Just last weekend I picked up my oldest son from our local baseball park after he was done umping. As we were driving out of the park he said, “I wonder how many hours I have spent at this park?” We had a short discussion about the hundreds of hours he has put into baseball and now adds even more hours by being privileged enough to be an umpire. (Find out about umping or other jobs for your child HERE.)
In the back of my mind, I started to think about the hours my husband and I have sat on the bleachers for both practices and games. When the boys were young, we never dropped them off at practice. We would stay. We would watch…there was always the fear of the possibility that there could be an injury during practice, practice could get rained out or any number of other things could arise. It was only recently that we have felt our boys are old enough to be dropped off at practice, typically armed with a cell phone to get ahold of us if necessary.
Use Time Wisely During a Sports Practice
There are still times, though, that because of where practice is located, it makes no sense for us to drop the kids off. So we stay and honestly, I have to say I try to use my time wisely. Yes, I could watch their entire practice, but as a working mom, time is valuable. My time to focus on the kids sports is during their games. Practice time is time for me to multitask.
So multitask it is! I will do everything from check homework to make my menu plan and grocery list for the week to getting work done for clients. About 3 years ago I had a revelation!! My biggest EVER parenting time saver hit my life! One simple word. Hotspot.
Yes…that’s it friends…it’s a wi-fi hotspot. Some of you may have no idea what a mobile hotspot is. Well, let me tell you!
First, it’s a life saver. In simple terms it is a public location where Wi-Fi Internet access can be obtained. You know, you sit at an airport and us the free wi-fi or head to Starbucks and get online with their free wi-fi. But, better than that, you can have your own personal hotspot with you all of the time. It’s simple and it may not cost you anything.
If you have a mobile phone with internet access, you can turn it into your own personal hotspot.
WHY is This Timesaver My Lifesaver?
Because I am on the go with 3 boys all playing sports, I sit at a lot of practices and in lots of parent pick-up lines. I can easily open my laptop or iPad and get work done, respond to emails or get any other computer-related task done. Now, instead of that 2 hour practice where I just sit and read a magazine, I can get in 2 hours of billable client work or check off a number of items on my personal to-do list that needed to be done online.
HOW Can You Get This Timesaver?
First things first. In order to create your own hotspot, you’ll need to have a smartphone with a data plan.
Next, get ahold of your carrier and ask them to enable a tethering plan (another name for the hotspot). After that simple call, your mobile hotspot is ready to be used!
WHAT is the Cost?
Keep in mind that the prices below were current at the time of writing this post. Any carrier can change their plans at anytime.
AT&T: If you have a shared data plan, the mobile hotspot is included, at NO extra cost!! If you are on a non-shared plan, the hotspot costs $20 per month and gives you 2 GB of extra data.
Verizon Wireless: If you have a shared data plan, the mobile hotspot is included, at NO extra cost!! If you are on a non-shared plan, the hotspot costs $20 per month and give you 2 GB of extra data.
Sprint: Smartphone hotspot plans are $20 per month for 2 GB or $50/month for 6 GB of data. No included options available here, you’re just going to have to pay extra for your hotspot.
T-Mobile: Mobile hotspot is free. Any data you use counts against your monthly limit, except for unlimited plans, which get 2.5 GB of hotspot use per month.
Are you ready to give it a try? If you are hesitant to give it a try, remember that none of the carriers make you commit for more than one month at a time. You can enable the mobile hotspot today and cancel at anytime.
This secret timesaver has saved me hours and hours, hopefully it will for you too!