What is multitasking? It is the way you can tie your shoes and your child’s in unison, juggle 4 different means of technology while holding a half conversation, eating on your lap while sewing a kids uniform back together, working while socialising with your colleague and checking your bank account for those all important $$$, cooking with a babe at your hip, having the washing on and checking English homework.
I pride myself on being a mean multitasker and in reality most of us are, but the way in which we multitask changes, along with the context of our lives. It is the only way I cope with the dawn to dusk waking hours in my house, and I wish at times I had a day to manage nothing but my bath, a coffee and the ability to listen to sweet sweet music full volume, that doesn’t sound like this dude Old MacDonald and his EIEIO farm, (complete with seal, donkey and elephants c/o me).
The truth is I am out of my comfort zone and trying to manage the best I can, however dealing with two children and two home businesses takes its toll. Netflix, WordPress and the car are my best friends at present. The handy swift takes me and the kids out into the world, providing a safe capsule that my toddler cannot escape from, while I inhale a muffin and absorb my caffeine, then high tail it off to a fenced playground or Nana’s house, where I do not have an anxiety attack over all the housework and the newly designed playdoh carpet. This last sentence spells out alot, the fact that I have anxiety, that I struggle with a mess (clogs up my brain), and that I feel like I need to escape in order to feel a little peace. Life with children is just bloody hard, plain and simple, and to escape this is pointless. Regardless of how much we can juggle we all fall sometimes and fly sometimes and I am on a steep learning curve with this one.
This is how I imagined life to be in 2016..
and this is how it actually is..
So as I still envisage myself to be a zen multitasking mother that embraces all light positivity and patience, I will settle for knowing that everyone is fed, warm, loved and alive the next day pulling me out of bed to watch Peppa pig, feed me left over toast and shit in their pants just as I am ready to walk out the door for school drop. It is bliss on a stick, and I wouldn’t change it for Jane Austen….ok maybe for a few hours.
As I started this piece I thought lets Wiki* and came up with this article that speaks volumes to my radar of familiarity, Why Multitasking is killing your brain…I am screwed. I fall into all these categories of small frequent tasks and neural addictive qualities…hence my sentences when spoken outloud are often a product of dyslexic mumble which is highly entertaining for the person trying to make a little English out of the mess. So the exert goes;
“This constant task-switching encourages bad brain habits. When we complete a tiny task (sending an email, answering a text message, posting a tweet), we are hit with a dollop of dopamine, our reward hormone. Our brains love that dopamine, and so we’re encouraged to keep switching between small mini-tasks that give us instant gratification.This creates a dangerous feedback loop that makes us feel like we’re accomplishing a ton, when we’re really not doing much at all (or at least nothing requiring much critical thinking). In fact, some even refer to email/Twitter/Facebook-checking as a neural addiction.” Larry Kim,
Considering I am mother to a toddler I feel that I fall into the ‘small tasks=frequent gratification=happy mum’ category, who is very ok with a little dopamine fix. The idea that we actually achieve less when trying to achieve more rings pretty true, think about the washing that sits in the machine toooo long…the coffee never drunk as you pull out those weeds…the bath overflowing while you cook dinner…cracks me up that I actually create more stress by trying to create less 🙂
It seems to be the human condition that every time one part of your life seems to be jamming to its own sweet multitasking self, another is going to reveal itself in all its stressful glory, almost as if we are prewired to create more work, more drama, more more more everything. I am on a mission to return to the former glory of my cup of tea days, where I allow more, I forgive more, I look more and create more, and in doing so reach that beautiful point of never ending discovery quietly calling my name.
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