Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries and, while the date varies, for a large part of the world it’s the second Sunday of May—just a few days away. We know how much you all love the moms in your lives because every year, Skype usage spikes on this date, more than any other holiday.
We love hearing about the original ways you use our technology and today, we’re introducing you to three avid users who share how Skype helps them stay in touch with their moms and loved ones, from wherever they are in the world.
But, before we hand over the reigns to them, here are a few tips for a smooth Mother’s Day celebration on Skype:
- Are you and your siblings scattered around the globe? Check out group video calls to call from your computer or group video calls on mobile to call from a device.
- Stuck in a time zone that makes reaching Mom live on May 8 impossible? Skype video messages to the rescue!
- And last, but not least, celebrate Mom in all of your Skype chat messages with our brand new Mother’s Day Mojis. Don’t see them? Make sure you have the latest Skype version.
And now, enjoy these stories from our guest writers: Jim, Sandra, and Jared.
Name: Jim Dailakis
Location: New York City
Mother’s location: Perth, Australia
For someone who really adores his mother, but has been living on the other side of the globe from her for the past twenty years, Skype has been an absolute godsend. It’s so much better than the old days of having to write letters which often became outdated before they even got to their destination. Back then, the occasional wallet-denting, long-distance call was the best one could do to keep in touch. I remember the stress of making sure we weren’t talking for too long lest the price headed into another stratosphere.
We started using Skype when I insisted my parents get on the Internet. Nowadays, I speak and see my mother as much as the rest of my family via Skype, at least once, sometimes twice a week. Psychologically, this makes such a difference. Like most mothers, she just needs to know that I’m doing okay and I’m happy. It’s also very hard to lie because mothers can always tell. Seeing me as well as hearing me, she can see for herself. No matter where in the country I’m performing, so long as I have my phone or my laptop, Skype allows us to keep in touch and allows her to see that I’m treated well, enjoying life, and doing just fine.
My sisters and I often joke about wanting to give whoever created Skype a gigantic hug.
Name: Sandra Magura
Profession: Full-time mom and author of children’s book HippoDuck – Trouble at the Airport
Location: Stafford, Virginia
Mother’s location: Long Island, New York
I grew up twenty minutes from all my family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins). Now, at the age of 36, my husband and I, with two kids (ages 3 and 6), two dogs and a cat, live 300 miles away from our families. Sending letters and including pictures the kids made does happen. We do get a monthly package or two from the grandparents with treats for the kids as well. But when we open them and want to thank them, we call them on Skype.
We have been using Skype as far back as I can remember. We called our families on Skype when we bought our first house—and were able to give them a full tour as if they were there. We told them we were pregnant on Skype, both times. We showed them our newborn babies on Skype. We’ve called them on Skype for birthdays, holidays, loose teeth, potty training, and home improvements. When my daughter wants to read to her grandparents, when we open gifts, for those moments where it is “just easier to show you,” and of course the moments when you want to see that person, we use Skype.
Our most memorable Skype moment would have to be when we told our parents that we were pregnant with our kids:
With our daughter, we told my family that we wanted to call them that night to tell them what we’d finally named our new kitten. When we were all on the computer, we held up the cat and said, “Okay. We named her… WE’RE PREGNANT!”
To tell my in-laws, my husband told his family that he had been sick all day with a fever. When we were all on Skype he came in the room with a thermometer in his mouth. He sat down and told them he was not feeling good. He took the thermometer out of his mouth and when he went to read it, he switched it with the pregnancy test. He said, “Wow. This is weird. This cannot be right. It says I’m pregnant.” There was a slight pause on the other end of the computer and then a big scream!
To announce we were pregnant with our son, I’d made a “I am going to be a BIG SISTER” t-shirt for my daughter. She wore it during our Skype calls with family and it was awesome to see their reactions.
For Mother’s Day we usually call our grandmas and great grandmas on Skype. The kids usually make a cute Mothers’ Day gift, that I make sure to send ahead of time, and the kids love to watch them open what they made. In past years I have made a cake or special dessert treat that we enjoy during our Skype calls.
Skype is truly a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends. I have used it in the past for business as well when I worked from home as a full-time virtual administrative assistant. Skype has let us stay in touch with family that we sometimes only see once a year. It allows great grandparents to see their great grandchildren grow up and gives grandparents connectivity to their kids and grandkids. I couldn’t imagine our lives without Skype.
Name: Jared Miracle
Profession: globe-trotting anthropologist, writer and folklore expert
Location: the World
Mother’s location: Indiana, USA
I’m a globe-trotting anthropologist, writer and folklore expert, and as you might expect, that makes my Mom both proud and extraordinarily unhappy. We use Skype almost exclusively to keep in touch: I might be traveling across Mongolia on horseback to find a master wrestler or in China learning how Pokemon came from an ancient gambling practice. It’s been quite a boon for us.
My family has been Indiana-based for generations, so until recently everything was on Hoosier time. Upon graduating from university, I took a teaching position in Japan. As you can imagine, this was not exactly a popular decision with my Mom. Luckily, she’s also the greatest Mom on Earth and supports my crazy adventures.
It wasn’t long before my brother moved to California and started a family and one of my sisters moved her family up to Oregon. Now that we’re spread all over, we depend on Skype quite a bit to stay in touch. One of the great things about the service is that it works so well on mobile platforms. I get to be a part of my nieces’ lives from the other side of the planet; one even gave me a tour of her house via my sister’s tablet. They actually know what “Uncle Dr. Jar Jar” looks like! At the same time, I can leave a message for Mom or anybody else whose schedule doesn’t allow for a live call. It’s hard to ask for much more than that.
One of my favorite Skype moments has to be sitting at my usual seat around the Christmas table despite being in Qingdao, China. We live in the future. I also have one niece who I’ve never met in person. I’ll never forget seeing her on my laptop for the first time. She’s perfect in every way, incidentally, just like her cousins. Another memory that I find amusing is the time I called Mom from a run-down guesthouse in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia before setting out to ride horseback with nomadic herdsmen (I was there to learn their traditional wrestling style)…without telling her where I was. Actually, I’m not sure if I ever told her about that. Sorry, Mom! Love you!
A huge thank you to Jim, Sandra and Jared for sharing their Skype stories with us! We’d love to hear yours, too. If you’d like to share it, please tag us #Skype on social media and don’t forget to call Mom on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day!