Nurture - November 25, 2019

How Alexa Became My Ultimate Mother’s Helper

This post is a paid partnership with Amazon Devices & Services. 

It’s been ten weeks since we’ve gotten back from our summer holiday in Europe, which means it’s been ten weeks as a mother of two in the real world. For seven of these weeks, hubby has been out of town working. Yeah, you read that right. What I quickly realized, standing in the chaos of my new reality, was that my hands were constantly busy! I was either holding a child, cooking a meal, or trying to answer an email. I needed help, and it wasn’t just that I needed help keeping the house clean or occupying my oldest. I needed help keeping my day on track, I needed help keeping my random thoughts in one place (baby brain is a real thing, y’all!), and I needed to make this situation called life, easier.

While I’ve always been curious about Amazon’s Alexa, I had no idea what she could really do. So when Amazon invited me to New York to experience how their devices worked, I jumped at the opportunity. Fast-forward to present day, and I now have five smart devices in my home, including the (smaller) Echo Show 5, the (larger) Echo Show 8, a few Echo Dots, and an Echo Dot Kids Edition.

Game changer! Alexa has become my ultimate mother’s helper. 

MEDITATION AND PLAYLISTS

A typical morning for me starts with breastfeeding. My baby boy is usually dream feeding (a.k.a. not awake enough to gaze into mama’s eyes) during our first feed of the day, which allows me to squeeze in a quick meditation. Meditating while breastfeeding is a tip I learned from one of my besties (read more here). Guided meditation helps keep my wandering mind on track—no worrying about my to-do list just yet. Since adding a meditating skill to my Alexa Routine, all I have to do is say “Alexa, good morning,” and my Echo Dot launches a calming three to eight-minute guided meditation. Woosah!

Sooner than later, my littlest little is ready to roll. 

“Alexa, play my baby playlist.” “The Wheels On The Bus” is his jam right now, followed by “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” We rock out to a few baby tunes, and then it’s time to start my day.

CREATE ROUTINES

The weekday morning hustle is so very real! With hubby out of town, there is no divide and conquer. It’s all me, errything! This is where I find Alexa to be the most helpful. 

Routines with Alexa allow me to multitask on another level. I can launch multiple, repetitive tasks by saying a command or by scheduling them to take place at a specific time. 

I pop the baby in his bouncer, get breakfast and school lunch cracking, and by uttering four little words“Alexa, start my day…” she catches me up on everything. First, she tells me the weather, which I’m sure my kids are super happy about because I’ve finally stopped dressing them in cozy sweaters—it’s still averaging about 75 degrees here in Los Angeles. 

Following that, she recaps my latest incoming emails. If there’s anything urgent, I can reply via Alexa, all while packing school snacks. Winning!

Next, she tells me how long it’s going to take to get to school and the top five news headlines via my preferred news outlet, CNN.

Another way she keeps our morning schedule tight is by making announcements like, “It’s time to get dressed for school.” 

SET REMINDERS!

My daughter’s preschool has more random days off from school and special functions than I can count. And on Wednesdays, I pick her up ten minutes early so we can cross town for ballet. Not only will my Echo Show broadcast a reminder when it’s time to leave, but it also showcases the reminder on the device’s screen. 

All day, whenever I glance over, I can easily see that there’s no school next Monday or that pick-up is early that day.

HANDLE GROCERY SHOPPING

Grocery shopping with two kids in tow is a completely new experience for me. With Alexa, I can keep an ongoing shopping list, adding items as I’m cleaning out the fridge or, more likely, as they randomly pop into mind. “Alexa, add celery to my shopping list.” 

All of my Amazon Devices at home and in our offices sync so they all can add to the same shopping list. Once at the grocery store, I use the Alexa app to shop the list. By swiping to the left I can quickly delete items as I grab them. Done and done!

Speaking of shopping carts, obviously, Alexa can toss everything you heart desires from Amazon right into your online cart and prime-it-on-over to your doorstep. Pro tip: Set a four-digit voice code to confirm purchases and don’t let your little ones hear it.

Speaking of shopping carts, obviously, Alexa can toss everything you heart desires from Amazon right into your online cart and prime-it-on-over to your doorstep. Pro tip: Set a four-digit voice code to confirm purchases and don’t let your little ones hear it. 

GET TO COOKING

Alexa can step up your culinary skills, get you out of that repetitive dinner rut, and give you fresh ideas on what to make based on what’s in your fridge. The other night my daughter asked for kale soup (random I know)Alexa, find me a vegetarian soup recipe with kale.” 

On my Echo Show, I can browse tons of recipes and step-by-step cooking videos. Alexa will find you a recipe and can even add all the ingredients to your shopping list or Amazon shopping cart. BOOM!

DANCE PARTIES!

“Alexa, play my dance party playlist!” Dance parties are big in our house… real BIG! Now my daughter can organize her own playlist and easily initiate her dance parties, all on her own.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited, which unlocks kid-friendly content, including 1,000 Audible books, thousands of songs, plus favorite games and skills. Yup, on the nights that you’re just too tired, Alexa can read you and your little one a bedtime story while you snuggle each other up. 

If you think Alexa’s capabilities end here… they don’t. Tell Alexa that you’re stashing the candy in the cupboard with the stock pots and when you’ve forgotten where you hid the goodies, ask Alexa to remind you. Need to solve a math problem? Talk to Alexa. Want to know your horoscope every morning? Your girl, Alexa’s got you covered! Alexa is legitimately the mother’s helper I never knew I needed, but I’m so very thrilled to now have.

 

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