Working mums; we salute you, and your ability to balance work and life at the same time while maintaining some semblance of sanity. But your time is precious, and who doesn't want more time to spend with the young ones? So here are seven handy gadgets every working mum should know about to maybe, just maybe, make life just that little easier.
1. A slow cooker. Who has time to spend slaving away at the stove after spending all day at work, and then coming home to the kids? Invest in one of these, and watch your life change. Simply stick a heap of ingredients in it before you head off in the morning, and this magical contraption does the rest while you're slaving away at work. Then you come home to a delicious cooked dinner. Job done.
2. Dry shampoo. As we say, your time is precious and if you have a barnet that's a little, er, on the wild side, this will save you tons of it. It's not a complete substitute for a long shower, or soak - nobody wants you to go too long without one of those - but gives a few day's grace without your hair turning into a greasy mess.
3. Tile. How many minutes, hours or days a year do you spend searching for stuff? Probably too many to even think about. Here's the solution: an ingenious app called Tile. Stick one to your oft-lost things - keys, phone, iPod etc - and when they inevitably drift out of sight, use the app on your phone to play a sound and locate them. The app also shows the item's location on a map and if it's not where it should be, there's a Tile community to help reclaim stuff. If the unthinkable happens and you use your phone, simply use one of the Tiles to find that, too. You can't lose. Literally.
4. A robot vacuum. Nobody wants to imagine a world where robots take over but in terms of doing mundane stuff like the housework, maybe that wouldn't be bad. Step forward robot vacuums, now more affordable and commonplace than ever. Simply set the vacuum to go, and it'll cover every inch of your rooms and leave them spotless. Coming home to a clean house? Bring it on.
5. A cleaner. Similar to the last point, but a little more expensive and a lot more human. So it therefore has that attention-to-detail that a robot just can't give you. Even if they come over just a few times a year, it could be worth the cash as it frees you up for the more enjoyable things in life.
6. Laundry board. So you've ploughed through a mountain of ironing and now comes the simple part; folding. It also happens to be the most boring, so any help is gratefully received. Step forward the laundry board, a simple yet genius solution which makes folding garments a breeze. It may even - maybe, just maybe - get the kids involved, which can't ever be a bad thing.
7. Circle. Concerned about how much time the kids are spending on the iPad, or whether they're sneaking on late at night to watch Netflix? Remove all doubt with Circle, a neat tool that allows you to block or restrict access to a specific service or all internet altogether, between certain times. Even if you're at work, you can be sure that your kids aren't wasting away the hours on YouTube when they should be doing homework.