This old saying that will be true until the world comes to an end.
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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…
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multitasking can increase productivity and give a busy Mom time to relax.
How do you multitask to git ‘er dun?