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.