We have a large family, with ages ranging from 14 to 6, but whether your family is large or not, the requirements are still the same. The schedules we try to keep with getting them to school on time, as well as ourselves to work, sports, band, scouts, dance, art, tutoring, it's absolute chaos! There are a million things to think about and organise, it doesn't matter if you're a stay-at-home parent, single parent or working parent, life is hectic!
Relax.....there are ways to manage the stress. Little things we can take care of in advance so that we're not stressed with the minutiae. A Home Automation within your home, can alleviate some of the aggravations that can take you from a "kumbaiya-zen-parent", to the ice monster in Frozen x 10, in a second. When I think of the things that frustrate me most about living in a big family, it's the little things that I repetitively have to request. Believe it or not, I don't enjoy saying the same thing 17 times. Oftentimes, a short conversation with a teenager can leave you frustrated, not to mention exhausted! Well, here are some smart home scenes that should lift some of the load!
Let's keep it simple and start with the most obvious:
"All Off" Button
Sounds simple I know, but this scene can be soo powerful, it's all about where you use it and when! Let me give you an example or two:
- Scenario 1 - You've been up since 4:30am because you couldn't sleep due to a massive project you're undertaking at work. You manage to get home in time for dessert and to sort kids out at bath time, another hour on socials, catching up with partner (the other adult in the house you sometimes see). You finally get upstairs to sit in your lounge room, in your chair, with the tv to yourself because everyone is asleep safe and sound. Scotch in hand, big deep sigh, and....wait a minute....what's that off to the left? Is it a dim light trickling up the stairwell? That can't be right, the eldest would have turned everything off, then you remember, he's a teenager! Nooooo!! Well! Dry your eyes son, grab your touch screen, bring up the lighting controls and press ALL OFF. No having to drag said teenager out of bed to re-iterate for the 1000th time how much electricity costs, you've got this!
Note: If you find that the tv also turns off, it's because your partner knows you'll be asleep in 27 seconds anyway, and they've adjusted the scene accordingly.
- Scenario 2 - 8:00am any day of the week - It's GO TIME. You've got your troop moving like a well oiled machine for the morning run, why? Because minutes matter that's why! (8:29am is not the time for a bowel movement Mr 9!) Breakfast is done, people are dressed, hair is good enough, some teeth are brushed and everyone nearly has matching socks! It's a good day so everybody in the car! Problem is, all bedroom lights are on including the heatlamp in the bathroom, tv's blaring somewhere, you may have left the iron on. Don't stress, as you leave the front door, snap the ALL OFF button on the wall and you're good to go. In fact, even if you forget that button at the door, you're covered because you've got your phone with the app you need.
Note: .....but let's face it, 3 kids have left something behind anyway so you're going nowhere for the next 5 mins, and you can just get them to press the button.
Big Bad Wi-Fi Restrictions
Ah yes, such a great conversation starter, with teenagers in particular, I find. Always ends well....! I find that consistency is key. If the Wi-Fi snaps off at 9:00pm everynight, eventually they'll just get used to it and deal. Now, I think I'm a fair but hard parent, my kids are in bed at certain times, no toys of any kind at the dinner table, and I do think that screen time should definitely be monitored and restricted, but we cannot control everything, well, we can't control everything outside of my house, but inside, we do what we can. With a home automation system, so much can be controlled. TV times, Wi-fi schedules, iTunes costs, Netflix bingeing. You have the power at your fingertips, whether you're at home or not. See what's happening. With much power comes much responsibility.....and ease of mind!
The Simple Things in Life
Now, if none that of that impresses you or seems too fancy or unnecessary? Then let's simplify it down to just one change that will improve your life immeasurably. Never in the history of anything has one tiny little device caused so much angst and frustration in homes....I'm speaking of course, of the remote. "Where's the remote? Who had it last? Where did you put it? Did you check under the lounge? Then check under the lounge! Why would you take it to the toilet with you??!!" If you have children, you've had this conversation, actually even if you don't have kids you've probably had this conversation. We have installed a home automation system whereby we are able to control the TV from our personal devices, either phone or tablet. No more lost remote. No more fights...about the remote anyway.
First thing first, work out your budget, identify what you want your system to do. Then, contact us to help you realise it. We are the integrators who can make it all happen.
Full disclosure: we can't make your teenager pick up his grotty socks....I'm still working on it. Good luck with that.