As someone who passionately loves her job and is also a busy mom of two, my life can be best described as “organized chaos.” I love every second of it and while I might be that “dear mom at the playground on her phone,” you read about on Facebook, mobility has afforded me the ability to balance my family and career like never before. Having the right tools and tech in place allows me to stay connected to my family at work (even when it’s 3,000 miles away!) and connected to my work when I’m with my family (looking at you, critical approval workflow sent during school’s early release day). Beyond the predictable phone calls and text messages, here are five ways mobility keeps me connected to my family:
As full-time professionals and professional children-wranglers, my husband and I lead a life of wonderful chaos that is only slightly more organized by the reminders app on our cell phones. We share a grocery list, a household needs list, and a to-do list that keep us both on the same page for the important questions in life — like “do we have milk?” and “are we almost out of laundry detergent?” I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so, I tend to take the little things to heart. Running out of milk for breakfast makes me feel like I’m slipping at home, so this keeps me (and my husband) on top of our family game.
I travel quite a bit for my job and can often be found wearing a Citrix polo in the ShareFile booth at any given accounting or tech tradeshow. As much as I love my job and I adore leading the example of hard work for my children, it’s not easy being away for 3-5 days at a time. My oldest son and I have a tradition that the first night in my hotel, I give him a full tour of my hotel room, including my view. It helps him picture where his mom is and it is so good for me to see his face and share my little corner of the world in that moment.
While 90% of my ShareFile account is dedicated to my professional life, I do have a little “personal” folder that has been the true hero in several important, life events. Refinancing the house and need last year’s tax returns? Easy. Husband has the insurance cards but I’m the one at the doctor? No problem. The school can’t find the field trip form? I can email a fresh one! We keep every important document on ShareFile, which I can pull up on my phone at a moment’s notice.
If I had to recommend one “life hack” for busy families, it would be keeping a legally binding e-signature tool on your roster. Sure, we had a big issue when our refinance almost fell through while my husband and I celebrated our anniversary in the mountains (you can read all about that wild adventure here!). But being a busy working mom, the ability to sign documents and send them electronically without downloads and scans is unmatched. When my youngest needs sunscreen permission slips for daycare, the daycare director simply drops the form in my client portal. I am notified that it’s there, I sign it via RightSignature, and email it right back to her. It’s a simple way to be sure that my family is taken care of, even as I rush between meetings.
Schools have come a long way from notes sent home in the front pocket of the book bag. These days, an app gives me a behavior report from elementary school, a daily rundown from daycare, and the schools even have apps to upload pictures so I don’t miss the fun runs or holiday parties when I’m unable to attend. It’s a great way to have insight into what my kids do all day without me and often gives me fantastic starting points past “how was your day?” at the dinner table.
How do you stay connected to your family on-the-go and at work? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and leave me your favorite tips!