Pretty sad to admit. But my iPhone runs my life right now. You see I’m hooked on the great new apps which keep coming and coming through the app store. They have helped me multi-task, keep me on time and best of all, avoid unnecessary stressful mothering moments.
Domesticity is boring. I’m one of those mothers who wants all the good bits without the drudge. Judge away. But with modern technology and home deliveries, I don’t need to engage with more domesticity than I have to. Apart from the obvious mobile functions smartphones offer, text messaging, emails, maps and web there are some apps which are doing very special household jobs.
The Alarm Clock
Take the ever-so-boring routine to get kids out of the door in the morning. Every day I hear myself delivering the same script. “Get your shoes on. Get your shoes on. Get your shoes on. Get your shoes on. Get your shoes on. Get your shoes on.” Until I sit a kid on the stairs and put them on myself. How long can that go on for? So using the alarm clock feature on my phone, I picked a song which would get their attention and set it for 8.40am calling it ‘Shoes on alarm’. The girls see it flash up on the screen and know it’s time. I’d be lying if I said it works every day but it’s become part of our routine, so on less stressful days, it helps things go seamlessly.
I’d be lying if I said it works every day but it’s become part of our routine, so on less stressful days, it helps things go seamlessly. I also have a ‘pick up kids’ alarm for 3.03pm, as I work from home, I can sometimes get sucked into jobs or calls.
Where would I be without my task list apps? I used Toodledo for work, household and personal tasks for years. I could categorise, tag and repeat tasks. It synchronises between my Mac and iPhone, so I can access my day any time. The only reason I switched to Todoist was to integrate with Trello, which is a project management platform for teams. This means my assignment work tasks automatically hit my to-do list app! Have I blown your mind yet?
Then I found AnyList. Literally, a shopping list app where you can share lists with others i.e. the husband. You can set up your regular items in a list template and automatically add them. There’s an app for the phone and Mac, which automatically synch. So I have lists for camping trips, holiday gear and the weekly shop (because I can’t buy everything I need from one supermarket).
It’s the Marmite of the app world for grown-ups but kids love it. We’ve managed to create a safe space for our family to share silly pictures and updates. Even my 70-year-old parents are on it! Snapchat has helped my eldest’s anxiety, as she’s able to reach out to her cousins, Auntie and grandparents when she needs to. We operate it safely: she’s only allowed to use mine or my husbands account and knows if I see she’s messaged anyone outside of the groups we set up, then it’s over.
I’m so proud that at an early age she’s learning about support networks and how to reach out to them. It’s a brilliant life skill.
I’m not a complete parent clone. The reason I indulge in these apps, so I can focus on the emotional parenting technology absolutely cannot do (not even Siri – yet). I use them so I’m not completely frazzled as to deal with an anxious child or sibling squabbles.
I’m firmly in the camp that technology changes lives for the better. So next time you read some media fluff about how we’re distracted and becoming reclusive because of our phones, think about all the good things you use them for and how life would be different otherwise.