(This article first appeared in Salisbury Parenting)
I’m in my 30s so I guess I’m probably within the first generation of ‘modern mums’ who have technology close to hand in pretty much every aspect of everyday life. There are so many gadgets and apps that help get through our busy lives, especially to help us parent – a lot of technology that our own parents and grandparents didn’t have.
Most of this technology can be a godsend. We have gadgets and apps to save us time, help us multi-task, and allow us to spend more time with our families. We’re so used to having our smartphones full of apps on us at all times that we take most of it for granted, and probably don’t even consider about how much more difficult our everyday lives would be without it.
Modern Mum Technology
In a recent McCann report called the ‘Truth About Moms’, it was reported that 84% of mums agree that technology simplifies their life.
When I was little and we were sick my mum didn’t have a computer to access instant information, she had to look up our symptoms in the giant medical journal on the bookshelf. If I think my daughter might be ill I can Google it, ask my Facebook friends for advice, or look on a million different websites and have my mind put at rest (or a doctor’s appointment booked) within minutes.
I can remember my poor mum having to do the weekly food shop with my brother and I tagging along, begging her to buy us things, moaning that we were bored, and generally making it all a bit more stressful. I, on the other hand, can’t think of anything worse than dragging a child around the supermarket and have never tortured myself by doing it. I sit on the comfort of my sofa to order my groceries and then have a nice man from the supermarket deliver it straight to my door at a time convenient for me.
Then there are all of the apps that we have at our fingertips to amuse our kids for 5 minutes when we are trying to drive, cook dinner, or put some make-up on.
There are apps that help us manage our time, to remind us where we need to be and help us get there, and those that let us keep in touch with friends and family with hardly any effort on our part. Not to mention how much easier it is to have a camera permanently in your pocket to document those special moments.
is it really necessary?
Whilst I love all of this technology and can’t imagine living (and parenting) without it, I’m not sure that having all of it is such a good thing.
Some of the technology and gadgets that most parents have now are probably not even that necessary, and I’m sure people are losing the ability to think for themselves a bit. There weren’t any gadgets to test the temperature of the bath water or a baby’s bottle when our parents were new mums and dads, it was all down to common sense and instinct, and we all survived ok.
Our mums didn’t have smartphones to distract them when we were trying to get their attention, or wanting them to watch us swing by ourselves in the park.
They didn’t have social media stressing them out by showing them photos of amazing craft projects or birthday cakes that other mums were making with their kids.
And they didn’t have to worry what their children were watching online, who they were talking to, or what photos of themselves they were sharing with the whole world.
All of that said, I don’t think many of us ‘modern mums’ would be able to do without our phones, apps, and gadgets. I know that I would certainly find it very hard!
How to tell if you’re a modern mum…
If you can relate to some of the below points and couldn’t live without your phone or tablet, then you are definitely a ‘modern mum’ and need your 21st-century technology. I bet that everyone reading this can relate to at least one or two…
- If your child is sick your first port of call isn’t the family doctor, it’s Dr Google.
- When you need a few minutes to yourself to get dressed or tidy up you keep the kids quiet with an iPad or smartphone.
- You only manage to keep up with what your friends are doing by checking on social media.
- If it wasn’t for the Facebook reminders you’d completely forget most people’s birthdays.
- Being able to do your food shopping online and not have to drag the kids around the supermarket is a life saver.
- If you lost your phone you’d also lose your diary, address book, photos, and pretty much your whole life.
- You feel naked and totally lost if you forget to take your phone out with you.
- You’ve perfected the art of a mummy/child selfie.
- You have several apps on your phone that help to get your child to sleep or stop crying.
- If you have a child-related question you consult online forums or Facebook groups before your own mother.
- You have online mummy friends who you speak to more than your real-life friends.
- You go a bit crazy pinning ideas in the run-up to your children’s birthday parties or school projects.
- You check the amount of sugar or fat in your child’s food by scanning the barcodes on the labels.
- Before buying any baby products you do research and read reviews on Google and Amazon.
- Your kids regularly use the phrase “Google it Mummy” if you don’t know the answer to one of their questions.
So how many of those did you relate to? Are you a technology addicted Modern Mum?!