Why The Hell Are There Apps For Every Single Kid Activity Now?!

Listen, I want all the info — but I feel like the manager of an app circus sometimes.

A mom who is overwhelmed with all the school and sports apps she has to sign up for.
Ariela Basson/Scary Mommy; Getty Images, Shutterstock

As a millennial, I consider myself at least mildly tech savvy. But there is not enough storage in my brain or on my phone to manage all of the apps that parents of school-aged children are now expected to juggle. Seesaw for elementary school assignment viewing. Class Dojo for my elementary and middle schooler where they earn points for good behavior and I can track their progress. Homeward Bound for after-school opportunities. Then there’s the preschool Facebook group for photo viewing and fun, and weekly email newsletters from teachers and principals. And I haven’t even figured out the extra snack and ice cream online fund I am supposed to be funding (according to my son).

Oh, and let’s not forget that school is not the only app-required thing for my kids. I have the YMCA app where I track all the available activities, TeamSnap for soccer games, and PlayMaker X for studying their football tactics and plays. I mean, I am going to run out of storage soon and if the soccer coach thinks I am deleting TikTok or Pinterest to make space for preschool field assignments he is very mistaken.

Digital technology was supposed to make everything easier, better, more streamlined. Instead, I need 24/7 tech support staff just to make sure my kids are doing their homework. Fantastic.

And for a sometimes forgetful and often disheveled mom like me, the username and password game for all these apps is a nightmare. I forget my password weekly and then am forced to create another one. And everyone knows the fun game of creating a new and unique password with at least one capital letter and number and symbol but not in the same combo that I have used before. Well here we are only one week in and I have already added my fifth exclamation point to the password that I always use but somehow keep forgetting. Why are giving all these app companies all this access to our information anyway? Shouldn’t we be trying to limit our internet footprint at this point?

And listen, I love to be connected and in the know. I want all the info and all the progress reports. I love seeing their assignments, little comments from teachers, and especially a photo of them doing their thing at school. But I increasingly feel like I’m the manager of an app circus and I’m losing control fast. Isn’t there some recent Harvard grad who can whip up a quick all-encompassing one-stop-shop app for all the things so this can be more of a one-click situation? Because with four kids, a husband, and a household — I am at max managing capacity.

Isn’t it maybe too much? I mean, this whole app thing is a relatively new phenomenon and clearly the school and extracurricular communities functioned (and often excelled) for many years without them. I appreciate the idea behind it — each app attempting to make communication and organization available and easy — but in my case it has the opposite impact. With four kids in three different schools, I find that any additional communication outside of my gmail just ends up lost in the shuffle of the chaos of my life.

So I am begging you, teachers and coaches of the world (or at least my children), please chill with the apps. I know you mean to keep us all organized and up to date (I haven’t even mentioned the constant notifications!), but it’s going to put me over the edge. So, unless you can find a way to throw them all under some big umbrella app that could manage them all in one place and also alert me and notify me and remind me every time I need to look or do something — maybe we just stick to email. And really, I can’t even promise I will read all of those.

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.