By Katie Rössler
I don’t know about you, but I, as a mom, feel like technology is growing at a rate that I can’t keep up with. The more I learn, the more I realize there is even more to learn. It feels endless and, frankly, I just don’t have the time – at least so I thought. As I created my program, From Stay at Home Mom to Chief Household Officer, I realized there are some really smart ways to use technology to help me get things done, and so I teach these methods to the moms in my program. Today, I will share with you three ways to make technology work for you as a mom!
Find an app that connects your family
Keeping everyone on the same page can be a challenge, and it is even more frustrating when we, or our partners, forget to put something on the “list” and it falls through the cracks. Apps like Cozi allow you to share a family calendar on all platforms (cell phone, computer, tablet) and color coordinate whose information belongs to whom. Not only that, these apps typically come with To Do and Grocery List sections. This makes life easier for all of you to ensure you are on the same page. Plus, who wants to have to rewrite their grocery list every week? We tend to buy similar things each time, so having a list that is already saved is awesome! Save yourself time and frustration by finding an app that works for you and your family.
We have often used timers in our home, for time-out or “beat the clock” toy pickup sessions, but when I started using it for me as well, things got done! I must admit that I am a bit competitive by nature, but using a timer also helped me know there was an end to the project I was working on and kept me focused. There is nothing worse than when I start to clean a room, and then 30 minutes later the room is not clean, but I have five more projects I’ve just started and not finished. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Use timers to set end points to projects and focus solely on that project during that time. Setting a timer for how long you will escape into the internet world can be helpful, too, so you don’t waste more valuable time. Social media is great at keeping us connected, but, just like a kid, we need some restrictions too. Timers can provide that friendly reminder that there is a real world out there and that it needs you to be a part of it.
Turn off notifications
Whether it’s WhatsApp, Facebook, text messages, or another messaging app: turn off notifications. The reality is that we have so much going in to our brains all day long, and hearing a little notification bell, no matter how zen the sound may be, triggers for our brain a sense of urgency, and a need to look. We don’t need more “urgent” sounds in our lives, do we, ladies? Turn off notifications. If it is an emergency, people will call to get ahold of you (some devices will even let you set which notifications – and from whom – can get through). Some will need a reminder about this, and I have seen many moms start to put “call if it’s an emergency” as their status on WhatsApp. Straight to the point, and I like that! We are social beings, but I am watching the most extroverted people get burnt out because there is just too much contact nowadays. So, take some time to change the settings on your phone and enjoy the quiet. Choose to connect when you want to.
Overall, technology is pretty incredible, and I’ll be the first on board when there is an automatic meal maker robot on the market! (Of course, it will need to be affordable…) [Editor’s note: check out Moley for a glimpse of the future!] Be smart about making technology work for you in the ways you know how to use it, and let’s work together to stop letting it suck out our mental and emotional energy. Technology can be an easy escape, but rarely makes us feel better afterwards – unless there is a baby and a puppy involved. That always helps!
Katie Rössler is a licensed professional counselor from the United States. She started Positive Connections in Munich providing workshops and private sessions on relationship building skills. She is the creator of the From Stay at Home Mom to Chief Household Officer program. Katie enjoys running, hiking, and doing yoga. Her go to comfort food is sushi and when she needs to escape from her kids she jumps in the shower! Laugh with her by following her CHO journey on Instagram: @FromSAHMtoCHO