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A salute to “breadwinner moms”

a salute to breadwinner momsA couple stories caught my eye this past week. First, Pew Research Center found that the number of “breadwinner moms” is at an all-time high in the US, with a significant number of mothers being the sole or primary source of income for their family. 

As a working parent of two myself, I wonder how these moms keep it together. Then, about a half dozen of my friends posted this blog “Worst End of School Year Mom Ever” in my Facebook feed, and I felt a little better. What Jen Hatmaker describes is much closer to my reality.

At Microsoft, we hear from breadwinner moms every day about how fast-paced life has become and how technology can help keep work and life humming. Suzanne Emberton, a mother of six and full-time IT support analyst, recently shared how her busy family uses technology to help keep things running and find more time for the things that matter.

We know balancing work and home these days is no easy feat, but we also believe that the right technology can help. So in that spirit, we wanted to offer a few ways to help those amazing breadwinner moms.

  • Have everyone to pitch in. Assign family chores for the week with the chore schedule template in Excel 2013. Lists the tasks, assign a name to them, and check them off when finished. You can even save it to the cloudso your family can update it in real-time from a phone or tablet.
  • Color code the chaos. With Outlook, you can manage the whole crazy schedule for your entire family. It might actually start to make sense. Color code activities and send appointments and share the calendar with your kids or spouse to ensure you’re all in sync. (Ok, I must admit thatI don’t actually color code, though I do keep our entire family life scheduled in Outlook. But it’s nice knowing the color coding power is there if I want it.)
  • Augment your brain. Juggling a million priorities, it’s no wonder some fall through the cracks, but with OneNote, you can jot down ideas, to dos, thoughts or doodles on your phone, computer or tablet and get them whenever you need them. It’s like electronic Ginko Biloba.
  • Get a head start with templates. Having trouble getting started on something? Office.com is full of templates to inspire! From Word to Excel to PowerPoint, there are hundreds of free templates that will give your kids the head start on homework or help you quickly put together that birthday party invitation.
  • Do it from anywhere. Virtually anytime, anywhere SkyDrive and Office Web Apps let you instantly get at your important documents and share them with your family, soccer league or others–simply edit and sync.

The Pew Research Center study also showed that the number of breadwinning and working moms in the workplace will continue to grow. And as that happens, we’ll continue to strive to make Office a great tool to help them, whether they’re working in the office, on the go or at home.

We’d love to hear from you  Are these tips helpful? What tips would you offer other breadwinning and working moms? Talk back to @Office and let us know yours.