Thursday, December 18, 2008

Multi-Tasking


I really think that women have been wired for multi-tasking. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I love to see James struggling trying to put all three kids to bed and I silently listen to his frustrated tone as he tries to juggle all the mayhem. As a mother, you do not have a choice. If anything is to ever get done, multi-tasking becomes an essential, almost innate ability.
The other day I was holding a screaming baby on one hip, tossing chicken in the pan, checking on the browning of the bread in the oven and yelling down the stairs as a five year old was yelling up the stairs trying to write a get well card for a friend at school. "How do you spell, love?" he yelled up the stairs. In between the crying, the sound of the buring, popping chicken and a three-year old running around the house, I yelled back down the staris, "L". "What next," he yelled back. "O," I responded. "What?" he reapeated. Just then I yell, "Jacob, why are you naked?" "Jacob, get your clothes on now!" "I know, I know, Naomi." "I will feed you as soon as dinner is done." "Jacob, no, you are not allowed to be a naked wrestler." "Yes, William, an O." "I am almost done Naomi, just hold on." "Crap, the bread is burned." "Jacob, get upstairs and get your clothes on or you get tabasco."
These conversations are everyday. The chaso never lets up. When I only had one child I seemed to be more overwhelmed than I am now. I think that this is one of Heavenly Father's miracles. He stretches us beyond our capacity. For some reason, this usual dinner-time routine does not stress me out too badly, and by the time James walks through the door, Jacob is dressed, William's Get-Well card to his friend is finished and polished, we are all seated around the table with dinner before us. What have I done all day? James will never know. Equally, I will never understand what he has done. Perhaps multi-tasking. But than again, maybe not.
Sundays at church without James are equally as exciting. I have been alone at this time for 26 hours. I am exhausted from the night before and our little family parades into Sacrament meeting not a moment too soon. We find a bench and then the chaso begins. I lay my baby on the bench and give her a toy. My left hand acts as a barrier to keep her from rolling off. In my right hand, you will find a squirming kicking three year old in a head lock. I hold him tight as I hurry and open up the Sunday school manual on my lap. I was too tired last night to prepare. There will be no better time than now. I read a little bit, quietly yell at William to be more quiet and put Jake in a tighter head lock. Naomi seems content. I continue reading. Church continues and by the end of the meeting, I am ready for my lesson. I don't know how, but sometime between squeezing my children, feeding them smarties and cleaning up spit-up, I am ready. Multi-tasking. All mothers know what I am talking about, because all mothers have done these exact same things. It is part of us. It defines us. Multi-tasking. It's the only way to get anything done in motherhood.

9 comments:

Ash and Joe Orme said...

i have witnessed your magic! i don't know how mom's do it.

Christine Fotheringham said...

So funny . . . I've been thinking lately how horrible I am at multi-tasking. I only have one kid - and I wonder how I will ever handle more than one. I hate to say it, but Nate is much better at multi-tasking than me -- somehow that inate quality skipped me!

Cassie and Mitch said...

oh man I can totally picture both examples of multitasking! I don't know how I will ever do it with more than one kid! I swear with one it is already so hard! Not to mention still not getting a whole nights rest! Is Naomi sleeping all night, any tips from a SUPERMOM??! We sure miss you guys and your little Will!

Liz said...

oh jess i totally relate. sid is the probably the worst mult-tasker ever, but man, he sure can do ONE thing real well!
good thing we have the roles we do, because there is no way in h*ll he could raise the kiddos...all it is is multitasking!
love you. merry christmas.

Liz said...

I love your stories...I can't wait to see you in January! We are all planning on getting together. have a good Christmas

The WALL Street Times said...

I love you. As a mother we think that it will get easier as they get older. I know now that even as they get older it is not easier just different. Now I multitask 3-4 pages of homework, reading, dinner, and cleaning the house all at the same time. I love it though and it is what keeps our mind from going crazy because we don't have the time. See you in a week. We can hardly wait.

Sarah C said...

I really need to work on this. You are a great mom.

Cook Family said...

Jess you have always amazed me, you are such a great mommy!

Courtney said...

Multi-tasking...thank heavens we can do it! Your kids are getting so big, especially Naomi! What a cutie!