Apps that bring families closer.

Now that I am travelling more and more with Tweekaboo I genuinely understand the pain of being away from family. Not being there for those wonderful first-thing-in-the-morning “still sleepy” cuddles. Not being there to make their breakfast (even if it’s usually a “rush and coax” job), not being there to get the resounding “Daaaaad” when I get in the door every evening. Not being there to completely hype them up ten minutes before bed time!! It’s hard. On me. On Caroline. And on the kids. But it’s also real-life and something that has to be done.

But turning a negative into a positive, by missing out on the daily routine, it’s made me realize how important the real-life every day moments are. It’s made me force myself to put the iPhone down for those few precious hours between coming in from work and tucking them into bed. It’s made me a better listener. It’s made me more present. It’s made me realise how important that bedtime story is.

I hope it’s making me a more tuned-in parent.

And, when you’re far away, it’s interesting the brands and tools that bring you closer to home:

FaceTime – so much better than a voice call. Not as good as being there in person but you know what, it focuses you into the call and you really appreciate the power of the moment. Turn the phone around and show your kids where you are. They love the novelty of seeing where you are when you’re on the call.

Skype – up until now it was a relatively flaky means of keeping in touch with team members, customers, vendors etc. Now it’s the start of a whole new chapter in my relationship with my eldest daughter. I just installed it on her iPod and now we have some one to one time to chat and explore every single one of those emoticons! Our chats are so cute I’m screen-shotting them and saving them. And where do I save them??

Tweekaboo! I am clearly biased here – but Tweekaboo is the App the really brings me closer to home. It’s the first App I open in the morning. It’s what I scan through when dining alone. It’s the only notification on my iPhone that makes me smile. Caroline will upload moments from the kids’ day that keep me up to date on what they did. We’ll message each other through Tweekaboo to chat about the moments. When those notifications pop up on my iPhone its like a little heroin shot that transports me a little bit closer to home.

It’s that place where I can upload photos of real American fire engines and police cars for the boys. It’s that place where I can show the kids the places I’ve been so that get can understand more about where I am and what I’m doing.

As the world becomes a smaller place. As the recession bites harder, families either move abroad or spend more and more time apart as some parents have to travel more to find work. This is hard stuff. This is real-life and it’s becoming more and more common.

It’s ironic that I’m now on the receiving end of a use case that Tweekaboo was designed to solve but it has given me a deeper understanding of how our users come to rely on Tweekaboo and how important it is to keep making it better so they can continue to get closer to their family’s moments.

It has also opened my eyes and made me realise that when I am at home with Caroline and the kids, literally, every moment matters.

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