Kat Inokai: Trying Times


The Top 10 Secrets of 21st Century Parenthood

A Gif-Illustrated Guide to the Survival Tools You'll Need

The Top 10 Secrets of 21st Century Parenthood

Want to know what secrets are in my tech playbook to make parenting a little more user-friendly?

Here are my top 10 picks. 

1. Video Monitors

Why watch reality TV when you could be watching your kid every minute of every day? So much more comfortable than hovering by the door and listening to see if they’re still breathing (super creepy and we’ve all done it), monitors now let you do everything from play soothing sounds and tunes, to control room temperature. Dedicated frequencies make image and sound crystal clear (no more pretending your neighbours are Daleks), and you can even plug in extra cameras—including your smartphone, so you can totally stalk your kid at all times. 

2. Video Chats

You can call it Skype, Facetime, or Google chat, but we’ve all called it “Mom, my kid has a gross rash and it looks like this…” or “Quick put your pants back on.” Whatever you use it for, screen time is like living in science fact. Long distance relationships, business trips taken by mom or dad, grandparents on the other side of the world—it is so much easier to deal with “when am I going to see you” mom guilt when you are kind of sort of seeing her already. Now if only we could all find a way to stop doing our hair and checking ourselves out while we’re trying to catch up. 

3. GPS

Whether you’re using your phone’s GPS or you have one in your car, as a parent you are going to need one of these suckers, because thanks to sleep deprivation you won’t ever know where you’re going. For real. Even when you think you do. Even when it’s to a place you’ve been a million times. Possibly even in your own home. 


Arguably more important and nourishing than breast milk (what? I said arguably…) WIFI is like the air that your entire wireless network breathes, and let’s face it, your wireless network is the only thing between your life and constant interruption (aka your children). Without WIFI, you can’t print that important thing, you can’t compulsively refresh your email, you can’t complain on line about not being able to print that important thing, and you can’t binge watch House of Cards on Netflix. 

5. Pimped-Out Strollers

Your baby is going to need some wheels, and like any good vehicle they’re going to have to come with cup holders and then some. And relax. You don't need to feel like you’re rebuilding an Ikea bookshelf every time you heft your stroller out of the car and put it together for the trip ahead. Strollers like the Origami collapse and unfold by themselves. I know. They also have flat screen panels that track your distance, the weather, and probably how your investments are doing, as well as optional phone chargers so you never have to have a ‘1 bar left’ panic attack again. So yes. They are basically transformers.

6. Smartphones

Between managing your entire family’s schedule with calendars, apps to help with um... everything, the ability to check your email, use your browser to find out that actor’s name from that movie, and of course your camera — your phone is like a lifeline to sanity, tweeting and your BFF on speed dial. And the best part is that if you’re covered in puke and your children are both sleeping on you, you really only need one finger to text. Autocorrect will do the rest. And it always does.

7. Social Media

What better way to parent than through crowdsourcing? Twitter and Facebook are perfect for asking for advice from strangers you trust and friends you haven’t talked to in years, your blog is perfect for telling the story of what you actually did to get through it, and Instagram and Vines are for showing off victorious moments and of course what you are about to eat. #dontforgethehashtags

8. Tablets

The secret to getting through car rides and long wait times in any office is a tablet. Watch your touch screen get slathered with all kinds of goober and still act semi-responsive to Angry Birds. Let them watch that movie they’ve already watched 5000 times, doodle, or read as they wait happily for your pap smear to be over. Yep. Awkward. And also funny. Because it's true. 

9. Delivery

Ok. As of yet there are no replicators, but you can order food and groceries on line. And you should totally do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re housebound with a new infant, quarantined with the plague, or just plain shell-shocked from a bad week — online delivery is the best thing in the universe. You don’t have to talk to anyone. You don’t have to worry about which version of the menu you have (what do you mean number 33 is Happy Squid Surprise?!). You just pick, click, and eat. Best. Ingredients. Ever.

10. Live-Streaming TV Show Apps

If you’re a Shaw Premier TV subscriber, all you need is your smartphone or tablet (goober optional) to mesmerize kids from tot to teen with on-the-go shows from Treehouse and YTV, and now Family Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior — for free.

Your tweens will be glued to their iPhone, iPad mini, or iPod Touch with their favourite Disney XD and Family shows, and Disney Junior will mollify even the most ferocious pre-schooler, just as soon as you download the 3 new Shaw Go apps for them from the Apple store.

Of course, you too are welcome to feast on primetime shows, sports, and movies, any time you have a minute to yourself, lock yourself in the bathroom, or hide under the bed. 

Modern moms know that tech can be a lifesaver when it comes to parenting. Now thanks to Shaw Go kids apps your kids can watch their favourite shows anytime, anywhere.

Older kids will love Shaw Go Disney XD and Shaw Go Family and your little ones can take all their favourite cartoon characters on the go with them using Shaw Go Disney Junior. Best of all, the apps are free for Shaw Cable/Shaw Direct customers who subscribe to Shaw Premier.

Download the Family channel, Disney XD, or Disney Junior apps so the kids are entertained and so you can get a few minutes of quiet. That’s something you can both smile about.