The Hamster Wheel

Written by Kristen Norris


Posted on June 16 2021

Blog we go… My husband Mike and I are the creators and founders of SafeLunch. We have a couple of kids.  Angie and Olivia.  Angie is our firecracker (Gemini) and Olivia is our diva (Leo).

We would like to use this blog as a place to share information about our products, ourselves and our journey.  I am a strong believer that “everyone has a story” and we can all learn from each other’s experiences.  

I have been a teacher for 16 years and a parent for almost 10.  My husband and I have been married for 13 years.  Teaching has taught me a lot about kids, but I am the first to admit I have a lot to learn!

I often get asked why SafeLunch? Many of our friends and family have questioned why we named it SafeLunch.  We called our brand SafeLunch because lunch is a meal that is often had on the go.  So that’s the ‘lunch’ part.  We wanted to bring the safety and convenience of home with them wherever they are by reminding kids and adults to wash their hands.  That’s the ‘safe’ part.  We found it super weird that people have gotten angry about the name and emailed us about it.  I wouldn’t have named a phone company Apple…(but it seems to be a successful thing).

SafeLunch is a name that encompasses that mission. Mike wanted to call it “Mike’s Bags”.  I think we would have gotten more emails if we had called it that.  Our hope is that SafeLunch will become a household name.

My girlfriend Laura C (there is your shout out friend) and I often refer to life as a “Hamster Wheel”.  Basically, it means that juggling kids and life is hard and at times kinda sucks. The “hamster wheel” continues to spin whether we want it to or not and keeping up to it is exhausting.  Kids activities, cooking healthy meals, keeping a clean house, it goes on and on and on!  People will always have more time than us, more money, better stuff, nicer clothes.  Catching up feels impossible.  You get it.

Now for the shameless business promotion...Mike and I created SafeLunch because I knew that we could design kid’s lunch bags and kid’s backpacks that would look cool and help parents.

Being in a classroom taught me that kids don’t worry about germs because they are kids and kids shouldn’t worry. So, I know they eat lunch and snacks OFTEN without washing their hands…EVER.  

Knowing this and watching literally thousands of kids throughout my career eat boogers, kinda stressed me out.  I, like every parent out there, hates to see their kids get sick. When our girls started kindergarten I realized really quickly how often kids picked up colds and runny noses.  I think Angie had a runny nose for 9 months straight in JK. 

Sick kids are the worst! It causes upheaval of everyone’s routine. Sleepless nights and juggling who stays home from work is VERY stressful. My number one wish is always that our kids are healthy.

So…here comes a second shameless business promotion..! This is why we designed our kid’s lunch bags and kid’s backpacks with a HandsClean pocket.  A dedicated spot in both our kid’s lunch bags and kid’s backpacks for sanitizer and wipes. The pockets are labelled with our HandsClean logo to provide that visual reminder.  For the same reasons STOP signs are big red and bold.  We designed the HandsClean logo on all of our stuff so it gives kids the extra nudge they need to remember.  

So, along with stressing about keeping our kids healthy, I really struggle with packing and unpacking lunches and backpacks. I don’t know about you, but I HATE packing lunches! I tell my kids not to use the word “hate” but in this case it’s appropriate.  Everyday unpack, re-pack and the spills in the bag ugh!!

So, it seems weird I would want to sell something that has to do with a task I really dislike. I guess it’s my way of trying to take control of that “hamster wheel” it spins and lunches have to be why not include features in the lunch bag to make a s#%**y task a little better? And that’s what we did! I am not going to bore you with all the details but I can assure you I did my best to include design features that will help a parent out. 

Same goes for the backpack...I designed our kid’s backpacks with a square shape intentionally, pockets with a purpose in mind.  I have to admit, when it came time for Olivia to start JK I went into her first school year a little cocky.  I am a teacher so I thought I knew all the ins and outs of school schedules.  Boy, was I wrong! I was constantly missing special days and not returning notes because they were lost in the deep guts of her backpack.  We have pockets to solve those problems, but again this is not the place for boring product details, for that you can go to the website (another shameless plug.)  Here, is where I share the truth behind the brand, not product specs.   And the truth a mom I understand life is f#%^ing hard! I know how exhausting the “hamster wheel” is.  SafeLunch has grown from our experiences, being parents who are just trying to survive.

It is no secret that every kid needs a lunch bag and backpack when it comes time for them to go to school. The kid’s lunch bag and kid’s backpack are not new inventions by any means.  We have certainly not come up with the best thing since slice bread. But we are trying to make tweaks to kid’s bags to help parents survive. We may not be providing pieces of bread but we are trying to provide peace of mind.

Anything to help slow down that “hamster wheel,” and make the day to day tasks so many parents dread, a little easier, is a win in my books!



  • Comment author

    Hi there. I’m super excited to use the products for my daughters come September 2021. The shape of the bag was very appealing.
    I wanted to say thank you especially as I was very impressed with the quick delivery (less than 24 hours) from the time I made my online purchase to doorstep delivery.
    Thank you

    Posted by Cassie | June 17, 2021
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