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How I Found My Sanity in a Most Unexpected Place

How I Found My Sanity in a Most Unexpected Place

It’s winter now. Which means instead of packing the kids into the car for a walk along the beach, or sending them outside to play in the fresh air we are invariably spending way more time indoors. With everyone in such close proximity and somewhat diminished means to keep my kids entertained, weekends can often feel like a 2 day long bout of refereeing the seemingly endless quarrels and complaints amongst my kids. If it isn’t over what they are going to watch on TV, it’s something else. “He said this,” and “she said that.” “He looked at me funny,” and “so-and-so is calling me names.” It’s exhausting and…let’s just come out and say it, annoying. Yes, I just called my kids annoying.

But that’s just the way it is, I’ve told myself. EVERYONE warned me that having 3 children would mean that one would always be the odd one out, and the dynamics of having 3 is definitely very different from 2 or even 4 (when someone has a friend over). Any combination of two of my kids is great, but when the 3rd returns from their footy match or a play date at a friends and 2 become 3 – let’s just say I’ve witnessed quieter firework displays.

My kids, like most kids love playing video games. But once again, our trusty Xbox 360 would only keep them peacefully entertained as long as only 2 of them were playing. NOBODY in the history of computer games has ever enjoyed being the odd one out, not craddling a controller in their hand, waiting for all eternity for some ‘to die’ so that they could have a turn. IT SUCKS! I get that.  But it also sucks turning into ranty-pants mum again because yet another fight has broken out and resorting to blowing steam from your ears as you yell “THAT’S IT! IF YOU CAN’T PLAY NICELY TOGETHER ITS GOING OFF.”


Cue more loud protests and high-pitched squawks, followed by all three children storming off together somewhere united by their new temporary common enemy, me. Their siblings’ previous misdemeanours against them (both real and imagined) are now suddenly forgotten as they rally together and indulge themselves in the unfairness of it all. Of course, five minutes later they’ll need to be fed or watered and my former transgression will be forgiven.

BUT OMG! It is relentless. As if winter isn’t bad enough without the added torture of being stuck indoors with restless kids. But it seems someone, somewhere out there understands my struggle and even came up with a pretty damn good solution.

Disclosure: I was sent the Xbox One S console and 3 games (Minecraft, Lego Batman 3: beyond Gotham and Fifa 17 for the purpose of sharing my honest opinion. All thought expressed here are my own. 

Behold the Xbox One S console! Could this be the answer to my winter woes?

Take a good look! What do you see? YEP – that’s right! 4 controllers!

But that’s not even the best bit.

No more holding the prized controller in their tight little hand waiting for a turn.


With this baby, they can ALL play their beloved Minecraft at the same time! Check this out!

The screen is split so that all players can play the game simultaneously! Which meant that at the grand age of 38 I had my first introduction to Minecraft. This of course was met with a disproportionate amount of excitement by my kids who were thrilled 1) that I was playing with them and 2) that I could manage to suck so badly at it!

Check it out! All three, happily playing! In fact, you can’t see it but they are laughing and giggling and swapping ideas with each other. For me its’ actually like being in an alternative universe! Who are these children and what have you done with mine? No, that’s fine. No need to swap them back. I’ll keep these ones thank you very much!

That’s me, sucking at Minecraft!

Not only is the Xbox One S great for gaming you can also use it to stream your favourite streaming apps like Netflix, Stan etc, so it’s THE PERFECT entertainment system for the whole family.

Get ready – because you’ll be hearing about a lot more about the awesome features and applications of the Xbox One S from me over the coming months, including how I have been successfully using it to encourage positive behaviours and chore completion, and how you can use the parental controls system to control what content your children can access and ensure a safe online gaming experience for everyone. I even get sent a weekly email report for each child showing how many minutes they have played and which games/websites and apps they have accessed.

Stay tuned! But for now I have a 30 minute window before my kids get home from school that I fully intend to use for some secret Xbox training. So I can reap my revenge (and prove that I’m not old and sucky at video games) next time we do battle mode!

Wishing you a peaceful, stress-free winter weekend!



Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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