I've had my Apple Watch a month now and I'm ready to make a proclamation - the Apple Watch is the parent's best friend.
When word of the Apple Watch first started to spread, it barely made a blip on my radar. I’m not opposed to wearable technology, but – at the time – I still had my Fitbit so I didn’t really see the point.
Then, my friend Jessica got an Apple Watch. This is the same Jessica who changed Christmas forever so I tend to listen when she speaks.
Y’all, she used the word “life-changing.”
At the time, I was feeling overwhelmed by the daily minutia of raising three kids, maintaining a home, and running a business. I felt like no matter what productivity system I tried to use I couldn’t quite get ahold of my to-do list. I have apps I like, but the problem was capturing the steady stream of must-dos, like-to-dos, and the such filling up my head, ESPECIALLY when they always bubbled up at the most inopportune times like when I was driving.
Reminders will change your life.
Then, along came Jessica with her shiny new Apple Watch that she informed me was the solution to my problem. Standing at the sink and realize you need dishwashing detergent? Simply raise your wrist and say, “Hey Siri, add dishwashing detergent to my shopping list.” OR “Hey Siri, remind me next time I’m at Walgreens to get dishwashing detergent.” Need to remember to pick up the sleeping bag your child left at your friend’s house? “Hey Siri, remind me to pick up the sleeping bag when I get to Shannon’s house.”
I was sold. I wanted one. Badly. When I lost my Fitbit a few weeks later, I knew it was a sign. Why spend $100+ on a new Fitbit when I could get a fitness tracker that would ALSO function as the best assistant ever.
Work projects. House maintenance. Permission slips. Birthday party gifts. As parents, there are SO. MANY. THINGS. we need to remember on a daily basis to keep things running smoothly and suddenly here was the solution!
The first week I got it I was driving around during a particularly hectic day. It was Griffin's first theater performance and I remembered I wanted to get him flowers. Unfortunately, I still had three other trips to make including one back home to pick up the younger kids.
"Hey Siri remind me when I leave home to get flowers for Griffin."
Ran my errands. Went to get the kids. TOTALLY forgot about the flowers until I was pulling out of my driveway on the way to the theater.
Tap. Tap. Tap. "Remember to get flowers for Griffin."
Brilliant! Swung in the market and looked like Mom of the Year!
Now, as many iPhone users point out to me, you can already set reminders like this on your phone and that is true. HOWEVER, if your phone is constantly set to vibrate (so as to not awaken a sleeping baby) or buried at the bottom of your purse, then the reminders don’t really remind. Well, they do remind – they remind you that you forgot all that stuff you had to do the next time you pick up your phone.
Reminders on your Apple Watch is literally like having a very polite assistant follow you around and gently tap you on the wrist to help you remember.
Less distraction from the things that really matter.
I know this sounds crazy but putting your phone on your wrist really is less distracting. I'm not on my phone as much because I'm not worried about missing important messages. When I used to get on my phone to "check messages" I ended up also "checking" Facebook... and Twitter... and Instagram and neglecting the world around me. Now, I can plug in my phone in my room and not feel the constant tug of social media because I know anything important will come to the watch.
No more missed calls or texts.
And I now miss ZERO of the important calls or texts due to the aforementioned fact that my phone is buried or silent OR – and here is where the Apple Watch really earns its keep for parents – in the hands of a child.
Kid watching PBS KIDS in the back of the van on a long road trip? No problem! You will still get all your texts and phone calls. What about restaurants or a friend’s house or doctor’s visit? Hand off your phone to a bored child without fearing you’ll miss any important texts or phone calls!
The fitness tracking and other features you didn't know you needed.
Another great feature is the camera remote control, which actually PULLS UP WHAT THE CAMERA IS SEEING ON YOUR WATCH so you can make sure everyone is in the shot and – most importantly – get in that family photo yourself for a change!
Now, I won’t lie. There’s a bit of a learning curve. You have to set up the Reminder Lists in a way that works for you and your family. (I’d like to recommend sharing the shopping list with your partner.) You also have to add any locations you visit often as contacts in your phone to make sure Siri knows which Walgreens or grocery store you’re talking about. However, once you get it, it’s awesome.
And anything that makes parenting less stressful and more awesome is WORTH IT in my book.