Maclaren – everybody has one.

Maclaren Quest and why it’s not a good deal.

I can count on fingers of one hand people around me who didn’t go for Maclaren as their second pram. Everybody has them here, and back home. So it never even crossed my mind that, when buying a Maclaren Quest stroller, I’m spending quite an amount of money on crap.
It may simply be that my love for our big pram cannot ever be replaced by any other wheeled-child-transporting-device. It’s pretty, light, comfortable, has a huge storage bag, effortless one handed manoeuvring, it strolls so smoothly I hardly feel it… Why did I ever think I need an umbrella type stroller?!

For the car you might say. And yes, I keep it in the trunk but whenever we go out for a long walk I’ll take the big one. We even took the big one for our holidays (with a car!). And I still can’t understand why people find it easier at the airports!? The only difference is I have less space and am unable to make it work with one hand. Seriously, turning either way with a 13 kg of child sitting inside is impossible with one hand only.

Waste of money.

My daughter has problems with sitting in it properly, she slides down. People first said she was still small and it would get more comfy later. She’s around 85th percentile for height and her uncomfortability hasn’t changed for a year. She’s quite big now… Should I still wait all loose my hopes altogether?

The canopy. What moron designed that, what purpose did he or she wanted to achieve?? There is no way it can protect from the sun unless it’s right above the pram… First time I strolled with it I had to pull it backwards to avoid my daughter screaming from too much sun in her eyes. Make it longer or allow it to bend down for crying out loud!

Then there’s manoeuvring. It’s shit, that what it is. It’s a light stroller that needs lots of energy to be pushed when loaded with a child. On the other hand it’s not very stable when empty. Turning it, no matter how many degrees, is sweat generating process. I can turn our big pram 360 degrees using one hand only in a narrow lift. Maclaren Quest needs to be kicked, lifted, moved forward, rear and then it fits. Damn.

The leg rest. Maybe good for a short legged, or dark haired or blue eyed children. Maybe different body shape, smaller or bigger feet? I have no idea but it’s definitely not for my daughter.

The only advantage I can find is that it really fits into every car, even to Mini’s kind-of trunk. But my trunk is a total opposite to the one of Mini, so I really don’t care.

Maybe other Maclarens are just fine but the Maclaren Quest simply isn’t worth the money.

Is there anyone out there happy with their quest?! Can you please please tell me why?

Non-people house helpers.

No matter if you’re a working or stay at home parent, your time is limited. When it comes to cleaning, cooking and entertaining the little ones, every helping hand is welcomed, right? Well, if you don’t live close to your family and have no one to help around, you probably know value of help even more.

A cleaner is not a solution to every problem. Unless you can afford one living with you and being on call 24/7. Otherwise she can’t clean the kitchen floor after every meal, vacuum the hall after everybody comes back from jumping in muddy paddles. Not mentioning cooking dinner everyday (and lunch if you’re like me).

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is there are tools, appliances that can help. The bad news is they are not cheap.

1. A dishwasher – no way I’m ever going back to living without it. I still can’t believe I managed 6 years doing the dishes every evening and several times on weekends. It takes 5 mins to load and unload huge amount of dishes.

2. A dryer. It’s probably obvious for North America readers but they’re not so popular in Europe, yet. After moving to Switzerland I started using communal dryer (yes, every Swiss building has a communal washing machine and a dryer, and there’s usually a plan for every inhabitant – I had Mondays afternoons). Now we have our own and OMG.. I wash a lot. I don’t remember last day when washing machine was not loaded. Hanging all those clothes on the rack? Oh no. I just put it all to the dryer (saving only 2-3 pieces for hanging) and go. I only dry towels and beddings outside in the summer, but hanging 20 socks is something I don’t have time for.

3. Roomba. Life saver. Imagine: you push a button, go outside for whatever reason you have and come back to vacuumed apartment (or a part of it)? Magic? No! Roomba! We got it as our wedding gift and since Z was born it’s been helping me a lot. It’s my habit now to turn it on after each meal in the kitchen, I close the door and rest. Some people say they don’t like it because they have to pick up everything from the floor. Well, not everything and to properly vacuum the regular way you have to do it anyway. Check out this simplest, thus cheapest roomba.

4. Scooba. Oh man. Have floors vacuumed and cleaned by only pushing a button? That’s not a dream, that’s how I roll! This was a gift from my husband when Z started crawling and I was obsessed with washing the floor. It’s money well spend! Good news for those suffering from allergies – you can now thoroughly clean your floor with water or water-vinegar mixture. No detergents! Check it out here.

5. Thermomix. That is starting to be my dream. I slowly start to see the benefits. I’m still hesitant because it seems to take away all the fun from cooking. But still, every family with more than 1 child should have a Thermomix. Families with more than 2 should get it as a gift from their country instead of allowance. This ad will explain quickly why it is worth every penny.

6. A slow cooker. Apparently it’s useful. I still can’t figure out why and how “slow” would make my life easier but I probably just don’t get the concept of slow cooker. Can anyone help?

7. If you dream, dream big. Windows cleaning robot? Yep, that exists too. If you have a lot of windows or huge windows it may be really handy!

8. A garden. Yes. Absolutely nothing tech related, not an appliance but it is a savior when you have kids and it is usually expensive (as it’s usually involves living in a house, mowing and planting). A small sandpit, plastic slide, a tent and no need to go out every time they ask for a playground. Or even no pits and swings – just few bowls with mud and mixing spoons. Even inviting kids for a play-date wouldn’t be a challenge any more. At least it feels like that from my perspective…

Is there anything I should add? Is there anything else? Anything that helps and is not a person – please share!