Divided Attention…

Posted on Nov 9 2012 - 12:46am by momcafe

Moms are the QUEENS of multi-tasking aren’t we?  I see you all everywhere…at the stores, the schools, the parks and everywhere in between.  We are just THAT good at doing more than one thing at a time aren’t we?  So much so, that I am seriously not even sure we can do just ONE thing.  Can you imagine?  Just ONE thing?  Oh, how we have so much going on and too much to do.  All in the game of how life rolls…

I can safely say I am a multi-tasker and I probably would earn the bronze medal for my skill level and abilities.  I’m really not that good at it.  I get over stimulated and can’t focus and seem to drop all the balls that I juggle if I add just one more.  I see other moms going at it with top speed and full throttle focus on more than three things at a time…and it amazes me. 

 As for my bronze skill level, I will share what I can put in the ring…

 I can make snacks for my kids, text, email, and attempt homework hour all at once.  (poorly)

 I can talk on the phone while holding a bowl for my son to puke in. make toast and say, “there, there” in between the phone conversation. (really poorly)

 And my favorite multi-tasking fail would be:

 You know it, the after school frenzy. My daughter is starving and begging for a grilled cheese.  While attempting to sort through the after school papers that were thrown on my counter, and responding to a dear friend in a crisis…(text counseling rocks!) I start to make grilled cheese sandwiches, while in a deep session of text therapy.  Kids running through the house and then outside, in and out…screaming…in and out fighting over something ridiculous…texting…grilled cheese…flip…plates…texting…papers…”STOP YELLING!!!”…put sandwich on plate…text more encouragement…pray for friend… “CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!!”…talk to child crying about his sister being unfair…text… “COME GET IT!!!”

 Five minutes later…

 “Mommy, why isn’t there any cheese in my grilled cheese???”

 Oops.

 And my favorite multi-tasking success?

 I can clean the bathroom while my kid is in the shower, ie:  clean the toilet, wipe hairs off the floor (lots of hair…gross), scrub around the shower, pick up leftover towels from child #1, wipe down toothpaste crust all over the sink, and even check on supply status (ie:  toilet paper, cleaner, shampoo, conditioner, razor blades, and soap… then jump in the shower too.  All the while carrying on a conversation of utmost importance about the number of kids that were in his evening Ju Jitsu class.  (“It was between 5 and 7 and 8 people, mom.  No, wait.  It was like 10 but not like 20, and with me…it was about 12.  No it was for SURE 5 or 8.  Definitely, not ten.  Maybe 8.”  Double hygiene duty, deep conversations and…AND a well-organized and sparkly bathroom to boot!

 However, I often find myself daily in this award winning play:

 I can sweep the floor, throw in a load of laundry, listen to my son tell me a never-ending story, watch my daughter do a dance move, make dinner, help with homework, go through school papers, respond to a flood of texts, go through backpacks, clean out lunch boxes, check email, and greet my husband as he walks in the door…sometimes, I even pee too.

 Yep.  I am the proud recipient of the Bronze Medal of Multi-Tasking!

 Who can share their greatest multi-tasking feat EVER?  I wanna hear from you ladies and I want to be IMPRESSED!

 Are you Gold?  Silver?  Or Bronze?

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41 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Candice November 9, 2012 at 3:55 am - Reply

    hmmmm……I think I’m maybe a silver medalist…or I just need to boost my own self esteem today. I have trouble being too multi-tasking but not enough task finishing….too distractable and have too many balls going instead of just finishing a couple things well.

    I do recall this week that at one time in the kitchen my daughter and I were making homemade caramel corn for 36 dancers on her dance team for her birthday treat….(what was I thinking???) and at the same time I was making a double batch of a taco pasta sauce AND also had my one day short of 9 year old daughter making a lovely crock pot steel cut oatmeal recipe for that night’s supper….all going on simultaneously! Oh and while my 5 and 7 year old boys are spinning around on big wheels outside with me running to the window every couple minutes ‘everything ok? keep your helmets on!’…sometimes my daughter would look at me with these eyes that said ‘mom, I think you are absolutely nuts doing all this at the same time!’ and my eyes say ‘just wait honey….just wait until you are a …..’ yep, you all can finish that thought! :)

