The 13 Inventions Moms Really Need

inventions moms need

1. Clear ketchup.

2. Shots that tickle.

3. Sugar-free, vitamin-filled, cavity-fighting lollipops that coat kids’ teeth in the perfect level of fluoride.

4. Emergency toilet paper and diaper air-drop delivery. Your nine-year-old used up the last square of toilet paper just before bedtime? No problem. No need to resort to tissues or—heaven forbid—paper towels. Call the air drop hotline, and an emergency super-soft eight-pack will land in your front yard within five minutes. Your husband forgot to mention that he used the last diaper while you were out, and every diaper bag has already been cleaned out? No problem. Call the airdrop hotline. (For a small additional fee, milk, bread, children’s ibuprofen, humidifiers, and poster board for your fifth grader’s last-minute school project can also be air-dropped.)

5. A drive-thru kid-wash. Hold child out the car window—or better yet, buckle them into a small bucket seat that attaches to the side of your minivan, like a motorcycle sidecar—and then kids go for a fun ride! While Mom and Dad put the van in neutral and relax inside, rocking out to non-kid music and munching on hors d’oeuvres, the happy child gets sprayed by colorful soap bubbles, tickled and cleaned by a fun scrub brush, and gently blown dry. For an extra fee, their teeth can get brushed and flossed, too. When you pull the child back inside the van, they are ready for bed: clothed in fresh pajamas, hair combed, teeth shining. The minute you get home, you can toss a clean, happy child in the bed.

6. An instant food lukewarmifier. What’s a food lukewarmifier? It immediately heats or cools any food to that perfect but elusive lukewarm temperature that picky kids demand. No need to cook your child’s food, then put it in the freezer for a never-fast-enough cool-down, only to find that you’ve over-cooled it, and now you have to microwave it all over again for exactly nine point two seconds. All while your starving toddler shrieks and stabs your table with their baby fork.

7. Pacifiers that gradually wean the child automatically: Like, maybe the pacifier begins to release a gross-tasting flavor (probably kale) when the child reaches 18 months of age. After a few hours or days of this flavor, the toddler decides, “Hey, I don’t like my pacifier anymore. All done. Habit broken. Now Mommy doesn’t have to get a second job to fund my braces.”

8. Emergency mute buttons for children. For those humiliating parenting moments when your child points at a stranger and shouts something horrifying like, “Look, Mommy! That man has a baby in his tummy!” These buttons would come with remote controls that reach to the back of the car, across the dinner table, even across the playground or shopping mall.

9. Family-size invisibility shields (complete with sound barriers). Press a button, up goes the shield, and voilà—instant privacy. Your kid starts throwing an epic tantrum in public, and you can’t properly deal with them while all the bystanders are glaring at you and judging your parenting? Shields up! Your potty-trainer yanks down their Pull-Up and tries to use a potted plant in the mall for a toilet? Shields up! Your child goes digging for gold in their nose in the middle of a restaurant? Shields up! Your toddler walks up behind you, goes for a hug, but accidentally hikes your skirt up for the whole world to see? Shields up!

10. Cough medicine for babies that is safe and homeopathic and actually works. Because BABIES COUGH ALL THE TIME, ALL NIGHT LONG, WHENEVER THEY GET THE SLIGHTEST SNIFFLE, AND NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE SAY, HONEY AND VICKS BABY RUB DON’T HELP AT ALL. (Okay. Rant over.)

11. Mad-Eye Moody Eyeballs for moms—you know, from Harry Potter. These magical eyeballs can roll 360 degrees, see through the back of your head, and even spy on people through walls. (Ideally, you would be able to assign a different Mad-Eye Moody Eyeball to each of your children, to help you keep track of multiple kids at once on crowded playgrounds.)

12. Go-Go-Gadget Arms. You remember, from the classic 80s cartoon “Inspector Gadget” (recently revived on Netflix). These arms can extend like 50 feet in any direction, even around corners, to rescue people and grasp unreachable things. These arms can morph into drills, screwdrivers, crock pots, dental equipment—whatever shape you might need. A pair of Go-Go-Gadget Arms would especially come in handy while driving with children in the backseat: Toddler drops pacifier on minivan floor and begins to shriek? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue! Three-year-old gags on a piece of apple and may need the Heimlich maneuver while you’re doing 65 on the Interstate? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue! Six-year-old can’t put straw in juice box and has a meltdown? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue! Brother keeps pinching sister and making her cry in the back seat? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue!

13. Emotionally intelligent holograms of Mommy that can attend any function with your children, for those times when you need to be at two field days, one swim meet, one parent-teacher conference, and a piano lesson all at the same time. A basic hologram would not do. The hologram must be empathetic: able to comfort the child who has lost the sack race; cheer enthusiastically for the child who has won third place in the 50 backstroke; nod and “hmm” at everything the teacher says; and commiserate with (while also gently disciplining) the child who forgot to practice piano this week.

Okay, your turn: What inventions do you really need to help you survive motherhood?

Before you go, don’t forget to sign up for the monthly LizzyLife newsletter! As a free gift, you’ll receive a free download of seven two-minute devotions to do with kids around the breakfast table.

