The Mother Of All Hacks


Hack’s are a wonderful thing – if there is anything out there that can make my life as a mother – and a woman a little easier then I’m all over it.  This week I want to share a hack with you that came up in conversation with another parent over a Sunday roast.  You may already know this hack and if so, you’ll know how beneficial it is.  If this is news to you, you’re in for an eye opener…


If you have a child and a smart phone, I can guarantee at some point your child will be in possession of it in those oh so tricky situations that happen more often than not in public.

For example – when I was in an important meeting with fashion industry folk, who think children should be seen and not heard (sure).

My child minder cancelled last minute – so I sucked it up and thought it would be ok to take my 16 month old baby with me to a meeting.  What’s the worst that could happen?

So there we were in trendy Cecconi’s restaurant in Mayfair talking about adult things, which seemed ironic when I was holding Thomas (the tank engine) and singing the Paw Patrol theme tune under my breath.   My toddler was still not impressed and demanded my attention even more. I found myself nodding over enthusiastically to the clients in the meeting, just to show them that I was listening despite my jumper being pulled off my shoulder revealing my dowdy nude coloured bra. I had exhausted myself with using every single item of bloody anything in my bag to keep my child at bay. Dissatisfied snacks were thrown on the floor, toys were pushed away in disgust and I knew the dreaded attempt to climb out of the high chair was imminent. I was even starting to get ‘The Look’ from nearby tables.  I hate ‘The Look’ more than anything.

Cue my iPhone.

Before I was a parent, admittedly and regretfully I used to give ‘The Look’ to other parents. I was oblivious as to how hard motherhood was, and I couldn’t relate to what they were going through. My husband and I very ignorantly agreed we would never be those kind of parents who succumbed to handing over our devices, but I confess – I give my kids my iPhone and/or iPad in certain situations if it’s necessary, knowing it will defuse a precarious situation when all else fails.  And it’s totally fine.   I don’t feel bad about it and neither should you. It’s educational, keeps the stress levels down and guarantees a good 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted bliss – something that is priceless to couples wanting to reconnect over their poached eggs at brunch, or to listen to every single word your best mate is revealing about her latest fling over a glass of Prosecco.

Moments like these are valuable and I want to apologise to the parents I may have rolled my eyes at before I had children.  I didn’t know any better.  My bad.

So, back at Cecconi’s I finally get some peace and quiet from my toddler who is now preoccupied watching ‘Peppa Pig’ on my iPhone.  He was entertained and I even managed to finish off my coffee and cake and secure a follow up business meeting. I felt like I had my shit together – a feeling that’s quite rare for us mums in social situations.  I mentally gave myself a self-congratulatory pat on the back, and furthermore ‘The Look’ retreated.  I guess you could say Mama Still Got It!

It wasn’t until later that day I saw an email confirmation from Amazon. The delivery of my ‘echo dot’ will be delivered tomorrow.  What the fuck is an ‘echo dot?’ (FYI it’s a hand-free, voice-controlled device with a small built in speaker which can tell you the news, weather, sport score etc when you ask it questions… I digress).  Breathe in. Breathe out.  I did not order this!!   It was the work of those cute little fingers pressing all the wrong ‘buttons’ on my iPhone when I was acting smug in the meeting earlier that day. Oh there’s more too … my toddler had also called – no wait – FaceTimed an ex fling too. Mortified. I didn’t even realise I still had his number in my phone (time for a cull).

I felt like Peppa Pig had stabbed me in the back.

Whilst I was telling this story to a another parent over Sunday lunch, he couldn’t believe I didn’t know about the setting on your iPhone that can remedy these annoying situations.

We can actually take the power back from our children when they are manipulating our phones and child lock them so only one app is open at a time.  Genius! There is a setting deep deep down in your iPhone that can control what your little one can touch  – something that won’t allow them to accidentally open up another app and cause havoc.  Eureka!

Just follow these easy instructions ..

On your home page screen go to –

  • Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility
  • Guided Access (it’s all the way near the bottom)
  • Turn Guided Access on
  • Passcode Settings (if you want a password to finish the Guided Access – recommended)
  • Turn Accessibility Shortcut on

And this is it!

So the next time you hand over your iPhone to your kid…

  • Open up the app you want them to be in
  • Click the home button 3 times
  • ‘Guided Access Started’ will appear on your phone

Et Voila! As much as they try, they will not be able to get out of the app they’re in.  Suckers.

To exit ‘fort knox’ as I call it, simply press the Home button 3 times again, enter your password, then click on ‘end’.  It’s extremely self-explanatory, anyone can do it – even if you’ve had very little sleep the night before.

So there you have it. No more random purchases, rogue phone calls or texts.  You can hold onto your digital dignity.

Please share this with all your parents you know – we must all know about this hack that will give us all peace of mind when we hand over our phones to the kids.

Thanks for reading and see you soon next week for some beauty tips!!

Louise x


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