I just breezed through Whole Foods, to buy myself a stash of wine for the upcoming weekend, with my baby on my hip (she got sick of the cart), while on the phone with my grandmother who was busy enlightening me with the details of my grandfather’s colonoscopy.
I didn’t even drop the baby (or the wine), not even when my beloved grandmother got on the topic of bloody stools.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but BEEP BEEP.
Take the baby out of the above equation and you could still call it multitasking – it’s all we ever seem to do these days. We use our cell phones while we do EVERYTHING, from sitting in the bathroom to dining in the finest of restaurants.
I have even mastered the art of having a full blown cell conversation on speaker while browsing my instagram feed and scrambling eggs at the same damn time. It’s ridiculous. I’m not proud of this… I should probably be making an appointment to get tested for ADHD, actually. Let me do that while I type this.
Throw a baby in the mix, and voila! You’ve got – multi-mom-tasking.
I hate having to juggle taking care of my baby with anything else when she clearly comes out on top of a long list of shit I have to get through every day. But it’s just the reality of our lives – especially if you’re a full-time working mom like I’ve recently become.
It is not easy getting myself up out of bed, presentably dressed and out of the house in the morning all before 7:45am, but now I have to do it for two. Throw in a baby, her morning bottle and a giant poop to stall things a bit, and you tell me if you wouldn’t have to combine morning activities. I have no choice but to multi-mom-task. I’m frazzled, I’m rushing, she sees it, she feels it. I swear she sometimes looks at me like i’m insane.
I’m chugging my medication, er, i mean coffee, while I feed Bella, while i’m scrolling through emails, while I’m thinking of cute classroom ideas, while helping my husband find his keys.
I’m working at my amazing new school (which I have the pleasure of bringing my daughter to) while worrying about whether or not she’s napped or finished her pears. While texting her teacher to find out. While still thinking of cute classroom ideas.
Ok now I’m no longer trying to toot my own horn, I’m trying to make a point here.
While most of us have no choice but to multi-mom-task every single minute of every single day, I can’t help but wonder, how present we really are in our most important task of all, being Mommy.
My husband and I took a great workshop on mindfulness and the importance of being a mindfully present force in your child’s life, as they learn everything they know from you, and their inner voices are shaped from the world and words you expose them to.
Each time I am multi-mom-tasking, I immediately flash back to a video i saw in this workshop, of a happy baby trying to interact with his mother. The mother purposely acts aloof and distracts herself with something else, until the baby starts crying and acting out for attention – all to prove the point that babies are babies, and babies are seeking YOU and your attention at all times.
Babies don’t know when you’re running late for work and have to feed them while putting your makeup on (yes, I’ve done this). They take it as, “Mommy is doing weird things to her face instead of holding me and feeding me.”
Babies don’t know that the phone call you’re on while they’re crying out for you in the playpen is an urgent work matter and that they have to wait patiently. They take it as, “I need mommy. Where’s mommy? Why is mommy talking to that shiny thing again?”
Babies don’t know that when they are dragged to the supermarket after a long day of day care and just want to get home to their calm environments, that mommy is out of food (ok, ok, wine) and has no other time in the day to shop for such necessities. They take it as, “I’m tired and cranky and just want to lay with Mommy and she is busy doing other things.”
Please don’t get me wrong – i’m not saying we all have to drop what we’re doing, stop multi-mom-tasking and gaze lovingly into our babies eyes for each waking moment of their day. No way. Not happening. I’d be unemployed, homeless and starving.
I am also not saying that multi-mom-tasking is ruining our children. They’ll be fine capable adults even if they are exposed to the Whole Foods wine-run/colonoscopy phone calls. Frankly, sometimes I feel the more realness I can expose my daughter to, the better.
But it IS ruining the beauty of our experiences as mommies. If you’re anything like me, you probably look at your child at any given moment and think – “Jeez, where has the time gone? When did you get so big?!”.
Well, the answer my friends, is that time waits for no one. Not even when you have that pressing work call, that emergency wine-run, that urge to scroll through your Facebook feed for the 100th time in a day. While your busy with your daily life, your baby continues to grow and change, at an epic, mind-blowing rate of speed.
But while multi-mom-tasking, we have to try to keep doing the loving mommy things that our babies thrive off of, to remain somewhat present in the beauty of that moment.
For example, I could have dropped the colonoscopy call while at Whole Foods. Bella always likes to hold on to my finger in the shopping cart which I could have done if not on the phone. That is always a beautiful moment to me.
The way she stares at me and twirls my hair while she’s taking 45 minutes (yes, 45 minutes) to finish her bottle. That is always a beautiful moment to me – way more beautiful than trying to put my makeup on for the day. (She does NOT need to be learning this yet)
I have been so good and remaining present in each busy moment of my day – this week has just been crazy with adjusting to our new full-time work and daycare schedule.
Now that I am losing many hours of my daughters life to daycare, I am making it a point to enjoy as many mindful moments with my beautiful Bella as possible. Turning my phone on silent when I’m playing with her, feeding her, bathing her, walking with her.
Because for me, nothing is as important as the moments I have with her. Nothing is as important as the feeling of her love for me, her need for all of my undivided mommy-attention and again, the way she twirls my hair in her teeny little chubby fingers while I’m feeding her.
I’m vowing to curb my multi-mom-tasking just a bit… I hope you’ll join me. I think we’ll be more fulfilled mommies for it in the long run.