6:00 am on Monday morning. 15 minutes until my alarm rings, but, as always, there was no need to set it. I can already hear the pitter-patter of tiny footsteps along the landing, and a faint giggle as my youngest attempts to reach the door handle and join me for a cuddle. I smile, sleepily rub my eyes, and take a deep breath. I am happy. The day ahead might be long and busy, but right now all I want is to cherish being a Mum.
Sound familiar? Even on the busiest, most hectic days, it’s only natural to want to freeze the picture for a few moments, share memories with loved ones, and treasure that time. After all, they’re only young once.
Our Kindaba Families aren’t blessed with any extra time, but they are united in their desire to keep connected in spite of their jam-packed schedules.
Ready for the school run; uniforms ironed, lunches packed and PING! – reminder on my phone tells me it’s Fancy Dress Day. So it’s a flurry of drawer-rummaging in order to prevent tears at the lack of prepared costumes. Then back into the car and at the school gate with a minute to spare. I snap a quick picture of my brood looking adequately ridiculous in their mismatched costumes, kiss them goodbye, and watch them skip off into the playground, losing sight of them in the swarm of over-excited, adorable youngsters.
As I return to my car, I instinctively reach for my phone, keen to upload my snap so that the rest of my family can share in the amusement of my little one’s toothy grin, and laugh out loud at my eldest’s grumpy face, a recent camera-shyness creeping in to stain her youthful naivety.
With my thumb hovering over the ‘Social Media’ folder, I hesitate. I don’t feel as confident anymore about sharing photos of the kids near their school; after all, I don’t really know who can get access to them.
I glance at the time and shove my phone back into my pocket. I’ll just send the picture to a few select family members individually later, but it’ll have to wait or I’ll be late for work.
Fear and anxiety over privacy can slow us down. It usually morphs into a sigh of “I’ll sort it later” or “I’ll have a think first” that too often go forgotten when “later” arrives. While quick uploads are convenient, the team at KindabaHQ understand that your children’s security will always be your top priority.
Sitting at my desk in my eighth-floor office, I drag my gaze away from my laptop screen for a few moments as I sip my morning coffee and enjoy the view. What a gorgeous day! Shame I’m stuck inside, but the several flights of stairs do provide a picturesque advantage, and a bout of daily exercise while I’m at it. I draft a quick tweet:
Swoosh! I send it off into the world. I’ll need to FaceTime Mum during my lunch break. She doesn’t have Twitter, or much in the way of social media, really. Ideally, I’d like to phone her after school when we’re all back at home and having family time in the garden, but she and Dad retired to Australia and the time difference is quite inconvenient for including the kids in our calls during the school week.
Living far away from your loved ones can be really difficult, especially when it comes to missing out on the little things, the day-to-day updates, and changes. You might not want everyone from work, your hairdresser, or that friend’s sister’s husband who you met at that wedding five years ago, to receive regular notifications about how your child lost their first tooth or won an effort award at their gymnastics meet. But that’s the kind of stuff you know grandparents, godparents, aunties, and uncles might like you to share with them. Kindaba was founded with the aim of solving this problem, and bringing families closer together, however far apart they live.
When I return from lunch, my colleagues are all gathered around one laptop, pointing at something on the screen. I wander over and smile as I see that they’re engrossed in a viral ‘spoof’ video of a recent TV drama. When they click on the next video, I drag myself back to my desk. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of social and all the articles and stories you can discover, but I just don’t have the time for the endlessness of it all. I feel like I miss out on what I view as important because I waste my spare time, which I don’t have much of as a Mum, scrolling through hours and hours of the nonsense posted on social media.
Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer mass of online content is not uncommon. I mean, who hasn’t shut an app in frustration because your newsfeed is full of nonsense? Or allowed themselves five minutes of procrastination and ended up spending hours trying to find one specific thing? I know I have. At Kindaba, we want to filter out some of that noise and provide a place to view what you’re really interested in, and what matters to you most, without being persuaded into buying something else you don’t need or viewing another selfie from someone you met once.
Around 5:30 pm, I clock out and crawl my way through the evening traffic to collect the kids from After School Club. Typically, I’m left feeling like I should have just waited until the traffic had subsided and got some more work done, because they don’t want to leave their friends, and protest being bundled into the car to go home for their tea.
I’m cooking a new recipe tonight. I’m really determined to get the kids eating healthy food, and enjoying it. I send a quick picture of the result and a link to the recipe to my sister, a Mum just like me who’s been really struggling to find healthy food my nephew will eat.
Sharing hints and tips with close family members can be a gamechanger when it comes to helping each other out and releasing stress. At Kindaba, we’re working to include more features which allow our Kindaba Families to coordinate and collaborate so that communication is seamless and busy lives feel a little lighter.
As the day draws to a close, and the evening’s activities have been rounded off with homework, bath, and bed, I switch off my phone and leave it downstairs as I head up for story time. It’s the one time of day when I disconnect from the outside world. I don’t take photos, I don’t check emails, and I don’t allow myself to set reminders for the days to come. I just spend half an hour soaking in the time with my family and being a Mum, and know that tomorrow it will all begin again.