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 4:23 am - Reply

      Oh yes!!! May I have the honor of giving you a SILVER MEDAL!!!! But what everyone will really want to know is… Did all those recipes come through??? Did all that amazing food you were cooking really taste as good as it sounded?? Did the boys wear their helmets or did they know you weren’t looking all the time and flip them off while flying down the driveway? Did you even WANT to clean the kitchen after all that?? Man, I’m hungry. :)

  2. Marcia November 9, 2012 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Chris I think if what you described is a BRONZE medal, well I don’t even make it to the platform! I can’t seem to talk and chew gum at the same time (or pack lunches while reviewing spelling words — OK maybe THOSE two things) Cleaning the bathroom while they are showering? BRILLIANT! Of course these days I am banned from the bathroom while my pre-teen takes a marathon, drain the hot water tank shower. You are a GOLD medalist (in my book anyway!)

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I am sooo not looking forward to losing my babies to the teen world!!! (or pre-teen for that matter!) Now you are too sweet to honor my skill level and raise it higher, but the grilled cheese with OUT the cheese? I believe that one just plain does me in. I never wrote how I handled it. I said, “You can still eat it, just think of it as buttered toast.” :)

  3. Candice November 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Ok so I left out the part that the caramel corn tasted like taco seasoning and the oatmeal had kernals in it, and I made Ryan clean it all up at 9 pm that night, what’s your point? :) You mean that may change which platform I stand on? Ha!!!!!!!!!!

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      But was it all EDIBLE? That is the only game-changer!!!! ;) I believe in my heart, that every SINGLE thing you made that day was friggin’ AWESOME!! I mean, what’s a little kernal in the oatmeal? Nice and crunchy, just how I like! And what a lovely sweet twist to taco seasoning! YUM! I do admit, I have a detailed visual of what your kitchen looked like, my hats off to Ryan!!! :)

  4. Hope November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love reading your posts. The cheese-less grilled cheese was hilarious. I work full time. So when I leave work I drive cross town to pick up each kid. I usually take a snack in the car…so I drive while disbursing snacks. When we get home I make dinner while helping one with homework and keeping the other from trying to scribble on the other’s homework paper, while tidying the kitchen and getting the laundry started, inevitably taking a break to wipe poopy bottom or contend with streaked out underwear later. Throw in a few fights, screaming, running around the house, someone getting hurt, something breaks or spills and a few text and phone calls. On a good day I can squeeze bath time in before dinner is done, on a bad day, dinner burns. I don’t think I’d be on the podium either:-)

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      Um…HELLO!!! How can you NOT be standing TALL on that podium waving your GOLD MEDAL in the face of all who only ASPIRE (is that the right word? You know what I mean…) to be as amazing as you! You know what I would do after a long day at work and driving across town to get the kiddos? Drive thru. Yep. Oh wait, I do that already and I don’t even have to work or drive far to get my kids!! I think I just lost my medal. Bath before dinner? I am serious when I say this, you TOTALLY ROCK IT!!!! So far, you are scoring the most points my dear!!! :)

      • Hope Reid November 10, 2012 at 2:11 am - Reply

        Wow! What an amazing boost of confidence and encouragement from you. Thank you!!! I am smiling ear to ear!!

        • momcafe November 10, 2012 at 3:59 am - Reply

          GOOD!! You absolutely deserve the boost of confidence and encouragement. God bless you Hope! :)

  5. Eli@coachdaddy November 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    One time, I made dinner while I watched football.

    P.S. I’m a dad.

    Honestly, you’d be amazed at all the multi-tasking I do as a man. I’m almost embarrassed by it. It feels unnatural. You know in the Gospels, where the writer sometimes says, “and Jesus performed many other miracles like this on this day,” or something to that effect?

    That’s me. Only not quite as cool as Jesus.

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      I am laughing SO HARD right now!!! You are definately almost as cool as Jesus!!! That is HILARIOUS!! It IS unnatural for a man to be so good at this multi-tasking thing! You are definately performing miracles every day DAD!! You are my “almost like Jesus Super-HERO”!!! I mean, fixing dinner AND watching football? Damn, you are GOOD!!! ;)

  6. Theresa November 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    I’m a mom of a 12 year old girl and a teacher of 26 3rd graders…..what medal do I earn? lol

    Love the “buttered toast”! :)

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      So I’m thinking you are a contender for more than my competition field of honor!!!!! You got a 12 year old, which is probably enough there. But lets add those 26- TWENTY SIX third graders and a full classroom every. single. day. and a curriculum that is friggin’ TOUGH (been there done that with my 3rd grader last year!) and you are now promoted to the “Mulit-level-multi-tasking-” AWARD WINNER OF THE DIAMOND AWARD!!! (just thinking that would be better than gold!) (lol)

  7. another jennifer November 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    I honestly don’t even want to think of my best example of multi-tasking because I think it will make my head explode (she says as she lets the dogs out, sips coffee, finishes her bagel and answers email and a text…).

