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.


If you liked this post, you’ll also enjoy:

13 Reasons Moms Never Get Haircuts

On Pinkeye, Lice, and Love

27 Moments that Stop a Mother’s Heart 

 inventions moms need


13 Ridiculous Things Smart Moms Understand


when you give a toddler a pen

1. Why you never say the word hair at the table while a toddler is eating.
2. How to make the one last baby wipe in the container do things one poor lonely wipe was never intended to do.
3. The complex mechanics, athleticism, and grace required to cradle a sanity-saving cup of coffee in one hand while backing through a narrow doorway, holding the door open with your rear end, all while steering the stroller one-handed and herding a second (and possibly third and fourth, God help us) child(ren) with a spare pinky finger.
4. Diaper pails DO NOT WORK, no matter how expensive they are, or how extravagant their claims about how the aerodynamic pail also serves as a night light, smoke detector and life raft, and how it can count the number of dirty diapers in Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic, and trap odor and lock it inside a fresh-scented bag. Fresh-scented, my foot. Fresh as a landfill in July.
5. Dirty laundry breeds in the night.
6. There really is no need to rinse off a pacifier that falls to the ground, unless other people are around to watch you and judge your parenting.
7. All those “experts” who claim they know how to get kids to eat a well-rounded diet filled with exotic organic vegetables every color of the rainbow are either a) lying, or b) engaging in dangerous force-feeding behavior, most likely involving pliers.
8. Those white outfits we can’t resist buying our children because they look oh-so-adorable in family beach photos . . . yeah, they’ll only be worn once. After that, they’ll be brown and white polka-dotted outfits. (We understand this . . . but still we buy them. Blame your friends’ daggum beach photos.)
9. You should never sniff or lick any brown substance you find on your kitchen table, even if you’re SURE it is chocolate pudding. (Yep. Learned this the hard way.)
10. The kids’ rooms in Pottery Barn catalogs are fake, uninhabited rooms. It is highly possible that the children in Pottery Barn catalogs are also fake.
11. There’s no point in putting shoes on a baby before you drive somewhere—unless you like getting places and discovering that your baby is barefoot and your car has eaten one of the shoes. (If you’re lucky, the shoe will reappear one day, but only after your child has outgrown it.) And the same principle holds true for hair bows.
12. The person who invented baby vitamin drops had no taste buds, and thought babies are stupid. The stuff tastes like motor oil. No self-respecting infant will eat it.
13. Your own mother was a really smart woman after all. (This one’s not ridiculous . . . just true.)

Happy (almost) Mother’s Day to all the smart moms out there. 

If you enjoyed this, you’ll also enjoy On Pink Eye, Lice, and Love and The 13 Thou Shalt Nots of the Family Dinner Table. 

Before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. As a welcome gift, you’ll receive seven two-minute devotions to do around the breakfast table with your kids! And every month, you’ll get a newsletter with parenting tips. You can subscribe here, or in the widget in the left sidebar.

Note: A version of this post appeared last year on my old website, and I thought all the new LizzyLife readers would enjoy it!


The 13 Thou Shalt Nots of the Family Dinner Table


dinner table manners

You know you have little ones in the house when you find yourself inventing dinnertime rules like these . . .

1. Thou shalt not pull out a tooth at the table.

2. Thou shalt not moan, sigh, wail, slump to the floor, or say the words “gross,” “ew,” or “I hate” in reference to anything on your plate. This makes thy mother cry.

3. Thou shalt not lick the table.

(Ideally, thou shalt not lick thy fingers either, unless thou art eating fried chicken, but . . . well, there’s still a lot of finger-licking. Your mother tells herself this happens because she is a fantastic cook, not because her children are Neanderthals.)

4. Thou shalt not put thy shoes or feet on the table. Thou also shalt not sniff or lick thy shoes or feet while at the table. (Seriously.)

5. Thou shalt not interrupt Mommy while she is eating to involve her in a situation involving poop. (Alas, this one also gets broken at almost every meal. This may account for Mommy’s frequent loss of appetite mid-meal. She can’t even think about last Thanksgiving without gagging.)

6. Thou shalt not whistle at the table—at least not during dinner while five other people are all speaking at the same time. At breakfast and lunch, some cheerful whistling is welcome.

