Creative Child

5 High-Tech (and Creative) Ways to Make Single Parenting Easier

by Christy Matte

Kids. They bring you joy and love, and give your life purpose. But we also know that parenting is not for the faint of heart. And parenting solo? Why are there no awards for this? With no one to tag team with during the day, single parents have all of the decisions, discipline, chores, and stress. If you find yourself parenting alone, you likely need to get creative.

Smart home technology can simplify tasks, help monitor your kids, and even take care of a few things you just don’t have the energy to do. And here’s a secret for parents who aren’t on the solo journey: Smart home tech can help you, too – no matter where you are, at home or on the go!

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Smart Home What?

Smart home technology is a rapidly growing collection of consumer products that can be controlled remotely, typically via your in-home Wi-Fi or an app on your phone or tablet. These devices can also communicate with each other, either directly, or through apps and services that serve as a bridge. The technology ranges from simple DIY items, like a single Wi-Fi connected light bulb, to more cohesive systems, like you might get from your home security company or local cable provider. There are even high-end systems that can be built right into your home.

Intrigued? Here’s what all this technology can do for you to help you run your home.

Smart Appliances

You woke up to your smart speaker playing your morning jam and stumbled out of bed. Now you’re staggering around the house trying to get the kids up and ready for school. All you really want is your coffee, but your daughter needs help with her hair, and your son is complaining about there being no food for lunch. Luckily, your smart coffee maker has already brewed you a cup of your favorite morning blend because you had programmed it. Your smart speaker sent an alert when you turned it off (just a few snoozes in), so the coffee is hot and ready to go.

Before you head out the door, your smart devices can also remind you that the kids have soccer practice this evening. You’ll have little time to make dinner, but with a few taps on your phone you can have your smart oven preheating the moment you leave work, so it’s ready to go when you arrive home.

Smart Outlets

You arrive at work just on time, but something is weighing on your mind. Something you forgot. That’s right—you left the curling iron plugged in! With just five minutes until your first meeting, you have no time to go home and unplug it. Pull out your phone, and use the app to turn off the smart outlet it’s plugged into. Now you can focus on your big presentation without worrying about any incidents when you return home.

Smart Locks

Your kids are finally old enough to head home after school on their own, but even if you have faith that they won’t burn the house down, you’re likely still nervous that they’ll lose their keys.

Smart home tech has an answer to this age-old problem in the form of a smart lock. These locks allow you to enter your home using a code. Each person, including the housekeeper (if the housekeeper is not you), the grandparents, and the dog sitter can have their own code, so you can keep track of who has entered and when. Smart locks can connect to your Wi-Fi and even alert you to someone entering the house. You’ll know your kids are home safe without them having to remember to tell you. And, if needed you can even lock or unlock the doors remotely if (when) someone forgets.

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Environmental Controls

The kids are in bed (finally!), dishes are done, laundry put away, and you just want to curl up with a good book. Five minutes in and you know you’re too tired to face another thing. Depending on where you live, your internet service provider can offer you a total home security and home automation solution. You can simply say, “Good night,” into your voice remote and automatically the lights turn off, the heat turns down, the doors all lock, the security system is activated, and some calming music drifts into your room.

Home Monitoring

You’re no doubt asleep by the time your head hits the pillow. It’s been a busy day, and you’ve had a lot to juggle. But also, you’re able to rest easier because your home is being monitored even while you sleep. Your smart smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are on, and they can even text you to alert you to problems just as they occur. But you’ve also got door and window sensors in case someone tries to sneak in (or out…). And there’s even a water sensor in the basement in case the pipes freeze again and start to leak. Security cameras around the inside and outside of your home are keeping watch, with live monitoring and recording.

Just a few years ago, this would have seemed like some sort of high-tech house of the future, but this technology is all readily available today. And although you can install most of it on your own, we know how busy single parents are. With some home security systems, like the one that may be available from your local internet service provider, you can integrate additional smart home features, all professionally installed (with customer support) and controllable with one mobile app. Whether you choose to buy a package or DIY, the right set of smart home technology products can feel like a second set of hands around your home. And who couldn’t use that?

 

 

Christy Matte is a mom of two and a Boston-based writer who covers home security for XFINITY Home. She is also a die-hard techie who blogs at QuirkyFusion.com.? 

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