Since the start of May, I've been floundering. Trying to manage our house and manage my job has been a challenge to say the least. The smartphone is something I was incredibly resistent to. I mean for YEARS! I saw no need to have a cell phone be anything more than a cell phone. Even during my time as a stay at home mom, I still saw no need. Sure, hubby and I talked about my moving to a smartphone when my current contract was up - but that was still 2 years away in my mind.
And then I returned to work.
Life got hectic in a hurry as I tried to do all of the organizing of our family AND juggling the tasks my job required of me. My phone was not enough. I needed to have my phone, email, calendar, shopping and to do lists...and I needed them in my pocket. It was becoming crushingly obvious that I was going to need to make the leap to a smartphone much faster. This also meant I was going to need to make up my mind on exactly WHICH smartphone I would go to.
Hubby is an iPhone guy. I think they are cool, but I really don't care for the touchscreen. We're an Apple household so it made sense that I would just go iPhone eventually. But I still didn't want the touchscreen. I started to lean much more heavily toward going Blackberry with its full qwerty and just as much functionality. I don't use my phone as an mp3 player so I didn't care what it's capabilities were in that arena...I just needed to be able to organize my family ont he go so I could maximize the time I was now left with. A coworker and friend of mine offered me his old Blackberry Curve to play with and I took him up on the offer so I could get a headstart.
Knowing I didn't want to drop $600 on a brand new Blackberry - I started looking at kijiji for options. There were many, many Blackberries out there with low mileage. Some locked. Some unlocked. I had been negotiating with one seller, when I dfound out another coworker and friend was looking to sell his old one. It had only been used for 7 months and he only wanted $100 for it. I leapt at the chance...andnow I have a Blackberry. Let me tell ya - just having it made me feel like I gained back an hour in my day.
I suddenly understand the smartphone thing. And my new Blackberry plan is almost $15 cheaper a month than my old non-smartphone was. Funny how that works.
The Family Organizer
This one goes hand in hand with the smartphone. I have written about the family organizer we us - Cozi. We've been using it for a few months now and still LOVE IT! Being able to manage our family calendar and shopping/task lists form a single application has made life much easier. (I also wrote to Cozi last week to see when a BB app is coming and they confirmed it would be early summer! yay!) I'm really glad we got it all set up and in use before I returned to work. Now I know all of our info is in there and we can plan our life around the entries. It also means that I can easily run across the street to Safeway after work and I know that the most current shopping list is inmy pocket and hubby and I can both add to it remotely to ensure we end up getting everything we need! So handy!
Ok - this one is going to seem a bit strange to mention as a tool of modern mommyhood...but bear with me. They sell these at Costco, but you can also find them online for much much more $$. Basically it is a completely spillproof drinking container. To drink from them, you need to push a button. Best of all - they are completely inoperable by toddlers. Now do you see it? As long as I have my beveriges in one of these - I know they are staying contained and my midgets won't be burned by hot coffee or soaked by 3 cups of water.
The Tide to Go pen
I'm really bad about using this one, though I will admit it is a brilliant invention for mommy purses everywhere. Having something to instantly combat stains, always at the ready, is a peace of mind thing. For my clothes, anyway. Somehow conquering the galaxy-sized stains on my daughters clothing with a little pen...ya, that's just not gonna happen....
Oh, how many times our Netflix subscription has saved us! Grumpy kids at the store? Out comes Daddy's iPhone and on goes Word World! Screaming in the car? Netflix and Blues Clues. Fussing while waiting in a restaurant? Prop up the phone and on goes Diego!
For $8 Cdn a month, our subscription saves our sanity. Just a little bit. And we get to watch movies too...after the babies are in bed. :)
So, those are just a few of the tools that help me keep my sanity as a modern, working momma. What are the tools you find most helpful?