Bring it on 2018!!
Happy New Year everyone! While we enjoy the last few days of holiday break before kids go back to school and school activities begin to drive our schedule, it's so important to refocus. New Year, new MOM! Like many moms out there my support systems for parenting are...well...difficult.
I'm a single mom. My parents passed away when I was young. My family lives super far and all my friends are just as busy as me. The old saying "it takes a village" is true and my village was empty after divorce.
My new village is technology! For some moms letting your kid join spring sports is hard if not impossible, just because there's no more time in the schedule for another pickup or drop off. I found myself in this boat with my young teenage son. I felt so guilty he sat out of spring sports last year while I adjusted to being a single mom with all the parenting responsibilities during the week with zero help. I couldn't find another moment to fight through traffic to pick him up at 6 pm without canceling dinner or leaving another kid at school way too late. Then I decided to use Lyft.
Lyft tends to be much cheaper than Uber. My son wasn't going far, but traffic made the trip terrible for our fams schedule. One way home in the Lyft for five miles saved me an hour in LA traffic, didn't cost me much and got my son back playing sports and involved. On the weekend with less to do, I make the games, help other moms with their transportation and still feel super involved.
Daycare was also kicking my ass. I couldn't afford a full-time nanny anymore, I couldn't justify sending my two young sons to full-time daycare because most days I could just bring them with me and struggle to control them verse paying for full-time and maybe not needing what I paid for. And let's face it, most of the time I needed a sitter past 5 pm when most daycares are getting ready to close. I desperately needed a dependable sitter for last second events, mommy decompression and any 911 situations that came up. Boom. I found Care.com.
I'd never tried the service before, even though I've seen tons of commercials. I was kinda impressed by how affordable and easy it was to use. Last second sitters that have been vetted, show up on time and can watch the young kids while I run out. You can choose to work with the same caregivers too so your kids don't do that whole meltdown thing. For me, it's working right now. Cost-effective, safe, and I decided I trust them to help me when I can't find anyone else.
Another cool thing I added to help me manage my non-village is a Google Home device. I put it in the kitchen and literally instruct it to make to do list, shopping list, alarms, reminders for various things and to organize my calendar all while I stuck in the kitchen meal prepping or cleaning. At night, it softly plays classical music on a low setting to keep it classy and I'm even getting all the settings right to control my lighting, etc. to save a little cash since I can see now when all that shit still on after we left the house. Best part, it only cost about $30 bucks and looks really hard for my little ones to break.
Have some cool tech things that are helping you manage a little easier with solo mommying, or hell, mommying period, because it's always hard. Let me know in comments or email me so I can share with everyone.
Happy New Year and happy techo-mommying.