Mother's Day this year is Sunday, May 14. I'm a mom and survey (of my mom and non-binary parent friends) says that what most of us want is more sleep and/or alone time. Equal pay and compensation for emotional labor would be great too, but please, for the love of all things holy, at least give us more breaks.
Additionally, we'll accept presents. For the record, we like a lot of the same stuff you'll find on Father's Day tech gift guides, but in the interest of equal representation, here are some solid suggestions for tech gifts to make the tired, crowded lives of the moms and non-dads you love a little easier in 2017.
Noise canceling headphones: Kids are rackety. Dogs bark. You probably snore. Give the gift of quiet time with this sanity-saving device. Check out CNET's guide to the Best Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2017. Or just go with their cheapest pick, the Sony MDRZX770BN Bluetooth and Noise Canceling Headset, which sells from $75 on Amazon and can be used wirelessly or not.
- IFROGZ Impulse Wireless headphones with "passive noise isolation" -- $60
Audiobooks, meditation apps, and music streaming: Canceling the noise is good, but filling up that silence with some quality listening material is even better. Consider an Audible membership ($14.95/month) or check out Libro.fm ($14.99/month) if your parental object of affection would rather support indie bookstores. Apps like Buddhify ($2.99) and Calm ($12.99/month) offer mindfulness training for stress reduction, which, to be clear, would benefit the whole family. Don't forget the soothing power of music streaming services. How does one choose between Spotify, Rdio, Tidal, and the rest? CNET can help with that too.
Home tech: Stop. Think long and hard about how your caregiver-of-honor will feel about receiving, for example, a robot vacuum. Some people (me) would fall in love with you all over again. Some might want to throttle you for gifting them a sexist cleaning tool. Know your recipient. Also consider the digital assistance possibilities of the Amazon Echo ($179.99), which conveniently syncs up with the iRobot Roomba series and Neato robot vacuums, though CNET says Google Home ($129.99) offers better voice control for Neato vacs than the Echo. Which robot vac is right for your family? CNET breaks that down here. Torn between the two smart speakers? Read this.
- SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell -- $199
- Pixie Points, Bluetooth tracker for keys, remotes, homework folders, etc -- $50
- Amazon Echo: 10 Alexa productivity skills to try
- Car tech: These 8 gadgets will drive you to the cutting edge of cool
- Invasion of the helper robots
Mobile tech: Parents love taking pictures. Help them take better ones with clip-on smartphone lenses like this universally compatible kit from from Aukey ($11.49). Get them in the picture more often too with a CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control ($7.49). And look out for their smartphone battery life with battery packs or battery cases. Plus, this four-pack of colorful, waterproof smartphone pouches ($15.99) is the only real must-have on this list. We all know moms (et al.) can't have any nice things around you kids (not without major ruggedization measures anyway).
- Google Family Link, the best parental device control service yet. I signed up for this service (it's currently invitation-only so get on that waiting list) after our own Jason Cipriani reviewed it. It has dramatically reduced my angst over my kid's screen usage and generally been a device management game changer for us. The service is free but you need to check to make sure your devices are compatible. You can do that here. My son didn't have a device yet so I bought him a low-cost LG X Power from Sprint (along with a sweet camo case). It only added $9 to my monthly bill which is more than worth it for the amount I'll save on therapy for us all later.
Are you a mom or non-dad parent? What's on your tech wishlist?