I resisted getting an iPhone for quite a while. “Why do I need one,” I’d ask my husband. “It’s not like I need to keep track of clients or appointments or anything and I already have a regular cell phone to make calls with.” Oh, how naive I was! I finally caved to my desires and now I think I use my phone more as a stay-at-home mom of small kids than I ever would have in my former professional life managing a multi-million dollar website.
Beyond the obvious parental-type things I use my iPhone for (texting my husband to pick up bananas on the way home, calling the day care to say my son will be late) here are some of the ways I use my phone to be a happier mom:
1. I Entertain Myself While Breastfeeding
I love breastfeeding — let’s just get that out of the way right up front. I talk, sing and make contact while I nurse my baby. But after he starts to get sleepy, I need to be quiet and avoid eye contact so he’ll relax enough to go to sleep and at that point I’m stuck sitting quietly in the rocker for another 20 minutes or so. And when he was a newborn I did that 10 times per day! Besides normal web surfing and blog reading, I love to use this time to play games. Some of my favorites include: Wurdle, StoneLoops of Jurassica, Bejeweled 2, CandyMania PileUp and my most recent favorite, Blowfish Lite (sorry, couldn’t find a link). And even though it’s slow going to type on the iPhone keypad, I even use it to write sometimes. In fact, this post was partially written using the WordPress app!
2. I Take Photos of My Kids When We’re Out and About
This one is sort of a no brainer, but as a photography obsessed mom I love being able to take photos of my boys without lugging my big camera everywhere. I use these photos for scrapbooking in general and my Project 365 photo essay in particular and I recently had a “Duh!” moment when I realized I could email these photos to my mom and dad to give them a grandkid fix when they’re at work. No one ever said I was the sharpest tack in the box….
3. I Listen to Podcasts to Keep Myself From Going Insane
So very many of the mommy things I do in a day require that I use my hands and pay attention to my surroundings but don’t require that I be particularly mentally engaged. Housework and driving around running errands are a few examples of these horribly boring, mind-numbing chores. To keep myself from spiraling into a deep depression triggered by mental atrophy, I like to listen to podcasts while I do this stuff. Some of my favorites are the Manic Mommies, NPR’s StoryCorps, Meal Makeover Moms, and I’m looking forward to checking out this list of creativity podcasts Lain blogged about the other day.
4. I Record My Kids Laughing
…and babbling and telling jokes with the voice memo app. Photos are great and all, but those recordings of their little voices take you back to the age when they were recorded in an instant and oh my, they are sweet.
5. I Entertain My (Big) Kid at Restaurants and in the Car
I’m obviously not handing my iPhone to my 14-month-old baby, but my five-year-old is careful enough to be trusted with it occasionally. I don’t often let him use it, so when I give it to him to play with it’s a very, very special treat and he is absolutely thrilled. Some places I let him use it include: doctor’s office waiting rooms, in line at the post office, drives of over an hour and a half, and on airplane flights. I have a number of kid-friendly apps on my phone, but he also likes “playing” the same games I do. I also have an episode of Handy Manny on there for extreme circumstances and my husband has Wall-E on his phone for even more dire distraction emergencies.
I also use it to take notes for my son’s #babybook, but I already wrote about that.
How do you use your phone to make parenting your kids easier or more fun?