Tech Tips for Workaholic Moms
5 Pieces of Technology that New Moms should not live without
By Heather Bennett - the Grand Duchess
Becoming a mom was a bigger drain on my superpowers than I ever thought imaginable. In fact, in the first few months, motherhood was my kryptonite. My workaholic drive, which has served me so well in my career, did little in preparing me to take care of my new baby daughter.
Like all new moms, after a few months, a few tears, and a lot of trial and error, things got easier. In fact, I actually found some very cool pieces of technology that helped put me back on the road to workaholic-ism. These are five things that no working mom should be without:
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know what this is all about. You can download books, magazines, newspapers in seconds and have all these items at your fingertips whenever you want them.
Don’t misunderstand me. You will not be using the Kindle to catch up on all those novels you’ve been wanting to read. Mostly, you will be downloading books on why baby poop is yellow and fun stuff like that. The key here, though, is this: You can hold and turn pages on the Kindle with one hand. And if you don’t know why this is important, you haven’t yet realized that in the first couple of months you will spend about 8 hours a day feeding your baby. Once you get good at it, you can free up enough fingers to turn to chapter 5 of the Why Every Baby Should Learn Mandarin or The Jolliest Baby in Town or whatever new nonsense is being pushed on insecure parents these days.
2. You Mail
Since I gave birth, it seems that more people are calling me on my cell. My husband says that’s not true and that I just don’t pick up my cell anymore. Whatever the case, there are a boatload of messages on my phone and when choosing between a 5-minute snooze and wading through a succession of 23 messages to get to the one that I might care about, I choose sleep.
You Mail helps me get to the bottom of my voicemail bucket. Its free service alerts me via SMS and email that I have a message and I can access those messages (in any order I’d like) online. For an additional fee, they will transcribe my voicemail to text, so I can actually read my messages. This is a huge time saver and more importantly I am getting to the truly important messages quickly.
I first discovered this PC after my company-issued itty-bitty ThinkPad gave up the ghost. I was given the new company standard: A giant Dell laptop that weighed more than my kid. With all the baggage (both figurative and literal) I am carrying around these days, this monster laptop wasn’t going to cut it. So, I decided to invest in my own work PC. On the recommendation of a colleague I bought this ittier-bittier Asus and I have been thrilled with my choice. It fits in my purse, has a super long battery life, runs all the applications I need and was less than $500 with additional memory bringing it to 2GB. I even bought a cool skin, trying to make myself believe I am one of those hip moms but I’m told that takes more than a cute sticker.
This laptop accessory helps me take advantage of idle time. It’s a USB device that plugs into my laptop that gives me Internet access wherever Verizon cellular service is available. (And according to the commercial with the nerdy guy and the network that he is running with, that’s everywhere.) Idle time gets reclaimed when you can work from anywhere.
This is a business phone system that is fantastic for many reasons but for the purposes of this list, its ability to accommodate remote working makes it a real winner for working moms. Whether you can be productive working often from home , or when the occasional emergency arises, the M5 system allows you to make and take calls from home with ease. I can simply plug in a Cisco VoIP phone into my home cable router. When the nanny is running late or I need to stay home for a quick check-up at the pediatrician, I log into that phone and my calls find me there. In fact, callers are unaffected; it sounds like I am in the office because the connection is seamless. In addition, all of M5’s business-impacting features also work remotely, insuring that my work-from-home benefit doesn’t make life more difficult for my colleagues and customers.
Having a child at the exact moment my career started to take off could have set me back years in the workplace. Luckily, we live in a time where there are lots of tools to help a professional woman be a great mom and vice versa.