Multitasking Mommas Git ‘er Dun!

This old saying that will be true until the world comes to an end.

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(Photo created using Ribbet)

I’m not dissing men and husbands, especially my hard-working husband.  I’m talking about the general nature of a woman and her responsibilities.

Women plan for the future more. They buy clothes for the current season AND for the next one.  They purchase groceries on the list and stockpile sale items for future needs.

The majority of her work is rarely completed and usually repeated.  She washes the same dishes, clothes, counters, walls, floors, toilets and faces…

over

     and over

          and over

               and over

                    again.

Then she does it again.

A mom has to multitask because little kids can’t stand in line or take a number. In the morning, everyone is hungry and thirsty.  They need the bathroom or a diaper and snuggles. At the grocery store you shop and meet the needs of the munchkins duck-trailing you.  You might need to referee, comfort, answer a bajillion questions or find the restroom ten minutes ago.

And when the sun goes down, the kids are in bed, moms often use the quiet time to pick up the house, plan meals for the next day, sew, mend, or catch up on laundry.

During the night, moms still may need to feed the baby, comfort one who “I had a weally bad dweam!” or wipe up bodily fluids projected from any of the body cavities. A flu bug or a bed wetter may demand that laundry and mopping are done while the rest of the world is sleeping.

Moms master combining tasks, without losing the ability to detect and deal with suspicious sounds from other corners of the house and mentally planning up to four events.

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(Photo created using Ribbet)

I’m ironing, teaching Science and writing a grocery list. There was probably a load of laundry in the washer and the dryer, and a teenager that needed direction.

We’ve all had success and failures with multitasking. I turned on the wrong burner and melted my Tupperware canister of sugar while talking on the phone and canning. I’ve “lost” items because I accidentally put them in the fridge or freezer.  I’ve been sidetracked by a smaller project and forgot to do the main project.

Because numbered lists are easier for a sleep-deprived woman who just needs to be shown what’s next, I made ya’ one. Here’s criteria to guide your multitasking for maximum efficiency.

1.  Productivity

Don’t start so many projects you can’t finish any or don’t do them well. I don’t mean perfect, I gave up the dream of cupboards and closets being Pinterest-perfect before Pinterest was even invented. Remember, the goal of multitasking is to get more done in a day, not less.

2.  Priorities

The main goals of the day should be accomplished.  It’s easy to tackle other projects, then forget to make dinner.  Oh, you never do that?  May I bring my family to your house for dinner tonight?

When the kids were young I started One Fun Thing tradition. There’s always more work to do, so I tried to play with the kids each day.  I was home for them, not the house. We would choose one activity to do after the chores were done, like Play-Doh, painting, a picnic, craft, a board game or making a fort. It didn’t have take hours, 30 minutes can create a special memory.

3.  Safety

Please don’t rely on a child’s obedience for their safety; their safety is your responsibility. Don’t leave them alone in the bathtub or a car. The iron and stove shouldn’t be left unattended. Many household accidents  involving children occur quickly a short distance away from the adult. This isn’t to cast blame because accidents will happen.  But, there are times to concentrate on one task for safety reasons.

4. Relationships

A mom can feel like she’s the rope in a tug of war.  Kids’ radar senses when mom  is the busiest, in the bathroom, or finally sat down to relax.  The natural reaction is to be annoyed at the interruption, but it’s a compliment.  The kids want you, need you and consider you the source of all wisdom. Set boundaries for times they can’t interrupt, it’s part of teaching them manners, but make yourself available other times.

It only takes 30 seconds to build up a relationship. Answer those questions or let them know you’d love to answer later.  Use eye contact when you can and give verbal affirmation for their random spouts of information. They will repeat it until you answer.  They will repeat it until you answer.  They will repeat it until you answer.

Multitask phone calls only if you can still meet the caller’s needs.  Facebook or computer games take away from the conversation,  mindless tasks can be done.  The greater the need of the person on the other end of the conversation, the less (if anything) you should be doing.

