Multitasking Moms

Believe it or not, occasionally, I get to read other blogs. Granted, I read them when I’m on the treadmill or on line at the DMV or stuck in traffic. I read an interesting one recently that stated that in order to stop feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, moms need to STOP multitasking. I closed out the blog off my phone as I jumped off the treadmill and laughed for a good solid ten minutes while I folded the laundry and listened to voice mails. I debated about whether the author was a man or a twenty-three year old single woman without children. Whoever it was is seriously out of their minds or delusional. Multitasking is essential as a mom. For as little as I manage to get done in a day, I don’t think I would accomplish half of that without having mastered the art of multitasking.

I wasn’t always a multitasker. Hell, I don’t think I could tie my shoes and chew bubble gum at the same time as a teen. But there’s something about having children that suddenly gives moms the ability to perform more than one task at a time. I empty the garbage while cooking (and subsequently burning) dinner. I iron my work scrubs while dictating my blog into Google Docs. I make my grocery list while eating breakfast. I make my bed while I wait for my straightener to warm up. I’m putting on eyeliner while peeing. As I’m washing dishes, I’m on hold with the doctor’s office making the kids’ yearly physical appointments. Sometimes I’ll even dust as I write my novels. I learn Spanish on my headphones while vacuuming (okay, maybe I dreamt that one). I clean out the fridge while I eat my lunch. I plan out the day’s errands so that I have the shortest route, thereby taking as little time out of the day as possible. The multitasking also occasionally causes ADHD as well, one thing leads to another—I start off vacuuming the couch and end up buying a closet organizer online. I’ll start off cleaning the bathroom and somehow end up changing my curtains. Sometimes I feel a little dizzy from all I’m trying to do at once.

It’s not all work that I multitask, either. Oh no, I’ve managed to multitask pleasure, too. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) I’m talking about cutting coupons while I watch a baseball game, reading a book while getting a pedicure, playing solitaire while waiting on line at the carwash. There is never a moment in the day where I think I’m just doing ONE thing. If I have to do A,B and C, why not get it done while doing X, Y and Z? How would I exist without multitasking? Probably the same way I’d exist without my Post-it note lists…badly. How is that supposed to make me less stressed? Just the idea of it is enough to make me break out into hives. How could anyone possibly get anything done if they don’t answer their email while pooping???? Who watches TV without a pile of socks to match up? Who has time to shop for school shoes online without making their kids’ lunches at the same time? There are only 24 hours in a day and 48 hours worth of stuff to do!

My husband never multitasks (as far as I’ve seen he barely “single”-tasks some days) and he seems a hell of a lot less stressed out than I am. Right at this moment he’s watching golf. That’s right…watching golf. And that’s all. He’s not watching golf and filling out the kids’ emergency forms for school. He’s not watching golf and paying bills online. He’s not watching golf and trying to clip the dog’s toenails. He’s just…watching golf. And he doesn’t feel an ounce of guilt about just doing one thing (and one pleasurable thing—well, for him it’s pleasurable…I’d rather get my tongue pierced than watch golf). Maybe I would be better at things if I didn’t multitask. Maybe I wouldn’t be as stressed. Maybe I wouldn’t burn dinner if I just focused on dinner and not trying to see how many other things I could get done at the same time. Maybe I’d enjoy a TV show or a book every once in awhile if I wasn’t feeling guilty for not performing some chore while I indulged in those pleasures. Maybe I could…if I wasn’t a mom. In my next life I think I’ll be a dad.



Just a Little Pee

I have a dilemma that nobody in my family seems to understand. In fact, not only do they not seem to understand my plight, they find it humorous. They laugh at me and make jokes…at my expense. I don’t find it humorous. Maybe some of you out there…specifically those of you who have given birth (and given birth MULTIPLE times)…can understand my issue. The issue of having dealt with unborn children using your bladder as a trampoline for nine or more months. The issue of coughing, sneezing, jumping, or laughing being mortal enemies of one’s…ahem…urinary tract integrity. The issue of wondering just how “discrete” and “panty-like” the new adult diapers are these days. Yeah, I’m talking about peeing yourself.

I’m not to proud to admit that some (ALL) of the aforementioned activities have caused me to lose control of my bladder in the past. Stay with me here, ladies (Men and children, you’re excused now). If you’re in shock right now you’ve either, 1, never given birth, 2, given birth to the most docile in-utero specimens who have never played soccer with your kidneys, or 3, have some wicked Kegal skills. I do not fall into any of those categories, hence the conundrum that I face on a regular basis. I’ve gotten used to having to squeeze my legs together when I go to comedy shows and begging off jumping rope and jumping jacks and any other jumping activities (thank God for small favors). I’m over the fact that I have to race to the bathroom to sneeze. (Instead of saying “God Bless You” when I sneeze, my husband asks “You need new underwear?” Snarky bastard.) I’ve come to peace with the fact I will probably never have a full night’s sleep again because I have to pee fifty times. But what I cannot for the life of me deal with any more is peeing on the treadmill.

Yes, you read that correctly. I, grown ass woman of 41 years on this earth,  have actually peed on the treadmill. Now before you’re thinking I just dropped my drawers and squatted on the damn thing, let me explain. I was running….really fast. Like 8 miles an hour fast. I was working hard, my body was giving it everything that it had. Every ounce of strength I had was devoted to keeping my heart and lungs and leg muscles going. In its overzealous state however, my body neglected to keep my bladder muscles going. So yeah, I peed my pants on the treadmill. And not just a little trickle. Oh no. A river. All the way down to my brand new shoes. In the GYM. On a Saturday morning. In the very first row of treadmills. With at least 50 to a 1000 people milling around.