7. Thou shalt not poke, prod, or otherwise injure another diner with thy fork, spoon, or finger. (Thou shalt not be entrusted with knives until thou art at least sixteen years old.)

8. Thou shalt not lick mashed potatoes off thy spoon as though it were ice cream. This makes thy mother gag.

9. Thou shalt not blog, text, Tweet, Facebook, or answer the phone while at the table. (Thy mother probably cannot help plotting epic teen novels in the back of her brain, but that is permitted.)

10. Thou shalt not pass gas, or imitate the sound of gas-passing using thy armpit, at the table. (This rule also extends to silent-but-violent episodes.)

11. Thou shalt not inflict Neil Diamond or Johnny Cash impressions upon thy family during dinner if thou wanteth thy wife to remain at the table and thy children to not clap their greasy hands over their anguished ears.

12. Thou shalt not roll thine eyes at the large number of animal-themed Knock-Knock jokes that are clearly being made up on the spot. Thou shalt listen patiently and laugh heartily at the nonsensical punch lines.

13. Thou shalt not worry, stress, or be angsty at the table. Thou shalt relax and belly-laugh until thy hiccups overflow.

Okay, it’s your turn. What are your family’s dinner table Thou Shalt Nots? (Scroll down to comment!)


 Before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. As a welcome gift, you’ll receive seven two-minute devotions to do around the breakfast table—or dinner table—with your kids! And every month, you’ll get a newsletter with parenting tips. You can subscribe here, or in the widget in the left sidebar.

 

Dinner table manners with kids



13 Reasons Moms Never Get Haircuts


Scheduling a haircut is never easy, but once you have a child, getting a haircut takes divine intervention, planetary alignment, and a whopping dose of good luck. Here are thirteen reasons moms hardly ever get their hair cut: 1. First, you have to call ahead. This requires having the wherewithal to think multiple thoughts in a row:Huh. I could probably sweep the floor with my hair. I guess I need a hair cut . . . I should call and make an appointment . . . I should do that today.” (Meanwhile, the baby cries; the potty-trainee tinkles on the floor. All hair-related thoughts fly from your head.)


13 Things that Rock About Being Kid-Free at the BRMCWC


In case you’re wondering, the BRMCWC is the oh-so-amazing Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers’ Conference. And clearly, I am here without my four delightful children. (Stands up. Takes a bow. Sends husband and mother-in-law virtual flowers and chocolate and sleep.) Much as I adore and miss my children every minute, I am very happy to go on missing them for the duration of the conference, for these 13 glorious reasons, which I imagine every Writer Mom at this conference is also secretly celebrating:

1. Four full nights of uninterrupted sleep. Four! Nights! (Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I suspect this was one of my main reasons for attending a writing conference. Drive 400 miles for four full nights’ guaranteed sleep? YES.)
2. Getting to worship all the way through a song set without being forced out of the room by an adorable toddler who has an impressive talent for emitting eardrum-shattering shrieks.
3. Two words: white pants. Three more words: no jelly fingerprints.
4. Talking to wonderful new writer friends, using multisyllabic words that have nothing to do with the potty or smashed bananas.
5. Getting to use a hair straightener like a normal person . . . without wrestling with the cord the whole time, trying to keep it away from curious toddler fingers.
6. Using an iron and ironing board without the heart-stopping fear that a child will come running into the room unexpectedly and scar themselves (or Mommy) for life.
7. Hearing Alton Gansky say, “When an accountant looks out a window, he’s daydreaming; when a writer looks out a window, he’s working.” Laughing and nodding alongside four hundred other people who understand exactly what that means.
8. Admiring mountain views, breathing mountain air, savoring the sound of silence.
9. Taking a shower, getting dressed, putting on makeup, doing something to my hair besides yanking it into a ponytail . . . and doing all of these activities in a single span of time, without stopping to mop up spilled milk, remove a splinter, or resolve a sibling squabble. I have not done these things without interruption for, oh, eight years.
10. Staying up ridiculously late talking books and God, just because we can.
11. Four days without dishes and laundry? Call me Lady Mary.
12. Hearing Brian Bird say, “We gotta stop clamoring against the darkness and start lighting some candles.” Trying not to levitate out of my seat.
13. Filling up on inspiration, ideas, and conviction so I can go home and write a better world for those four precious people who I actually do miss with all my heart—jelly fingerprints, milk spills, sibling squabbles and all.