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Trying to use tech to help your busy parent life? It doesn't always work

Trying to use tech to help your busy parent life? It doesn't always work

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As a busy mom, I try to make technology work for me.

I ask Siri to remind me of important things like picking up toilet paper on the way home and throwing out the expired beef before the garbage man comes.

I check my kids’ grades on the school district’s parent portal, and I have the tuition for dance class automatically taken out of my bank account so I don’t forget to pay.

And yes, I sometimes use voice texting — even though I know better. I am poor at enunciating to begin with, so nine times out of 10 that tool completely distorts what I’m trying to say. It changes ordinary words like “after school” into indiscernible phrases like “apt the cool." I end up still having to manipulate the text with my fingers, only I’m mashing the letters with teeth-gritting rage.

As if that isn’t bad enough, there are also the occasions where actual conversations are being held that the phone picks up on and adds to the end of the message just as I’m hitting send.

Fortunately for me, my family is entertained by these mishaps and has captured them via screenshot, lest I never forget. Here are a few of our favorites:

• "They’re all out of Busch Light 30-packs; should I get a 12 instead SORRY EXCUSE ME NO MY BAD I’M A TERRIBLE DRIVER THESE CARTS ARE HUGE SO SORRY." I think anyone who has ever driven the family carts at Target understands my plight. Trying to make a turn with one of those boat-sized carts is challenging, especially when there are other people in the aisle and you’re trying to send a very important text to your husband about which beer to purchase.

• "Make sure you mow as soon as you get home from school because it’s supposed to rain later NO HONEY NO SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW WE DO NOT STAND ON THERE NO." I mean, when a toddler stands up on the couch, you just hit send on that message, toss the phone and bear down on that ready-to-leap child like a linebacker with a quarterback in your sights. There isn’t time to check for typos or review the message — much to the chagrin of you and the recipients of your message.

• "Who is driving and what time are you going to be home KATE COME HERE COME HERE KATE YOU NEED TO HOLD MOMMY’S HAND OR YOU’RE GOING IN A CART KATE KATE." My preschooler is at that age where she desperately wants to walk instead of riding in a stroller or grocery cart everywhere we go. The problem is that once I give in and foolishly listen to her lies — "I’ll stay right next to you like a big girl, mommy" — the quick little munchkin moves within the store as if she’s playing a game of keep-away from me.

I like to think I’m not alone in this — that all mothers begrudgingly use voice texting out of sheer necessity. What are some of the ridiculous voice texting messages that you’ve sent?


Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.

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