Mommy apps

Bob Brody Essayist, LettersToMyKids.org
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Are you an imperfect working mom? Worried sick trying to become the best working mom ever? Well, now we have apps for that: working-mom apps.

Consider the latest possibilities:

Love Quotient Number Nine. Ever wonder whether your children love you enough despite your job? Now you can find out. Simply log all the smiles, kisses, hugs and compliments received from your kids on workdays into a trusty database. The app quantifies in real time, via pie charts, exactly how much they love you, compared with how much more they could love you.

Astray. Curious about where your parenting went wrong? Now you can keep track of every child-rearing mistake you ever made. Was the turning point that Tuesday in 2008 when you joined a conference call with Beijing while at Magic Mountain in Disneyland? At last you’ll be able to pinpoint where you ruined your treasured mother-child relationship for life.

As new peer-reviewed university research shows, pretty much anything you as a working mother can do on your own, following nothing but your time-honored maternal instincts, a clever software application — right there in the palm of your hand, usable at the poke of a finger — can enable you to do much, much better.

Here are some more innovative apps now available:

Winner Take All. You no doubt occasionally awaken in a cold sweat agonizing over how you stack up against other working moms. Now you can do a competitive analysis. Yes, Beth over in Marketing received the PTA’s latest “Mother of the Year” award. But does that necessarily make her a better mother than you? Break down the truth, complete with color-coded bar graphs.

Afflicted Conscience. Do your kids know how much they’re costing you? Now you can easily record your investment right down to the last penny in an all-in-one profit-and-loss statement. If your brat ever acts in the least ungrateful, you can whip out the document to inflict the heaviest guilt allowable by city, state, federal and international law.

Forecast. Standard GPS shows you only where your kid is located at any given moment. But now a predictive algorithm speculates about where your kid is going in the future. You’ll be equipped to tell not only whose friend’s house your daughter will visit tonight but also whether she’ll ever be an “American Idol” contestant, a NASA astrophysicist or, for that matter, date a boy you like.

Only by extrapolating from data can you keep your priorities straight as a working mother. Thanks to this management tool, also popular among hedge fund brokers, you can instantly reduce all the variables and nuances of the mother-child relationship to a single, handy spreadsheet.

Ultimately, mommy apps will take all the tedium and guesswork out of being the single most important person on the planet your child might ever have. At last you’ll be free to do as you’ve always dreamed of doing: leaving the job of mothering to your phone.

Bob Brody, an executive and essayist, lives in New York City and blogs at letterstomykids.org.