The kids may be back in school, but that doesn’t mean busy, working parents get a break—on the contrary, things can get even more hectic with packing lunches, policing homework, making it to soccer practice, and more. Fortunately, we’ve discovered five solutions that make parenting a little less stressful. Read on for the must-try apps, websites, and services to have on your radar.
Overwhelmed with juggling school pickups, doctor’s appointments, playdates, and more? Consider downloading an organizing app like Cozi. Easy to use and free, Cozi helps you create a centralized, color-coded calendar with everyone’s schedules. You can also send a weekly “agenda email” to family members, manage your grocery and to-do lists, and assign tasks to others—a feature we definitely suggest taking advantage of.
If you’re tired of nagging your kids about making their beds or putting away their toys, ChoreMonster will relieve you of your taskmaster duties. With the free app and website, designed for kids aged 4 to 12, your child earns “Monster Tickets” for completing chores. These tickets can be used to unlock rewards of different values—the more tickets kids earn, the bigger the reward.
Having your kids chauffeured around used to be something reserved for the Richie Riches of the world. But child-friendly, Uber-like new services are making the luxury more accessible. Startups including Hop Skip Drive, Shuddle, and Boost by Benz (yes, as in Mercedes-Benz) bring you vetted drivers, while GPS technology lets you monitor the ride in real time. Currently, the services are only available in select cities, but we suspect they’ll be rolling into more areas soon.
While plenty of apps promise to simplify meal planning with healthier recipes and convenient grocery lists, Once a Month Meals takes even more off your plate. For as little as $10 a month or $99 for the year, you get access to monthly menus, detailed recipes, and complete shopping lists. The best part? All the dishes are designed to be prepped in a single day, so you can label and freeze them when you’re done and then defrost throughout the month as needed.
Moms who work from home now have a new option: co-working spaces with child care. NextKids in San Francisco; Work and Play in South Orange, NJ; and the soon-to-open Collide Coworking in Chicago are just a few of the places where you can bring your little ones to the “office.”