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 inventions moms need

3 Devotions to Teach Kids Compassion and Confidence

How to Teach Kids Confidence and Compassion

Photo credit: Sara Engel of Sara Engel Photography. 

My kids and I love doing “two-minute devotions” around the breakfast table before school. While they are eating breakfast, I grab my Bible and we all discuss a scripture for a few minutes. We don’t do these devotions every day, but when we do, we all leave for school and work more focused on God, and more connected to each other. I try to keep these devotions super simple, limited to one scripture and one basic thought that we can all carry with us throughout the day.

Here are three two-minute devotions on the topics of confidence and compassion:

1. The Eye in the Sky

Are your kids having trouble with something—friend problems, test anxiety, a situation at school they don’t know how to handle? Encourage them with 2 Chronicles 16:9: “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” What an encouragement! What an image! I can almost picture God putting big binoculars on, stationing himself high in the sky, and scanning the earth to spot all the people who love him and need his help. And then when he finds them—in their classrooms, in their homes, on the playground—he gives them strength and wisdom to help them serve him, do right, and find joy. With younger kids, you can have a lot of fun with this idea: Where are some of the places you want God to watch over you during the day? Do you think God sees you when you . . . eat your snack? Put on your socks? Spill your juice? Share with a friend? When my kids and I discussed this passage, they all left for school walking tall and smiling big, confident that God’s eyes were upon them.

Want more Bible-based resources for your family? Sign up for the quarterly Lizzy Life newsletter, and you will receive a free download with seven two-minute devotions to do around the breakfast table with your children.

2. All You Need Is Love

1 Corinthians 13:4–6 makes a great devotional if you’re working on sibling relationships. (And these days at our house, we are always working on sibling relationships!) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” This passage is a great springboard from which you can address all the different issues siblings have with each other: patience (or the lack thereof), envy, rudeness, keeping track of all the annoying things a sibling does. Try bringing this scripture home by asking each child to pick which trait they most want to focus on with their brothers and sisters: Do they need patience right now? Do they need to be humble and listen better? Do they need to be more considerate of other people’s feelings? Or do they need to remember to forgive, and not bring up old arguments? On the day when my kids and I had this discussion, later that afternoon I overheard my son correcting one of his sisters, saying, “Hey, you need to stop keeping a record of wrongs!” I had to laugh at his self-righteousness. But hey, he remembered a Bible verse, and applied it! You gotta take the little victories, even the self-righteous ones.

A sisterly apology note

3. Kill ‘Em with Kindness

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” If a family is going to be close, then every member of the family has to continually choose kindness, compassion, and ongoing forgiveness. We can’t pick at every little thing that other people do wrong. We can’t hold grudges. We can’t give in to anger or impatience or sarcasm. We have to make daily decisions to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, even when your little sister loses your Lego, hides your apple, or takes a bite out of your Pokemon Card. Try bringing this scripture to life for your kids like this: Go around the table and ask each child to give an example of an unkind, impatient, or angry thing they might be tempted to say to each other. Then ask them to change that sentence around, turning it into a kind and compassionate sentence. This teaches them how to think about their words and speak carefully. It helps them practice talking about issues that bother them in a loving and patient way. You can also use this scripture to help you demonstrate how to resolve an argument by saying “I forgive you,” and letting it go.

Want more ideas for family devotions?

You can find more two-minute devotions here.

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5 Hilarious Picture Books Guaranteed to Make Your Kid Giggle

funny books for toddlers

We all know we should read bedtime stories to our children, but let’s be honest: some picture books get old quickly. (But of course our kids want to read their favorites EVERY NIGHT for 476 nights in a row!) There’s nothing boring about the five crowd-pleasing picture books in this list. All five books have been funny-bone-tested and giggle-approved by the four Thompson Crazies, who range in age from two to nine. I can’t decide who laughs the hardest when we read these books . . . the kids, or me!

Click here to read my full article, 5 Hilarious Picture Books Guaranteed to Make Your Child Laugh. (It’s posted on Mamalode, a fantastic site for moms!)

Want photographic proof? This is a shot of my six-year-old reading one of the books to our two-year-old. Priceless!

funny books for toddlers

27 Moments that Stop a Mother’s Heart

27 Moments that Stop a Mother's Heart

  1. That moment when you hear your baby shout their first mighty wail, and somehow you know this voice—it’s the song your heart has been singing your whole life.

  2. That moment when you hear your toddler giggling, “Bounce, bounce,” in the other room, and you smile to yourself and think, “How sweet.”

  3. That moment, thirty seconds later, when you go to peek in on her and share her laugh, and you find her bouncing on your laptop bag. With your laptop inside it.

  4. That moment when your house is quiet for three whole minutes, and you smile and think, “Ah, now that’s more like it.”

  5. That moment, thirty seconds later, when you realize, “I have children. My house should never be this quiet.” You go to investigate. Sure enough . . . (Fill in the blank: a couch painted with pudding, the baby in the litter box, the toddler up a tree . . .)

  6. That moment when your baby toddles into the room, happily munching on food you didn’t give her, and you go to investigate the source, and realize she stole it from the sibling who has strep throat. OF COURSE SHE DID.

