Chelsea and I made what some might call a ridiculous choice to have four children.
We honestly must not have been thinking when we got started on this path because surely a sane or rational person would have done the math quickly. Four. That’s how many hands Chelsea and I have combined!
So, pretty much, we're now realizing we have no more hands. We’re handless.
And the baby alone requires two hands.
It's not just the baby throwing things out of whack, honestly. I’m rapidly becoming more aware of the attention needs of our older children. As they grow up, it's imperative to demonstrate our availability to them as well as our care and concern for what they’re thinking about. We need to make sure they feel like they matter and aren't a burden. They really are incredible, little independent beings with so many things to say and even more questions to ask. It’s important to show that “daddy has the answers” to help them learn confidence in our family.
But sometimes I don't have all the answers. And it's hard to keep up.
To alleviate ourselves of some of these stresses, we’ve turned to our sponsor Google Home. I used to have a phone in-hand to have Google help answer the five million questions and ponderings and general wonderments my kids would fire at me. Now, I can give them my full attention instead. When the older one lobs up something like, “Dada, how deep can whales swim?” I can get him an answer without breaking our pace of dialogue. “Let’s find out, buddy.” I ponder aloud across the room, delegating this one to my trusty digital companion.
“Hey Google, how deep can whales swim?”
Through my actions, they see how to take initiative and foster curiosity.
What’s even better, Google Home can help me set the mood and tempo for our house. Little boys are rowdy and loud. It’s in their nature. With Google Home, I can have one of the kids grab a toy and ask for Clair de Lune to be played and it’s suddenly a whole other world. Their imagination takes over and quiet sets in for a few minutes as Debussy takes us all away to a peaceful place. I can enjoy a spare moment to take a breath, without lifting a hand. Thank goodness that Google Home has far-field microphones and natural language processing to hear us over all the chaos.
When that brief interlude is over, I can ask to have the boys' favorite songs played for a dance party or make it tell us jokes. We can also engage more practical needs like firing homework questions at Google Home, adding stuff to our shopping list, checking traffic, setting timers and hearing our calendar schedule. Chelsea's wired the house with Philips Hue and Nest so we can even control our lights and thermostat – all without setting the baby down.
Now, I have less need for my hands and more room for my children at home. No longer do I have to ask the boys to stand aside as I conduct a search on my computer, smart device or cell phone. I have greater control, with less effort.
Our family is big, but we're learning that a certain degree of smart planning in our smart home can help things run smoothly. We have four children and four hands…and a lot of tech assistance. With Google Home, I now have a fifth hand. And a dictionary. And a calculator. All just a voice request away.
If you haven't gotten your Christmas presents ordered yet, now's the time and Google Home is the perfect gift to help get life in order! As an added bonus, right now every Google Home purchase includes 6 months of free YouTube Red to let you play exclusive videos and songs ad-free and offline.
What tech products help you juggle family responsibilities?