posted by admin on Sun 07 of Oct, 2007 [01:37 UTC]
I was always skillful at multi-tasking, but since having twins I’ve become the queen of juggling several tasks at once. Sometimes it’s been tandem nursing the twins while calling out potty instructions to my toddler. Maybe it’s calling a customer service line while making breakfast. It can be changing a diaper while mentally balancing my checkbook. Often times, it’s caring for three kids at once.
I almost never get a chance to do one thing at a time, which is usually perfectly fine with me. I get antsy and distracted if I don’t have a few balls in the air. Focusing on a single task is not my thing.
It’s funny how multi-tasking elevates to an art with twins, though. My to-do list is a mile long, as most moms’ lists are, and that’s even outside of caring for children. Sometimes it feels like a bottomless pit, and I’ll never claw free. Every time I whittle it down, more gets piled on the top. I don’t even bother making a list anymore.
My brain is just constantly abuzz with activity, and I’ve honed an automated system of prioritizing tasks in a reflexive manner. If I get a minute here or a few seconds there, I tackle the next must-do activity.
It’s funny to think of the old days of simply being a semi-responsible adult. Just imagine. I once was challenged by such silliness as paying bills, returning rented videos and getting to work on time. What innocence.
There was a day soon after I returned to work after maternity leave with the twins. I was at work doing about five things at once. A few years ago, I might have become stressed about this. All I could think was, “Hey, at least I’m not feeding the twins now, too.”
The downside is this leaves so little time to savor the really important things. It isn’t often that I can focus on one child at a time. I cherish moments of calm in the storm: the few minutes before bedtime when my daughter sits in my lap and we cuddle, or the times when one of the twins cries, and I pick him or her up to discover he or she just wants to play, smile and stick out a tongue.
No matter how busy things get, no matter how crazy life is, it’s important to steal brief moments to focus on one thing—or one child—at a time.