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Misc. Multitasking Ideas:

  • My Aunt Joyce encouraged me to use nursing time to read to the toddler.  It reduced jealously, made  a special, snuggly time for all the kids, and kept the toddler out of trouble.
  • When I needed a long chat with a friend, I’d save the unfolded laundry for naptime, then call a girlfriend. When the kids were older and could be inside alone, I’d weed or water my plants and talk.
  • I kept a book in the bathroom.
  • My mom taught us all to not go to another level of the home without taking one thing to put away.
  • Adventures in Odyssey tapes, free college history lectures and Bible on CD are great for long projects, like painting a room.

 

A friend told me she could be a Proverbs 31 woman if she had servants.  I reminded her how they lived and said I considered our electrical appliances our servants. Click on the image below to read about women in the previous century whose work was never done.

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Multitasking can increase productivity and give a busy Mom time to relax.

How do you multitask to git ‘er dun?

                                      Making your home sing Mondays            

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11 Responses to Multitasking Mommas Git ‘er Dun!

  1. Dana Kolste June 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    “Moms master combining tasks, without losing the ability to detect and deal with suspicious sounds from other corners of the house and mentally planning up to four events.” I might have cut naptime about an hour short by laughing at this one =)

    • Mindy Peltier June 25, 2013 at 3:25 am #

      Oh, cutting short naptime is dangerous ground. Maybe I should rate my blogs by how far a mouthfull of coffee would go if you were drinking it. Then you could be warned. Glad you laughed, although I think you could probably plan about ten events.

  2. Kendra June 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Tell me about it! Even when you land in a wheelchair and only have one good hand…you are still mom.

    • Mindy Peltier June 25, 2013 at 3:38 am #

      And that’s what I admire about you, Kendra! You didn’t let a stroke, a wheelchair or anything else stop you from being an amazing mom. You continue to encourage me to be a better mom! I love how you love your family.

  3. hshroyer June 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    I needed this today! Thank you! My husband, 3 month old and I currently live in a cozy one-bedroom apartment with no dishwasher; and to do laundry, I must walk a few blocks down the street. I was feeling cramped and discouraged this morning, yet half a century ago, women worked so much harder! I feel that our culture is so instant-gratification that it is even hard to be content and feel comfort in today’s conveniences. As for multitasking, I have a friend who sets a timer for 15 minutes in the evening and her family picks up as much as they can before the timer dings. Seems like a fun and creative way to “tidy up.”

    • Mindy July 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      Thanks for commenting today. I’m glad I could bring a little freshment to the early married-new mom stage of life. I went many years without washer/dryer. When someone gave me a washing machine I was THRILLED. Because we lived in KS I could line dry clothes almost all year around. I even had hooks in the kitchen to hang up lines and dry inside if I had to. You learn to make do, to be thankful for what you have and what you don’t have, and focus on the most important thing in your home, those beautiful people! I loved the idea of a timer for clean-up time, it would make it seem more like a game. Thanks for sharing today. Congratulations and blessings in your motherhood!

  4. Koala Bear Writer June 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Great tips! I’ve felt this way often. I also often nurse a baby and read to older kids. My girls “help” me with laundry so it becomes a family activity. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Mindy July 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      I was always amazed at how much help a toddler could be. Those frantic moments when Moms hands are full and you need a wipe, a diaper, a towel, make a baby laugh. Plus, it gives them such a sense of belonging to a family, even little ones need to feel loved AND needed.

  5. apronstringsotherthings June 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Excellent article, Mindy 🙂 I especially appreciate #4. Interruptions are opportunity for building relationship? wow! who’d’ve thought! But it is very true. I wish I had realized this when my oldest children were young. Thank you for sharing – I’m stopping over from WholeHearted Home

    • Mindy July 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      Yes, I, too, wish I would have known this earlier. My youngest is 10 and I fear most things I learned too late in life. Those years fly by so quickly and it is so frantic, it’s hard to have a logical thought at moments. Even now, when I’m writing and the older kids come in my office and sit in my chair I have to remind myself “I want to have a relationship, I want them coming to me for conversation and to tell me about their day.” Thanks for stopping by, I appreciated you leaving an encouraging comment.

  6. WholeHearted Home July 6, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    I just wanted to thank you for this encouraging post. I multi-task a lot of the time and sometimes push that ability a little too far…and tonight put something-or-other (likely other) in the pie that just doesn’t taste quite right. UGh!! Thanks for the reminder for safety. Babies do suddenly roll over!!

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