Needless to say, I dashed out of there faster than…well, faster than me peeing myself at 8 miles an hour. I ran home and announced to my husband that I was NEVER going back to that gym ever again. After he was done clutching his sides to hold in his spleen that was threatening to come out of his mouth from him laughing so hard, he assured me that I was bluffing. He knows how much I like my runs. I was not bluffing. Now if it was the middle of summer, I’d say hey, I’ll run outside instead. Maybe by the time I need to run on a treadmill again, there will be a totally new crowd at the gym (it’s like they change out the people for the season at the gym…really weird). But no…it’s the smack dab middle of winter, there’s snow on the ground and it’s freaking cold. I NEED a treadmill.

Hence the reason I dragged the hubby out to test out close to a million treadmills (okay, SLIGHT exaggeration). I don’t bluff. Yup, I’m quitting the gym on the grounds that I’m MORTIFIED, so now I have to buy a machine to exercise in my basement in privacy. That way when my body shuts its “Non-essential” organs down, I can be ready with a towel. Or maybe I can line the belt with pee-pads that we used for potty training the dog. Or better yet, I’ll wear a diaper. Who cares, right? I’m at home and my family thinks it’s hysterical anyway. After all, I’ve given birth, therefore, I have no shame anymore. And apparently no bladder strength whatsoever.



Bread and Milkers Unite

I love how when the weather people announce it’s going to snow sometime in the next 3 to 4 days, suddenly the grocery stores are bursting at the seams with panicked “Bread and Milk doomsdayers”. Everyone laughs about it and rolls their eyes and makes fun of the people running to the store…there’s even quite a few viral videos of people mocking the Bread and Milkers. But if everyone is making fun of all these people…who are these people that are panicking???? Oh wait…it’s us…the very people making fun. The very people saying “I’m only going to the grocery store because it’s my day to shop…not that I’m scared of a storm. Oh, and I’ll take two gallons of milk and six loaves of bread please.” Well guess what, sister? It doesn’t matter why you’re at the store. If you’re there before a storm, you’re a Bread and Milker.

I’m a Bread and Milker…I freely admit it. It’s because of one reason. I have an almost 16 year old boy living in my house who might eat anything that isn’t nailed down. I mean, as long as it’s on his list of the 10 things he actually eats right now. Pasta, soup, toasted bagels, frozen pizza, hot chocolate (oh wait, that’s only 5). He’s extremely cranky when he’s hungry (which is 23 out of 24 hours) and might be forced to eat something out of his comfort range if we run out of his favorites, ie., MY food. The idea of not being able to get out of the house and replenish his food supply actually makes me shake a little because I’m half Italian. The notion that we would have to go more than a few hours without eating is terrifying. I don’t want to ever run out of food. Hell, I don’t even want to come close to running out of food. I mean, I really don’t want to eat that bag of shriveled up grapes in the fridge.

I hear you at home, shaking your head at me. “Silly woman,” you’re saying. “You’re over exaggerating. You’re not going to be snowed in for months. ” Yeah, well you know what? When it snows and we lose power, it’s going to FEEL like being snowed in for months with a kid who now can’t cook any of his top 5 foods because we have an electric stove. And electric toaster. And electric Keurig. And pretty much electric everything else that fuels his food makers in this house.

I can tell that this isn’t convincing you. You continue to shake your head. “You should have enough food in the house for at least a week. What, don’t you buy enough food when you go to the store? What kind of person runs out of food in a day or two?” That’s what you’re thinking isn’t it? Yeah, well I’m willing to bet my car that you don’t have a teenaged boy at home. I buy A LOT of those foods he likes, I’ll come home from the store with EXTRAS, but he sees that as a challenge, as in, “how many frozen pizzas can I warm up in a day?” rather than actually rationalizing, “This is the food for the week…I should go slow.” Within a day or two of grocery shopping he’s already moaning that we have nothing else to eat because HE ATE IT ALL WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF IT ARRIVING HOME FROM THE STORE! I brought 2 gallons of milk on Saturday and by Monday morning, there was only half a gallon! I HAD to rush to the store like a Bread and Milker!

When I had no kids at home, or even when the kids were younger, I could have probably have gone weeks without leaving the house for food. I brought food and it stayed in the fridge or the cabinets until I wanted to use it. I could count on a gallon of milk lasting 4 or 5 days. Boxes of pasta remained stacked in the basement for months at a time, not disappearing stealthily in the night like they do now. (Yes, he eats an entire box of pasta in one sitting). That’s back when I had control and he couldn’t work the stove and he wasn’t tall enough to reach the cabinets. Now he’s half a foot taller than me and I have to ask him to reach things in the cabinets. As if eating non-stop normally isn’t bad enough, add in the “maybe we’ll lose power” factor. What if we lose power and he can’t charge his phone or play his video games? Oh the horror! He’ll be eating till he explodes just out of boredom! A growing boy trapped in the house during a snow storm is a frightening prospect…one that’s turned me into a Bread and Milker. So if you still don’t understand my plight, if you’re still shaking your head at me, saying “I’ll never be a Bread and Milker, I have plenty of food at all time”…well, give me your address. I’m sending him over to spend the snowstorm with you.