As a child of the 80s and 90s life was still easier than our parent’s childhoods. With TV dinners and a boom in kid toys and t.v. shows, our parents were able to work less and play more. But in the 2000s parenting has become its own market. The Marketing to Moms Coalition defines “mothers as the most powerful consumer group in the U.S.” We are a force to be reckoned with! Stores, restaurants and advertisers are catering to our needs and making it easier for us to leave the house.
If life feels extra hard right now then use a few of these to help get a break or lighten your workload!
Water bottle refill stations
Many playgrounds and airports are installing these instead of water fountains, making it easy for our kids or us to fill up all those sippy cups more than half-way!
Kid potties in malls
A new mall opened up near us and they have all family restrooms! In each one is an adult sized toilet with a kid sized porcelain potty next to it joined by Mommy and me sized sinks and mirrors!
Ikea child watch
I have friends who go shopping at Ikea just for the child watch. It is a brilliant way for this store to get you in their doors and for you to get a break!
Chick-fil-a mom order set up
Have you done this yet? On the app or in the drive thru order your food and ask for Mom valet. Go park, unbuckle the kids, grab all sippy cups, lovies and diaper bag. Put shoes back on all your children’s feet. Go back because you left the wipes on the floor. Walk into a very crowded restaurant and no need to stand in line, your food is set up on the table waiting for you!
Grocery shopping delivery or pick-up
Many stores now offer pick-up options for a small fee. It does require more advanced planning but you can do it in your pajamas after the kids are in bed and then pick them up in the parking lot leaving those now awake kids buckled in their seats!
These might not be a new phenomenon but they weren’t around 20 years ago when I was a kid. They are a pain to push but worth the peace of not chasing kids around the store or piling groceries around the kid in the front of the cart who then chucks your eggs onto the floor!
My parents and in-laws all said to me, “We never had those things and you were fine.” Well, that is true but I promise as a mother now I sleep much better when I am not waking up every half hour to listen for my kid crying. The latest craze in monitors that have an IP address make it possible for you to be out for girls night and say goodnight over the 2-way walkie feature to your baby at home!
No longer can you only watch Sesame Street at 5:00 p.m. or Bubble Guppies at 9:30. When you need a show or your child asks for it the answer can always be, “Yes!”
Delay start washing machines/dishwashers
I am rarely home for an entire wash and dry cycle. Delay start allows me to throw the wash in before I leave the house or at night before bed and have it wash while I am out or sleeping, making me tell it when I want it done and will have time to switch it before it gets musty and I have to wash it again.
Free summer movies
Missed the latest movies or just need an inexpensive family adventure? Many parks and movie theaters offer summer movies for all kid ages!
Free summer bowling
https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/index.php offers free bowling games to kids all summer long and a parent pass for a small fee. A great way to beat the summer heat with friends!
Target Kid popcorn
Not every Target does this but many in my area give kids a free popcorn. My kids love it and it gets me through the first 15 minutes with all of us in our happy place! It is worth an ask next time you go!