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Oh yes….head explosion going on over here too!!! CONSTANTLY!!! Like, now. Juggle away dear friend!!! Juggle away!!! As long as we don’t drop a kid, right? Actually, I did once. I totally was distracted at curriculum night chatting with this person and that…ran out of the school all “I am so funny and social!!” and got to my car, realizing I left my kid back wondering around the school looking for me! HA! (Not cool.)

  8. The Dose of Reality November 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Bronze? You sound like a multi-gold metal winning multi-tasker to me! (grilled cheese sandwich minus actual grilled cheese not withstanding)

    I feel like I run as a silver metalist in multitasking most days. I feel like I can generally do 4 things at once really well, 5 things fairly well, and at 6 things it sort of starts to fall apart.

    My husband, on the other hand, cannot multi-task to save his life. Yesterday I asked him to find Lucy’s sweater before school and then 3 minutes later also asked him to wash her glasses. He honestly came to a complete stop to say, “Well, which do you want me to do? Find her sweater or clean her glasses.” OMG, are you kidding me? I would have screamed but all I could do was stare at him like he was an alien. (well, and then I screamed) He was over taxed at just two small things at once.

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      HAHAHAHA!!! YES!!! I TOTALLY get the husband inability to multi-task thing! They are just too concrete to do anything but ONE SPECIFIC (right?) thing. I would dare say it- in my post about my husband… and I shared that the man seriously manages multi-million dollar projects!!!! Yet, the poor guy can NOT for the life of him do more than one thing (this is at best) at a time. I hate to say it, because he’s a gem of a hubby and father…but seriously. I. Don’t. Get. It. I am with you sister! I think it’s a true man thing. And oh by the way…4-5 things fairly well??? Damn girl, that’s AWESOME!!!! Step up and get your GOLD!!!
      My Hubby post here: http://themomcafe.com/my-nice-in-trying-armor/ (you may have read it, not sure!)

      • The Dose of Reality November 13, 2012 at 2:52 am - Reply

        I love that husband post! I hadn’t seen it before somehow. Fantastic!
        And you hit it exactly on the head…they are entrusted with these very complex things at work…but the multitasking at home–oh, brother, no way! How is that possible?? Good grief!!
        The Dose of Reality recently posted..Don’t Dog Sit If You Want To Be a Brain SurgeonMy Profile

        • momcafe November 13, 2012 at 3:24 am - Reply

          I know, right???!!! SO glad you took the time to read my hubby post! You ROCK LISA!!!! :) Seriously, I am thinking of moving down south just so I can hang with you and Ashley! (But then again, I’d always be the 3rd wheel…!)

  9. Kari November 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Oh my!! You had me laughing for sure. I think I have the same life as you! ;-) I can’t think of a good story to top all of that… but if you could add to everything you just said …”All while running an in-home daycare too.” then you might have me to a T! Thanks for the laugh this morning. You started my day out right! ;-)

    • momcafe November 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Day care on TOP of all that?!!! You are my new hero!!! So glad you got a good laugh. Do you want me to make you a grilled cheese, hold the cheese please?? I can do THAT!!! ;)

  10. Sue Theimer November 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I love the picture along with your post and the grilled cheeseless sandwiches were a hoot! Honest, Chrissy, we women keep it going all through our lives. . .I can attest to that, only I make my own sandwiches the same way!

    • momcafe November 11, 2012 at 1:57 am - Reply

      HA! Maybe yours is the burning grilled cheese sandwich…that filled your home with smoke and brought the firemen to your home!! Can you believe I did that? Oh my- I just laughed so hard and said to myself, “well there’s a good blog post”. ;)

  11. Angie VanKannel November 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Lol…..no cheese grilled cheese!!!!! Love it!!!!

    • momcafe November 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      CLASSIC right???!!! HA! ;) (So happy to see you here!!!!!)

