Are You a Multi-Tasking Mom?

The following is a guest post by Stephanie of A High And Noble Calling. Stephanie has been married to her hard working husband for 14 years and is a home schooling, home making mommy of 3 children. Stephanie’s  blog focuses encouraging, equipping and inspiring women in their high calling as wives, homemakers and mothers in the areas of faith, frugality, and everyday living.

I have always been a fairly good multi-tasker, actually up until recently I would say that it was one of my strong points.

Lately, even though we stay home on most days, I feel as though our days are flying by in a whirlwind of activity and I have just felt as though I was not fully engaged in any particular thing at any particular time. I am always thinking of the next thing to do, or trying to juggle two things at once. One day I thought, “What if I try to just do one thing at a time, and fully concentrate on that one thing until it is done?”

Now obviously as a home schooling mother with 3 children, that sounds impossible, and quite often it is. But I decided to give it a try.

My first experiment was with home schooling. Instead of thinking of the laundry, the dishes, the dust kitties under the couch, trying to get dinner ready or the refrigerator cleaned in the midst of schooling, I simply sat at the table with my children and stayed there until they were done. I will admit, at first it was hard. Very hard! But it felt so good, they did much better focusing on their work, and you know what? All those other things didn’t seem so big after all. The laundry got done, dinner was ready, the refrigerator got cleaned and the dust kitties, well they can wait another week or so!

I began applying this non multi-tasking idea to other areas in my home and life. When I read a story to my son, that is what I focus on. When I do laundry,  that is what I am thinking about. It sounds so simplistic, but the difference in my feeling of peace and tranquility was amazing. My children, although they didn’t know what I was doing, noticed a difference in me as well. And amazingly the seemed more content with the one on one time we had together because I believe they felt they really had my attention.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone and you just know there mind is elsewhere? Do you ever find that kind of frustrating? Has it ever made you feel unimportant? I believe that my multi-tasking mind was unfortunately making my children feel that way. Mommy was never just there, listening, paying attention, just being. Now that I  have been practicing engaging in one thing at a time and turning my mind off to other things (as much as possible), I can see the difference in the atmosphere of our home, my husband, and my children, and myself. And I can’t even begin to tell you how it has revitalized my prayer life and time in God’s Word!

I have been ending my day possibly not doing more, but definitely being more. Multi-tasking has its place, and at times is a necessity. But it can also take away from your life more than adds.  Truly been there when it matters, is so much more than getting lots of things done.  I guess the old saying is true that often times, less is more!

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Comments

  1. I can totally relate and I’ve been working on the same things. Thanks for your guest post!

  2. I don’t think I could give up multi-tasking. Yet, I don’t think I really do too much of it during school hours. It’s just not practical with how we do school.

    For us, housework is an integrative part of the daily life training. Most of it is done before or after formal academics.

  3. I think multi-tasking is a great skill ot have, however when you’re dealing with your family they should have your 100% attention just for the reasons above. Multitasking is great on a baking day or cleaning day, but your kids and Husband definitely deserve your undivided attention =)

  4. This is a concept that I am definitely going to take a stab at. I’ve always thought of myself as the queen of multi-tasking, but honestly, how well do I accomplish something and do I actually see it through? I love the thought of ‘being more’ rather than ‘doing more’ especially in the role of mother, wife, and believer. Thanks for expounding on this.

  5. Great post!! I always have a multi tasking mind. I will give it try and see where it lands.

  6. ok, this post titled “Are you a multi tasking mama?” is when I knew I had lost it. 🙂

    I didn’t “know” either of you in blog land then, so I thought you could get a chuckle…feel free to laugh at me, as opposed to with me. I am ok with that. 🙂

    http://inpassionatepursuit.blogspot.com/2008/11/multi-tasking-mama.html

  7. I can SO relate! I, too, am determined to focus on the task at hand. My mind wants to rush to 100 other things but I have to deliberately keep drawing it back to remain focused!

    Thanks for the wonderful article and not expecting us to be super women, just human Moms making the moments count.

    Create a Great Day!
    Pat

  8. I’m beginning to realize that, I too, need to concentrate on the task at hand rather than try to do three things at once. Sitting with my children during school is my current focus. Oh… that is so hard. But, I find it never takes as long as I think it will and we’re all happier for it. (Having them wait for help with math while I run downstairs to switch laundry takes more time than I think it will and lends itself to both of us losing our trains of thought…) So, thank you for the timely post!

  9. I have been trying to be more “conscious” as I go through my day. When I’m successful at it, I do feel much better! I suffer from panic attacks occasionally and know they are more likely to hit when I’m tired and stressed from doing too much.

  10. Multi-tasking is how I survive!

  11. Great guest blog. She hit the nail on the head for me. Too many times (okay, more like most times) my mind is in a million directions at once. I am going to try to take a step back and just enjoy : )

  12. I find when I force myself to sit with my kids during school things go much better. It is always so tempting though to finish the dishes and start laundry. Thanks for the reminder to slow down, I need it these days.

  13. This is such a novel idea! I’ve been feeling the need to be more focused recently, so this is very timely!

  14. Oh, thanks for the great post. I’ve been working on focusing less on getting things done and focusing more on the important stuff.

    I actually wrote a post on Monday about How to Have A Great Week!

    With those goals and this post fresh in my mind….I am sure to succeed!!

  15. Excellent post! I can totally relate, and plan to use this post as guidance for myself! 🙂

  16. Thank you…
    I really, really needed to hear this.

  17. I needed this reminder, Stephanie. I’m a multi-tasker, but you are so right… “not doing more, but BEING more” is so very important. Excellent post!

  18. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to guest post here. This is a daily discipline that I try to practice, of course some days better than others!

  19. Wow! This really hit me hard! I have so much trouble with this!

    I am going to focus more this week on trying out your suggestions! I want to be there for my kids, and live in the moment…not the next minute!

  20. Ouch, my toes! LOL! I find myself doing this so many times as I’m distracted by things I need to do.

  21. Thanks for the great post. It’s so easy to get lost in all that “needs” to be done. Focusing on the original reasons I stayed home, and giving them my undivided attention, is what’s most important.

  22. Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie. I really appreciate the reminder to be actively “present” and “in the moment” with my children. It’s too easy to get in the trap of doing too many things at once (folding laundry, making a to-do-list, thinking about what to make for dinner) and thus not doing anything particularly well. I want my girls to know that I am interested in who they are and what they are doing, not to think that I always have some “side agenda” of things to work on. Like you said, the other chores will get done…I want my kids to be at the top of my priority list.

  23. I used to multitask and about pulled out my hair. I like your method more — I feel calmer, and amazingly stuff still does get done. I’m not sure how, but I like the results! 🙂

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