How did people have kids before smartphones? Honestly, all those hours trapped under a feeding/sleeping baby without the ability to message our mates and order overpriced Swedish baby leggings with our one free hand. What would we have done instead – read an actual book on three hours sleep? No chance.
This is not a reality millennial mums have to contemplate, since our phones are as unputdownable as our babies. Does using our phones for everything make us antisocial? On the contrary. While our days of gaily ordering Ubers and swiping right on unworthy men on dating apps may be on hold (in the case of Tinder, we hope indefinitey), we’re all using our phones to make mum life more fun and sociable.
Here are some apps designed to make life as a new mum a bit easier:
The free app for arranging meet-ups with likeminded local mums means we can get our online dating kicks without the dodgy pics. While chatting to randoms on parenting forums is handy when you’ve got an urgent teething question at 4,12am, it’s real life connections with real life mums that make all the difference, and that’s what Mush is all about. Knowing someone’s around the corner with a baby exactly the same age, who’s up for a cup of tea or yet another buggy circuit of the park, makes day-to-day life feel less lonely. And that’s why the app has been used over 1 million times, by over 70,000 mums, since launching last year.
If you’re getting bored of the same old mum haunts, or a playdate has fallen through due to an unforeseen case of hand, foot and mouth, Hoop provides an easy way to find out about the kid-friendly events happening around you. A Godsend when you’ve got a bad case of cabin fever and just have to know what the hell you can do at 9.45am on a Tuesday.
Like Hoop’s newborn sister and currently being beta-tested in south London, Happity is a way of finding out about baby and toddler groups in your area, including the really lovely cosy ones in dusty church halls that are often hard to find out about, since octogenarian Margaret with her tin of rich teas isn’t au fait with social media. Happity solves that problem, and could revolutionise the early days.
When you first become a mum, life is full of logistical challenges which can mean that sometimes it’s easier to just not leave the house – one of the many reasons why motherhood can be lonely. If you’re headed off on a long walk or day out in a new place, this app removes all the stressing about where you can go for nappy-changing emergencies. The facilities are mapped and rated by other parents, and it’s particularly useful in the colder months when park benches just don’t cut it. Unexpected poonami, you will not defeat us.
So, you’ve got daytime socialising with other mums nailed, but what happens when you and your partner want a night out? These days, when so many of us live hours from our families, it can be tricky to find a babysitter you feel you can trust. Bubble recommends local babysitters your friends have used and rated. You can pay them through the app too, which saves fumbling around at cashpoints when you’ve managed three glasses of wine for the first time in months (or years). Genius.
Isabel Mohan is the editor of Mush, the free app for mums to connect