11/11/08

The Un-Multi-Tasking Mama

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am humbled and honored to present The Happy Geek! I don't remember how I found her, but it was love at first post. The Happy Geek has one of those blogs that you just have to keep reading. It's insightful and hilarious. HG is honest, smart, and really attractive in a rarely worn black dress.

I love a blog that can make me smile and burst out laughing while teaching me something, all at the same time. The Happy Geek is the perfect place for that.

So enjoy today's post from the hilarious and humble, Happy Geek. And don't forget to visit her. Every Canadian needs some American visitors every now and again, don'tcha know?
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I get to be on Extraordinary Ordinary.

How very cool.

I have been reading EO since the summer. I love Heather's thoughtful reflections on motherhood, personhood and finding balance. She has talked a lot about really being present and in the moment with your kids.

This has hit home with me.

When my kids were really little (as opposed to the half-grown 2 and 4 year old that they are now) I was uber-mommy. I could multi-task out the wazoo. It was nothing for me to feed the baby, be making babyfood and talking on the phone with someone in our caregroup about a serious need in their life.

Even when I had two I could feed them breakfast, make a casserole for dinner and prepare for Bible study all at once.

Then in a blink of an eye it all changed.

They got verbal.

Turns out I am a mommy of very little brain. When my kids talk I must focus all of my attention onto what they are saying or the results are disastrous. If I try to multi-task while they are talking I have been known to hand my two year old scissors and tell him to go for it. Fortunately my sis was on the phone with me and called me back to my senses seconds before blond tufts started flying.

I have okayed them drawing on themselves, punching me in the stomach and a very unfortunate incident involving a sharpie. Yee haw.

That's when I finally got smart. Yes, it did take a while. It's Happy Geek, not Happy Intellectual. Now when my kids talk I stop what I am doing and focus completely on them. It's just safer. It does mean that absolutely nothing gets done in a day as they talk ALL THE BLESSED TIME, but at least my house is still standing.

It's worked quite well. With one noticeable exception. I've found it difficult to give my undivided attention to my kids while piloting a vehicle. Apparently, you can't make eye contact with your kids while bombing down the highway at 110. At least that's what my husband keeps telling me. (For those of you about to call the police, I'm Canadian. That's 110 Kilometers an hour.) It's a very good thing they are strapped in because who knows what mischief they might get into with my full permission. As it is, apparently I said it was fine to throw your shoes at the front seat.

Before I had kids I used to think that momvicles were the safest. Now I know nothing could be farther from the truth. Stoned teens texting on a cellphone while driving are safer than I am.

But at least I am truly present.

13 clicked right here to comment:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I couldn't agree more. I've confessed many times that I USED to be a good multi-tasker and then I had children... now I can't even be a good UNI-tasker. (And me and my van are a flying death-bomb too.)

Melanie J said...

Isn't that the truth but how unsafe mommy drivers are? My state passing a hands-free cell phone law had no idea that was the least of their distracted driver worries.

LisAway said...

Oh, you're lucky. I was was just about to punch in that last number when you explained you were talking about kilometers. Phew!! You almost went to jail, HG!!

This is funny. I mostly just ignore the kids. No, just kidding, but I sure do remember how much it takes to listen to the little ones.

Jillene said...

HAHAHAHA!! That sounds JUST LIKE ME!!

Becky said...

Oh, I relate! Just yesterday, I apparently told my son it was okay to "take down" his sister using some crazy superhero move he's perfected. Then I got upset because she was crying.

Poor kid. He must be so confused most of the time. I guess that makes two of us...

Kim said...

Oh yes, my 4 year old has gotten many things (most recently an umbrella) from me not totally listening. It is harder now that I also have a 2 month old to contend with!

Kazzy said...

It's so true that we feel like great parents until they start talking. And once they start talking BACK it only gets harder :) But we love it, don't we? Thanks!

Erin said...

I say "okay" way too often to my kids. THEN I realize what they just asked me to do (let my 3 year old watch the PG-13 Transformers movie? Uh-uh.) So then I have to backtrack and apologize for not listening better. Even my 3 year old has started saying, "Mom! You're not listening to me!" in a sing-song voice. I guess it's time to start listening better!

Debbie said...

I always have to say to my kids, "Wait until I finish driving so I can focus on what you are saying." Seems to work.

Heidi Ashworth said...

The best part of driving with kids is that it is the perfect excuse to tune them out. In order to avoid unintentionally giving them permission to throw shoes and what-not, I simply use this old standby, each and every time. "I don't know, I'm driving, now leave me alone." A bit harsh, I know, but I have only been in one accident so clearly my strategy is working 99% of the time.

Blessed said...

I have a feeling you're talking about me too... :)

Great post!

binders said...

Ahhh. It's not just me! I will totally agree to all kinds of disagreeable things if the kids ask while I'm focused on something else. Mine are a little older though so now they've learned that if they ask me at that time, they have the best possible chance of getting what they want!

Knittinchick said...

I tend to give Mommy-mobiles such as minivans a wide berth. I figure that anyone who is driving a larger vehicle than my economy car, throwing fruit snacks behind them to the hungry masses and be the Gandhi of children's moods... they deserve a wide berth.

So ... if you see a single 30something waving you in... that's me... please take that spot... you need it!

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