Hello! I'm Molly, a busy mom of two teenage boys. In addition to creating The Trip Clip®, I volunteer at school, drive soccer carpool, and take our English springer spaniel for endless walks. I also play the cello, drink way too much Starbucks, and I love to read and play board games with friends.
My only other team member is my niece, Gaby. Gaby has autism, and works for me part-time a few afternoons a week doing a wide variety of tasks including order fulfillment, making magnets, testing The Trip Clip® website, and entering sales into Quickbooks. There is a page on my blog all about Gaby and what she does for The Trip Clip®!
Before becoming a mom, I worked as a Group Program Manager at Microsoft. I left when my first son was just over 1 year old because it was hard to balance a demanding career and taking care of a young child. I love being a mom and watching my kids learn about everything. But my love for software development has stayed with me too, and I've enjoyed using some of what I learned at Microsoft to help with my new job of raising my kids - that's why I started working on The Trip Clip®. Juggling being a mom and owning my own business is tricky at times, but working part-time has been a wonderful way for me to find some needed balance in my life. And I'm so glad to be able to share The Trip Clip® with other families who are working on their own juggling acts!
How I Use The Trip Clip®
I originally came up with the idea for The Trip Clip® when I was doing the grocery shopping with my older son when he was 4. He was tough to manage in the grocery store, but I figured out that if he could 'help' me shop, he wouldn't spend so much time creating his own fun/chaos. He could recognize pictures of things we needed and cross them off the list, and he loved to feel like he was part of the process. By the time he was 7 he was truly helpful in the grocery store. He knew our brands and where things are, and could get a number of things by himself while I helped his younger brother who was starting with a picture list all his own. I had them help me make a video a few years ago. They did an awesome job, though the outtakes in the second video show a more realistic picture of how they 'help' me :).
I have carried over my philosophy of including my kids in the household chores and family activities to other uses for The Trip Clip® as well. Every week when we need to return our books to the library, I make a Trip Clip® list of the books we need to find so that it's my son's job (not mine) to locate his library books. When we go on trips, I make a packing list for each of my kids (with the pictures they were able to pack some of their own things as young as age 3) and the work doesn't all fall on me. Counting out pairs of socks is good math practice, too.
Many of the Activities I've created (like the Bingo games) continue this theme of engaging the kids in what's happening around them, rather than helping them to tune out by handing them a screen. My younger son has enjoyed having Bingo Boards and Count On It games to use on the sidelines of his big brother's soccer games, and we can count goals together, or look for funny things like screaming babies or angry people. At restaurants, we've found that the Bingo boards, as well as Dots and Boxes and Hangman, really help the time go by quickly when we're waiting for a table, or waiting for our food to come. And we use it every time we travel in the car or on an airplane. My kids especially love playing Travel Bingo in the airport while we're waiting for our flight.
Now that my kids are older, we've found that the Chores and Checklists activity is the one we use the most often. We like to use a magnetic checklist in the mornings - they each have their own list of things to do each morning, and it helps them remember to brush their teeth and bring their homework every day. They also both have their own weekly after school chart. This helps all of us keep track of which days are soccer days, which are music days, whose job it is to set or clear the table, etc. These checklists have made a huge difference in keeping our mornings and after school hours sane.
As I've worked over the past few years on turning my idea into a product that I could offer to other parents, The Trip Clip® has given me a new opportunity to engage my kids in grownup activities. They have been fellow brainstormers, test subjects, assembly line workers, models, and along with their dad, they are some of my biggest supporters as I figure out how to get a home business started on a part-time work schedule, while raising two young, energetic kids. Although it feels like there is never enough time for everything in my life, I'm glad my kids have been with me through this whole process. We've all had a lot of fun creating The Trip Clip®, and we hope your family enjoys using it as much as ours does!
|The Trip Clip® - Morning Routine, Bedtime Routine, After School Checklist, Chore Chart, Picture Grocery List, Mazes, Car Bingo, Travel Activities, & More|
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