  12. Michell November 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Hahahaa! Sorry my friend, but my mommy multitasking days are over, now if you had asked me, let’s say 10 years ago, then I probably could have gotten a silver, lol! Thank God our youngest is 17 and he can pretty much fend for himself! I DEFINITELY remember those days, but I wouldn’t change them for anything! I kinda miss running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off…you know? :-) I think, NO, I know God graces us to be mothers who can do it all! ;-) I’m sure He’s letting me rest so that I can prepare for my future grandkids! :-)) Have a blessed one my friend!
    Michell recently posted..Are you your brothers(sisters) keeper?My Profile

    • momcafe November 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      AHhh…I have soooooo long to go, to get to 17. Feeling old and tired! But I am embracing these moments because I know how fast they will go. I already can’t believe my little ones are now medium size!!! ;)

  13. OneMommy November 13, 2012 at 3:06 am - Reply

    I think we are taught to multi-task at a young age to prepare us for motherhood.
    I love the grilled cheese minus the cheese… sounds like something I would do.

    I’d say I’m a silver… I can listen to an endless store, toss in laundry, and point my son in the right direction of a missing toy. But throw too much my way and I’m burning the grilled cheese.
    OneMommy recently posted..Doll Clothes from Old T-ShirtsMy Profile

    • momcafe November 13, 2012 at 3:20 am - Reply

      HA! Burning the grilled cheese you say? Well at least you probably put CHEESE on the grilled cheese!!! ;) lol GO SILVER MEDAL WINNER!

  14. michelle @ this little light November 13, 2012 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Oh, girl, I FAIL at the multi-tasking every. single. time, so I can’t even claim a bronze. LOVED this post … I feel like it totally described 90% of my afternoons. :)
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..If You’re Going to Busy Yourself, Busy Yourself Well!My Profile

    • momcafe November 13, 2012 at 11:31 pm - Reply

      But see here’s the thing… you probably do everything beautifully and stay focused on that one task so well, you finish it faster and more accurately so as not to make ONE mistake throughout your entire DAY!! Right? Or…are you saying that you mutli-task to no end, and fail miserably making “cheese-less grilled cheese” after “cheese-less grilled cheese”? I am going to go with the first one. ;) AND if that’s the case??? I believe you earn a SILVER. And that, my friend… is AWESOMELY AWESOME!

      • momcafe November 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm - Reply

        Okay, I don’t know what I said in that reply…I was doing book in a bag with one kid and yelling at the other to keep it down as she was reading out loud and during all this, I was typing my reply at the same time. It didn’t go so well. I just yelled at both of my kids who were rolling all over the couch laughing and wrestling…because one couldn’t see the picture of the book the other was STILL reading out loud while I told her to STOP doing that!! So, anyway…thanks for the comment (lol) :)

  15. Ilene November 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    When I had babies, I could breast feed and make a stir fry with a phone to my ear at the same time. You?

    • momcafe November 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      Okay, so I personally can’t top that one!!! BUT…my friend can nurse while curling her hair and putting make up on! I believe you two have a tie for GOLD!!! YOU. ARE. SUPERMOM. :)

  16. Mothering From Scratch November 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    {Melinda} Is there something below a bronze? Well, I’d earn that. I gotta be honest. I’m not a great multitasker. I CAN do a lot of things at once, but then I’m not really good at any of them. I can do two or three things extraordinarily well. More than that and I’m headed for the funny farm! I just lose my sanity!!
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..guess who? consistency in motheringMy Profile

    • momcafe November 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      I’m pretty sure I don’t even do two or three things well! I really think some women are just better at focusing on mutliple things. NOT me apparently! I think you definately deserve a bronze or higher, Melinda! Give yourself some credit girl! :)

  17. AnnMarie November 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    I’d say I am competing in the silver category but am only earning a bronze. :) When I think about all the things I do in any given moment, my head hurts. This was so funny with the cheeseless grilled cheese. Totally something I would do.
    AnnMarie recently posted..22 Reasons to Give ThanksMy Profile

    • momcafe November 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I don’t know AnnMarie, from all I read about you…I’d say you are definately hovering in the GOLD medal status! I mean, think of how many questions you answer throughout the day WHILE doing everything else…and then there’s Gia. Oh yes, my friend! Gold. :)

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