  7. That moment when you realize you desperately have to go to the bathroom, and you’ve been holding it for five hours because, just, all of the children.

  8. That moment when the baby is finally, finally napping, and you’ve just sat down for the first time in three days. You shut your eyes for two seconds, and then the mailman rings the doorbell because you forgot to put the don’t-ring-the-bell note on the door. The dog erupts in a violent barking frenzy. The baby starts to scream.

  9. That moment when you are on time for your child’s preschool Thanksgiving performance, but on time is late, because they started three minutes early, and your child got to lead the procession up onto the stage—her shining moment—and you missed it. And you both sit there and cry through the Thanksgiving feast and you wonder if you’ve already ruined her life and she’s only three.

  10. That moment when you get the email from the preschool that says, “This is to notify you that a child in your child’s class has been diagnosed with…” And you pause, steeling yourself before you scroll down to find out which horrible plague you’ve been exposed to this time. Pink Eye? Scabies? Lice?

  11. That moment when you realize you’re stuck on a toilet seat with an empty roll of toilet paper, and the only one around to help is a two-year-old.

  12. That moment when you hear your kid crying, and you can tell they’re actually hurt for real this time, but you’re in the shower and your hair is all sudsy with shampoo.

  13. That moment when a well-meaning friend comes over, bearing gifts for the children: stuffed bunnies, each a different color. And you know what’s about to happen, and sure enough, “I want the pink bunny!” “No I want the pink bunny!” “No I saw the pink bunny first!” And there goes your morning, and all you can think is, WHY CAN’T THE BUNNIES ALL BE THE SAME COLOR?! And why do I have to have such generous friends?!

  14. That moment when your child learns how to tie their shoes, and they’re so excited they untie and re-tie their shoes 18,000 times in that first hour, and every time they twinkle up at you, glowing with pride, you wonder why you feel like crying.

  15. That moment when your eyes fly open at 6:00 am because HOLY COW YOU FORGOT TO BE THE TOOTH FAIRY! And you leap out of bed and dash for your wallet, but it’s too late. The toothless child is already awake, tears streaming, heart broken, faith fading. And off you sprint to Pinterest, seeking ideas for how to fix a Tooth Fairy Blooper, and you pray, pray, pray that you haven’t accidentally killed Santa, too.

  16. That moment when your child wails, “My head itches,” and you immediately begin to bargain with God: “Please, God, not lice. If you make this not be lice, I promise to love you and serve you forever, and give all I possess to the poor, and donate a kidney to a person in need, and . . .”

  17. That moment when your last baby potty trains, and right in the middle of your I-Never-Have-to-Change-a-Diaper-Again-What-Will-I-Do-with-All-the-Spare-Cash party, you burst into tears.

  18. That moment when you’re walking through the mall next to your eight-year-old son, and quick as a hummingbird, he grabs your elbow, pulls your face down next to his and whispers, “I have a crush on a girl.” He darts away, leaving you standing there, wondering how to pick the pieces of your heart up off the floor.

  19. That moment when the phone rings, and a little boy voice on the line says, “Hi, can I speak to your daughter?” And you hem and haw, not sure if you should give her the phone or not, because you’re so. Not ready. For this.

  20. That moment when your preteen comes home crying, and you ask what’s wrong, and she shakes her head and shuts you out.

  21. That moment when your child hands you one of those sealed, top-secret notes from the school administration, and your stomach does cartwheels, because your first thought is, This is it. The note declaring my child a gifted genius. And your second thought is, This is it. The note declaring my child a derelict and me an incompetent parent. And really, knowing yourself and knowing your child, it could go either way. You rip open the note to learn their fate.

  22. That moment when you let your teenage son leave the house to drive somewhere alone in a car for the first time. He sprints out the door grinning and war-whooping, and all you can do is fall to your knees and pray.

  23. That moment when your son gets clobbered by another player in a game. He goes down, the coaches swarm around him, and you’re desperate to sprint out onto the field, but you don’t because even if he was dead he would kill you. So you stand there in the freezing stands and wrestle down your maternal instincts and pray to God and hold your breath until your son sits up.

  24. That moment when your daughter comes squealing through the door, waving an acceptance letter, and you’re not sure if your heart is bursting with pride, or the knowledge that she’s really leaving.

  25. That moment when your daughter comes home from college, and you know she’s dating the wrong boy.

  26. That moment when your daughter comes home from college, and you know she’s dating the right boy

  27. That moment when your grown-up baby walks down the aisle and makes a vow. From the seat beside you, your husband squeezes your hand, and you know what he means: It’s just us now. It’s been a good ride . . . and it’s not over yet.

Wishing all my fellow moms a happy Mother’s Day . . . May your day be filled with the best kind of heart-stopping moments.

Photo credit: Julie Moon of Neat & Pretty.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy 13 Ridiculous Things Smart Moms Understand, First Dance, and I’m Still Here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly parenting newsletter! As a welcome gift, you’ll receive a free download with 7 two-minute devotions to do around the breakfast table with kids! 

27 Moments that Stop a Mother's Heart @lizzylife0121 @lizzylit