Being a single, divorced mom is hard. Women in generations past struggled to raise kids on their own, it was and still is very difficult. Now technology can actually help us to make life less difficult.
Here are 7 ways tech tools can help single moms keep track of kids, take care of their homes, and feel more confident as single parents.
1. Always Know Where Your Kids Are
It is helpful to know where your child is — especially when communication isn’t that great with your ex. (And let’s be honest, your children may have inherited his communication skills.)
Even if your kids don’t have smartphones, you can use a wearable GPS tracker to get updates on their locations.
Plus, some GPS trackers let you send your kid simple messages. The ability to text your child updates about who is picking them up for school, for instance, can be extremely helpful if your child doesn’t have a phone.
There are many GPS trackers on the market at a range of prices, so it’s not hard to find one that fits your needs and budget.
2. Keep Your Home Secure & Sound
Your ex may have taken care of home security and maintenance before the divorce. But now that you’re on your own, you need to manage the home yourself. Fortunately, smart home technology can make this a little more simple.
Numerous technologies, inside, outside, and even beneath the home, can let you know exactly what’s going on, even if you’re not home.
For example, doorbell monitors are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Yet they’re great when you have small children who can use the monitor before opening the door to strangers. Door-to-door solicitors won’t even see into your home before they will be told to leave.
If your ex was your main source of plumbing help, it’d be helpful to know if there are leaks. Installing leak sensors can help you pinpoint plumbing issues early, avoiding expensive repairs and flooding later.
In addition to sensors, smart home technology can make your home look more secure. You can set lights and music to turn on and off on a timer – perfect for those evenings when you’re getting home late from work but don’t want your house to appear empty.
3. Give Yourself a Night Out
Splitting up sometimes means moving into a new neighborhood. If you don’t know your neighbors yet, finding a sitter to treat yourself to a night on the town (or even just get some errands done) feels like a challenge.
A service like Care.com helps you find the right kind of sitter for your needs. These services allow you to filter potential caregivers by experience, CPR/first aid training, and other qualifications.
Plus, you can select from a range of care needs. Looking for a nanny? Someone to care for a special needs child? Or just someone for a date night? Using tech services like Care.com make finding the right sitter for your needs simple.
4. Get Help with Dinner
We know it takes a village to raise your children. That’s even truer for single moms, who now don’t have a spouse to rely on for help around the home.
Apps like Lotsa Helping Hands let you coordinate your village. Through the app, you can easily care for and support for your kids. Now, instead of being forced to grab fast food on the way home from work (again!), you can coordinate a home-cooked meal. Or ask a neighbor to help you mow your lawn.
You can simply post the shared calendar your need and allowing someone in your community to fill the need. Meal schedules, medical appointments, and chore schedules, and more can be scheduled. Even better, automatic reminders are sent to all participants.
5. Keep Your Kids Safe Online
While we’re familiar with monitoring internet use for inappropriate content, knowing how much time our kids are spending online matters, too.
What sites are our kids visiting? Who are they interacting with? And when are they online (instead of being in bed)?
New software allows us to know exactly what our kids are doing online. While you can also block specific sites, often having conversations with our kids about their web content teaches them how to make good decisions on their own.
Social media monitoring, website blocking, and time spent online can all be tracked.
With online bullying and other hazards posing such a challenge, it’s more important than ever yo know exactly what your kids are doing.
6. Keep Your Family on the Same Page.
Coordinating visits, holidays, pickups and other co-parenting duties can be hard. Often, simple texts messages to confirm plans can turn into full-fledged arguments that resurface hurt feelings.
One way to do this is to take use an online calendar to automatically sync schedules. Google Calendar is a popular choice for single moms, but other services work as well.
If your kids are old enough to have phones, share the family calendar with them. With a shared calendar, you can make sure your kids, your ex and you are all on the same page with who’s responsible for which days.
Plus, by keeping your kids in the know, they can tell if something’s up if your ex tries to pick them up on a day that’s not theirs to have them.
7. Help Your Kids Remember Their Chores, Even When You’re Not Home
By setting reminders, these smart assistants can remind you to set alarms on the security system, pick up dry cleaning, and more.
Even better, you can schedule daily reminders to help your kids remember to do their chores or homework.
Being a single mom is never easy. However, thanks to modern tech, post-divorce parenting feels a little less daunting. Try some of these tech tools and let us know how they helped you!