An Open Thank-You Letter to Things that Have Made My Life Easier
Dear inventors, marketers, creators, designers, and forward-thinkers:
I am sure that when you designed certain things you had a large target population in mind and maybe never even considered how convenient and revolutionary your design would be for a busy mom of young children. So I would like to take a moment and thank you for the following things that have made my life so much easier and helped me maintain my sanity in the midst of motherhood.
The day Starbucks created a drive-thru windowOh Happy, Happy, Happy Day. I cannot even tell you how having a drive thru at your beautiful barista shops have been a source of strength and sanity for me. Before you opened your drive thru I tried a few times to get my tall, skinny, decaf, non-fat caramel latte with a baby carrier on one arm and a purse on the other and it was quite the balancing act. It seemed like quite a lot of work to haul baby and carrier out of the car, into the cold, across the parking lot, all for a cup of coffee. No matter how delicious the coffee may be or how tempting your new toasted coconut mocha cream cappuccino concoction sounded , there came a time when I just didn't have the energy to make the trek with children. But you....oh you did the revolutionary for moms with small children and gave us the drive up window. Now, those little people stay safely buckled in their seats, headphones on, watching a movie while mommy gets her a cup of warm encouragement (double shot please) and gleefully drives away to face the day like a warrior. Thank you!
When I was a kid I would wait until 11:00 a.m. everyday to watch Electric Company on PBS. When they would put up the word of the day at the end of each episode, I would yell for my mother like a screaming banshee to come quickly so she could read words like, "Salute," "Appear," or "Excited" to me. I would cry if she didn't make it to the room in time to read it. Fast forward 35 years and my children never miss their favorite show, there is nothing to rewind, and there are no lost discs or scratches to contend with. So the 22 episodes of Peppa Pig are ready at our finger tips and baby girl can watch them over and over and over again until we are all talking like British pork. Missed something, just pause live tv or rewind it. This has been an ingenious way for my family to watch tv and for my kids to watch kid-friendly shows no matter what time of the day. My mom seriously needed this invention for us in the 1970's. (And thanks to the season pass, mommy hasn't missed an episode of Survivor in years!)
The Chick-fil-A Kids MealFor $3 my kids get a book, milk, 4 chicken nuggets, and a squeezable apple sauce. I am sure that one day when we sell our car there will be a few chicken nuggets stuck in the deepest crevices of our seats because this is my, "kids you got to eat your dinner in the car today" meal. I can pass the individual bags back to my kids, they can pretty much feed themselves in the car and they will usually have the entire meal eaten by the time we reach our destination with almost no mess. I love you Chick-Fil-A for making an easy, clean, cost effective, and pretty nutritionally balanced on the go meal!
Online shopping with free shippingNeed I say more? Why would I go to the store with the gang to buy a pair of boots when I can pull up the same merchandise online, compare the prices, look at the boots from 6 different angles in 8 different colors, and have it shipped directly to my door for the exact same price as if I walked into the store. I can browse online in the comfort of my own home for as long as I like and my feet don't get tired, my children don't knock down 12 displays, and I don't have to ask where the potty is located for my four year old. If I don't like them or the fit is not right, I just ship it back with the free return label (genius!!) and get my money back. No harm, no foul. It's just glorious!
Whether or not you are a runner, the day I got my hands on one of these babies turned things around. I spent several years fighting with those monstrous strollers that have wheels kind of like a shopping cart. They are small, made out of plastic, and only turn simultaneously in one direction. And have you ever tried to fold one of those suckers up? You need to be a heavy weight lifter and engineer at the same time to get it into your car. But the revolutionary baby jogger changed all that for me. First of all there are only three wheels and the front one rotates 360 degrees so that you can glide around the aisles of the store with ease. Plus the wheels are large, inflatable and made out of rubber like bicycle wheels so they can easily be pushed through dirt, grass, or pavement. And because it is a jogging stroller they are designed to be lightweight which means you can put baby in it and get your exercise. I cannot even tell you how many miles I have run with my children in the baby jogger and how much it has helped me through the years to keep my sanity by exercising with them. I have a deep and loving connection with my baby jogger and I am pretty sure I will grieve when the time comes to give it away.
Kid-Friendly TabletsSay what you will about screen time, but I must admit that having kid friendly tablets and apps on my phone has been a sanity saver more times than I can count. Waiting in the doctors office, I have tried to read the torn books and draw silly pictures on the paper laying across the exam tables. How many renditions of Old MacDonald can you sing while trying to keep your child from getting MRSA in the exam room? Whip out the smart phone and let's watch an episode of "Doc McStuffins" while sitting quietly on my lap. On a long road trip, we can read books, play games, and watch movies on the kid-friendly tablet and mom and dad can actually have a conversation in the front seat for a few minutes. Have you tried to eat at a sit down restaurant with a 9, 5, and 2 year old lately? Then don't judge and be grateful that we can live stream episodes of "Curious George" while waiting on our food to arrive.
Thank you again for the ways in which you 6 ideas have helped me as a mom. Life is too short to not enjoy your children so let's not be all judgy judgy and let's affirm the designs and inventions in our lives that has made parenting a little easier.
Comment back to me and let me know what's on your list? I'd love to hear from you!