There’s no full-time job quite so tough as being a mum. Granted, I’m not a mum, but I know how tough it must be just from reading back on the texts I send my mum on a daily basis. I’m pretty certain that receiving texts that say things like ‘I think I’ve just had a minor heart attack’ and ‘Just so you know, I’ve decided I have appendicitis’ from your 21-year-old hypochondriac daughter living away at university can’t do much for your general sanity.
Another thing I really enjoy doing is demanding that she makes minor decisions for me, because I’m tortured by indecision on a daily basis, and then ignoring her advice. She really, really likes it when I do that.
So, if a 21-year-old that technically doesn’t depend on you and can look after herself (I’m getting there) is hard work, I can only imagine what I was like when I was a baby. However, after a visit into the office by Anna yesterday, paired with a bit of research, it turns out that mums not only take on the full-time job of parenting but find time to invent and innovate to make that parenting just a little bit easier.
When Anna popped in yesterday with her gorgeous baby, Hope, I found myself not only face to face with a bundle of pure joy and cute-ness (I’m such a girl), but an amazingly simple invention -the Sock-On.
In fact, it was such a great and blindingly obvious invention that Leanne punched me in the arm and said ‘Sophie! Why didn’t we think of something like this?!’
Sock-Ons do exactly what they say on the packet. They keep socks on. I know, it’s brilliant. Gone are the days when your baby kicks off its socks in the middle of a pretty violent wriggle, or pulls them off and throws them – the woven elastic around the sock makes it fit comfortably to the baby’s foot, ensuring it stays on until you want to take it off.
What I found really interesting about the Sock-On, though, is that it was invented by a mum, for mums. Mother of five Kezi Levin, a graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, designed the Sock-On in, as is written on the website, ‘a case of necessity proving to be the mother of invention.’ For her work, which includes a few other products that fill similar gaps in the market, Kezi won the Innovation Award at Kind Und Jugend International Baby Show 2008 as well as the British Female Inventor Award 2008.
A bit of research showed that she wasn’t the only super-mum to create innovative solutions to such common parenting problems; I found myself looking at a series of inventions from America that have really taken off, as well as reading an article about the Snooze Shade, again invented by a mother who found necessity leading to the creation of a brilliant solution.
Innovation comes out of the need to create something new, solve a problem, and provide a solution, and these mums are top class innovators that add a new level to the term ‘super mum’. Who would have thought that parenting alone could inspire a successful, popular business?
Personally, I find I’m always losing my socks. I wonder if Sock-Ons come in an adult size 9?