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As a mom – especially a stay-at-home mom – it’s easy to tune out the rest of the world. After all, there’s Play-Doh to scrape off the kitchen floor, Fresh Beat Band dance parties to attend and stacks of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to make. It’s not as if we don’t want the contact with civilization. It’s just that unless that contact can come in the 1-minute increments you have between rescuing the cat from the maniacal clutches of your 3 year old and racing to mop up the bowl of dog water your 18 month old dumped on the floor, there isn’t much time for it.
Of course, the irony is that the less time moms (or dads!) have to stay up-to-date on all the happenings outside the house, the more we need it, We are, in fact, still adult humans, not just “Patty Cake”-spewing clean-bots, My smartphone has offered me some reprieve from the tedium of motherhood – especially in the form of various news, entertainment and social-related apps that dance shoes atlanta help me stay connected to the outside world and give me something to think about other than what the heck I’m going to make for dinner..
Here are a few of my favorites. RadioLab | iOS, Android, Windows Phone; $2.99This radio show “where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience” can be heard on more than 450 NPR stations around the world. I have no idea when or even if it’s on my local radio station, but luckily, I don’t need to worry about that thanks to this app, on which I can find every podcast the show has ever aired as well as blog posts and updates about the show. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich never fail to find unique topics to weave intriguing, thoughtful, funny and heart-breaking stories from. There’s a nice mix of full hour-long episodes and shorts that are usually 15 to 20 minutes (they’re like little mental snack breaks!). For any fellow parents new to the show I recommend “23 weeks, 6 days,” the story of a couple whose daughter was born just one day shy of viability. Keep your tissues handy. My favorite time to listen is via headphones while I’m scrubbing the kitchen floor – it makes me look forward to an otherwise tedious job.
Meetup | iOS, Android, BlackBerry; freeShortly after leaving my full-time job to stay at home with my first daughter I realized that in order to maintain social graces I was, in fact, going to have to leave the house from time to time and interact with other adults, So I joined a local mom’s group that uses Meetup to organize outings and share information, It’s easy enough to RSVP for play dates on my computer, but I’ve rarely logged on since I downloaded the app, The interface is super simple – basically a scrolling calendar of events for any groups you are a member of, Click on the event to get dance shoes atlanta more information, see who else is going, RSVP, leave a comment or add a photo, You can also search for other groups in your area – anything from book clubs to outdoor adventurers to foodies, The app is especially useful when I need directions to a meetup or have to bow out at the last minute, and the site itself makes for easy and pressure-free networking (or, as I call it – mom dating)..
Twitter | iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry; freeI know referencing one of the world’s most popular social networks isn’t exactly revolutionary or ground-breaking stuff – but hear me out. When it comes to staying up to date on news or information that interests me, the micro-blogging platform is the perfect fit for a busy, easily distracted mom on the go. The app appeals to the journalist in me who misses the newsroom and being the first to know when things are happening, and it appeals to the bad-SciFi-movie junkie in me who loves participating in a live conversation with viewers of such gems as “Sharknado” and “Arachnoquake.” I can pull it up when I’m pushing the girls on the swings to connect with former co-workers, see if there’s any breaking news in the area, or giggle at whatever @HonestToddler, @TheOnion or @RobDelaney just posted.
NPR News | iOS, Android, Windows Phone; freeBeing a stay-at-home parent doesn’t mean you have to (or should) be out of the conversation when it comes to what’s happening in the world – which is why I often turn to NPR, Their news app offers a roundup of the top stories from around the globe, as well as links to a variety of programs (including some of my favorites: “Fresh Air” and “Science Friday“), I like that there’s a mix of print stories and audio (if I’m outside watching the kids play it’s not always easy to hear the audio on my phone; and if I’m folding laundry it’s impossible to read anything) and a variety of ways to find stories that might interest me the most – either by program, topic or station (you can create a list of your favorite NPR affiliates and listen to live streams of their broadcasts), It’s not too flashy, easy to use and most importantly packed with interesting and pertinent information that dance shoes atlanta allows me to sound like I didn’t just spend the day picking up toys and blotting juice stains out of the carpet..
TED | iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry; freeMy sister is perpetually sending me links to inspiring TED Talks, so I finally just downloaded the app to save her the trouble. For those who haven’t heard of TED, it’s a nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Talks feature thinkers and doers from a variety of backgrounds – artists, scientists, architects, writers – anyone with unique insight or an interesting perspective. Like RadioLab, the TED talks offer me a quick reprieve from kid conversations (“What are we doing next, mama?” “Can I watch cartoons?” “I need a snack!”) and a chance to think more in-depth about the world around me. Some of my favorites included Brene Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability” and Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight.” If you’re having an especially bad and/or frustrating day at home, a 15-minute TED talk is the perfect mental medicine.
The actress, who guest starred on “Glee” as dance teacher Cassandra July, let her former castmate Michele hide out at her house when she wanted to avoid the media, I hate the media, “I called (Kate Hudson) and said, ‘I don’t know where I’m going to go because my house is swarmed (with reporters),'” Michele told Elle, dance shoes atlanta “She was like, ‘Oh, you’re going to stay at my house.’ Like it was nothing, No one knew I was there, I’ll never really be able to thank her, truly, for what she did for me.”..