Whether you’re a single parent working outside the home, or a stay-at-home parent, the way to stay sane is to streamline your family responsibilities so you can do more with less. Maybe you’ll finally find a moment or two to finish that cup of coffee while it’s still hot! Here’s an A-to-Z guide to a few apps and websites you can trust to lighten the load.
This app can save you countless hours on two big tasks—sorting through children’s artwork and shopping for gifts. Gather children’s art, put it in a box Artkive sends you, and the company will photograph it and send it back in an 8.5” x 11” hardcover book you can give to aunts, uncles, and grandparents. It also scans all the art so you can access it from any device.
Common Sense Media can bail you out if you don’t have the time after a long workday to figure out which shows, movies, books, or video games are suitable for kids. This nonprofit website has thousands of reviews of apps, shows, music, and video games, written by educators or other experts who note whether they contain sex, violence, profane language, or other content that you may find inappropriate for your child.
Cozi Family Organizer
Cozi.com and its Family Organizer app allow you to sync everything from playdates to business meetings via a helpful tool: a calendar that lets you assign a color to each family member so you can see at a glance who needs to be where when.
Plan playdates, birthday parties, family gatherings, or a night out with friends. Doodle allows you to collaborate schedules with multiple people to see what days and times work best for all invited and saves you the stress that multiple text messages and phone calls bring.
Fatherly.com has become the go-to site for young fathers. It offers Webby award-winning content including videos, podcasts, articles and advice from experts like Melinda Gates and pediatrician William Series.
This app for children ages 4 and up uses friendly animated figures to help kids simplify their morning routines and get out of the house on time. It lets them check off tasks like brushing their teeth and getting dressed and, if you’d like to reward them for it, allows you to print out a certificate of achievement. Helpful and fun.
HealthyChildren.org is “the only parenting website backed by 66,000 pediatricians.” You’ll find general information written by leading child health experts on parenting, child health, safety and prevention, how to provide speedy symptom relief for minor illnesses or injuries, and more.
Lala Lunchox is an easy-to-use, child-friendly app that gets kids involved in planning their lunches by letting them make healthy food choices, such as picking a fruit, vegetable, protein, and snack. After they’ve weighed in, LaLa Lunchbox will generate a shopping list for you.
Your neighborhood is a living and breathing (hopefully thriving) neighborhood. Nextdoor is an app that brings communities together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, and read the latest local news. You can support local businesses, ask questions about vendors, find help and endless support. It’s easy to use and will help you build connections to make your life easier right where you live.
Shipt offers same-day (often “next hour”) delivery of groceries and sundries from local stores you shop. Download the app, shop online at any nearby grocery or department store that Shipt serves, select a time slot for the delivery, and your items will be brought to you during the convenient time you chose. The only extra charge is the tip (about 10%) you give your shopper who also delivers everything right to your front door.
UrbanSitter is an app that helps you find babysitters recommended by your neighbors, whether you need long-term childcare or just one night because your regular babysitter had an emergency. You can scroll though profiles or videos that sitters have uploaded, read reviews by neighbors, look for badges that show which sitters have passed a background check, check availability, and pay online. Care.com is another good website with an app to help you find sitters.
Zero to Three
Zerotothree.org is packed with helpful information for parents of children ages 3 and under, all backed by the nonprofit National Resource Center for Infants and Toddlers and Families. It has tips on early childhood development, articles on topics such as returning from parental leave, and a section for military families, including a Babies on the Home Front app that helps parents stay connected during deployment.