitter

While ‘fake cardboard mum’ is sitting with the toddler, watching her put puzzle pieces in a teapot over and over and over again, real mummy can make a cup of coffee, maybe even make the beds, perhaps pee alone. Oh, the possibilities!

Genius, right? I know – it’s pretty much the greatest parenting hack I’ve ever seen. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Cardboard mum hack goes viral

The father shared his wife’s cardboard cutout creations on Twitter and, as expected, the idea has hit viral status in a matter of days.


The clever parents even made a video if the cardboard mum cut-outs in action and, yep, it’s a giant SUCCESS! In the one-minute video, you can see the toddler happily playing in the playroom but occasionally looking back to check that his mum is still there.


The father also shut the trolls down by letting everyone know he was in the room the entire time so, calm down Carol, it’s not neglectful parenting. It’s smart AF parenting, that’s what it is.

I don’t know about you, but I’m googling print companies in my area who can make me a cardboard mum (or three- one for each of my kids) ASAP.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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