Exactly 24 hours before my kindergartener’s birthday party, the doorbell rang. I opened the door in the super-glam outfit I wear to bleach my bathrooms to find a mom and her little girl on the front porch holding a present.
“Is this Cooper’s house?” the mom asked, giving my ratty clothes and the barking dog I was holding by the collar a questioning once-over. “We’re here for the party.”
You guys, I wanted to kiss her. Do you know how many times I have shown up on the wrong day or at the wrong time for a birthday party/play date/pediatrician appointment? MORE THAN I CAN COUNT because counting is hard, and my head is too full.
I mean it.
I am out of room in my head.
My brain is too full of messages, menus, to-do’s, homework assignments, permission slips, band concerts, sportsball practices—you get the idea.
So, I did what any twenty-first century mom with 30 million songs in her pocket would do would do: I outsourced my memory to my technology.
That’s right, friends. My iPhone is not just something for me to stare at instead of my kids so I can get shamed by all the sanctimommies at the park. No! It’s the place where I keep ALL OF THE THINGS so I can free up my brain to SAVOR THE MOMENT because life really is just a someecards meme after all. I KNEW IT! Also, WHERE IS MY WINE?
Things you can make your phone think about:
Any of those old-timey pieces of information you run across. A birthday party invitation. A grocery list. A post-it your nagging harpy partner left on the kitchen counter. JUST TAKE A PICTURE OF IT and remind Google Calendar or Siri or Alexa to remind you to look at it. I heard this as a happiness hack on Happier with Gretchen Rubin, the best podcast ever, and as usual, Gretchen Rubin is right.
Printing pictures. I know; I know you take a billion pictures of your sneauxflakes but you never print them. Welcome to the club. Which is actually a club I quit because I subscribed my Facebook and Instagram feeds to the Chatbooks app. Now, like magic, every 60 pictures I post to FB and Insta get printed in adorable little hipster-sized books, complete with captions. They just show up on my doorstep! I never even have to think about it! (Probably I should think about it a little because you can decide which pictures you want in the books, and so we now have lots of printed pics of my better-than-usual dinners, artful latte foam, or Pinterest FAIL classroom treats.)
Coupons. My grocery store has an awesome little coupon app that saves me around $15 a trip, and all I have to do is scan QR codes while I shop. It’s perfect, and I bet your grocery store has one, too.
Classroom donations. At open house in my kindergartener’s classroom, his teacher had a big laminated poster with classroom wish-list items written on post-its. When my son pulled off the post-it that said “moon sand” there was a space to write his name on a line saying he’d donate it. As I watched him happily scrawl his letters in Sharpie—a novelty because he’s not allowed within 100 feet of a permanent marker at home—I realized I would never remember to send in the sand. Unless! I could whip out my phone and use my Amazon app to Prime some to his teacher right there on the spot. So I did!
Household items. I am terrible at remembering light bulbs for weird appliances. I mean, it took me like 3 full minutes of pressing the “oven light” button and getting no light to realize there’s even a light bulb IN THERE SOMEWHERE. And fridge water filters? AS IF. So now, I use the moon sand principle to just Prime those things on the spot. Then I promptly forget the whole thing ever happened. When my item shows up, though, I totally love day-before-yesterday Sarah.
Recording videos of my adorable kids. Pictures I can take all day, but video slips my mind. So, I got the 1 Second Everyday app, and it prompts me to add a snippet of video every darn day. Genius.
Parenting. Google Calendar reminds me to give my kids medicine, check their school folders, quiz them on their spelling lists, and tell them I love them. KIDDING ABOUT THE LAST ONE #notamonster.
Since I outsourced my memory to my iPhone, I am way less frantic. I even have an app that reminds me to meditate which is… ironic? Zeitgeisty? Kind of dumb?