Time, we all need more of it. Particularly when you’re a mum. And especially a working mum.
From trying to stay organised through the chaos of the endless work-life-mum balance, juggling far too many hats to just needing some escapism and you-time, there’s a whole new breed of apps out there designed to make our lives that little bit easier and allow us to proudly hashtag #parentingtheshitoutoflife.
Here at LOOKLOOK we like to call them the life hacks.
“Once you become a mum you have a lot less time for yourself but it is also so important not to forget you, what you love doing and what makes you happy,” says Zoe de Pass of Dress Like a Mum. “Parents often naturally tend to prioritize their children over themselves and sometimes while doing this they lose a bit of their identity. If you do not feel like you then it is harder to make the other people around you happy.”
Emily Quinton of Makelight agrees. “It’s so easy to feel like we’re too busy to make time for the things that we want to do, especially as mothers but it really is amazing what you can do with just 10-15 minutes a day. I’ve found that taking a little time each day for my own creativity has really helped me grow as a person, a mother and a businesswoman. It may not feel like much but it really does make a difference.”
Today’s #mumbosses are embracing a whole range of apps. “Apps are an essential part of modern-day life for me,” admits Kimberly Ritchie, founder of the Scottish Mothers Collective and mum of two. “I’m rarely without my phone and, right or wrong, my apps make my chaotic, busy working mum life just that little bit more organised.
“My favourite is Wunderlist. I’m constantly trying to remember all the things I need to do each week; for the house, for the kids, for work and so on. Wunderlist acts as my mental dumping ground for all my many, many to-do lists – perfect for fuzzy post-baby brain.”
Mum of two, Emily Murray, who is a writer for Grazia, Stylist and GLAMOUR and also runs her own business The Pink House, is another app lover who uses hers to entertain the kids.
“I try to fit my working hours around childcare for my two young boys but despite my best efforts there are inevitably times when I have to write an urgent email/take an urgent phone call/eat an urgent biscuit while I’m in sole charge of the children, “ she says.
“This is where the Loopimal app (and Uncle iPad) comes in. Billed as ‘your kid’s first entry into the world of computer sequencing’, it’s basically a fun game where your mini person can make music, using an adorable selection of cartoon animals to ‘create’ the sounds. You’re gainfully employed; they’re gainfully employed; everyone’s a winner.”
For Zoe at Dress Like a Mum, her go-to apps are TOPSHOP for shopping anytime/anywhere, Instagram for new brands and stories and City Mapper to plan her routes and commutes.
And our very own mum boss and self-confessed Instagram addict, Frances Spencer-Barton, of LOOKLOOK, has her very own app loves. “With two small kids and work to balance, reading an entire book is a luxury, and one that I haven’t managed to do in such a long time,” she reveals.
“I stumbled upon Blinklist via Instagram, it is such a lifesaver and feels like I am still expanding my knowledge and learning something new. The app takes best-selling non-fiction books across various categories such as History, self-improvement, management techniques, small business start-up, investing etc and summarises them into 15-min audio soundbites. I listen to it while I drive, do the dishes, walk to work and I love how productive it makes me feel.”
So, here are our Top Ten mum boss apps
- Money Dashboard. Helping you to be savvy with cash, this app keeps details of all your current, credit card and savings accounts in one place, no matter who you bank with. Life Hacks for the ultimate Mum Boss’
- Headspace. Get your free headspace wherever you go with this easy to use meditation app which offers guided mindfulness techniques.
- SleepBot. This sleep cycle tracker and intuitive smart alarm record your movements and sounds throughout the night to see what can help you sleep better, for longer.
- If getting to a class is proving too difficult perfect your yoga at home or at work. Office Yoga is an e-deck of pose cards tailored for workers who want to take care of their body in between classes.
- Blinklist. The ultimate book summary app. Like watching the football highlights, but even better.
- VSCO. Why waste time perfecting angles and lighting when this app effortlessly transforms ordinary shots into arty ones.
- Wunderlist. Keep your life in sync with this sharable to-do list, perfecting for sending reminders to Him.
- Dress Like a Mum. Okay, not technically an app but follow Zoe de Pass on @dresslikeamum for everything style-related. And a good dose of humour too.
- My Fitness Pal. One of the most comprehensive calories counters and a calculator. And it’s free too.
- 5K Pro. Train to run a 5K with this clever app that provides audio alerts.