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Yesterday, as I was pushing my daughter to preschool, I suddenly brought my stroller to a halt. A clothing rack, packed with dressing gowns and aging frocks, was blocking the entire sidewalk. Someone was moving into the Village Nursing Home on 12th Street. Did I wait patiently for the rack to be moved? No. Did I go back to the crosswalk so I could cross the street? No. While chatting on my phone and keeping an eye on my daughter, I attempted to roll the rack out of the way. In case you’re not aware, full clothing racks are very heavy. Make that extremely heavy. The rack pitched forward. Despite my best efforts to hold on to it, the rack tumbled to the ground, sending hangers and clothing across the sidewalk. Clearly, we were going to be late for preschool.

As I picked up the hangers and house dresses, I had a thought. I may need to be more present in my life. Perhaps, it is not always necessary to do three things at the same time. My father was visiting this past weekend and I watched him focus on my children. He has this amazing ability to really be present for them, playing endlessly. That’s not my natural strength. I’m so much better at preparing snacks, cleaning out the stroller, organizing their clothes or whisking them off to school, to the park or to an activity.

Each night at bed time, Dylan and I talk about our favorite part of the day. For me, my best moments are usually dancing with Dylan and her sister, hugging them in our big arm chair, reading Dylan books or giving the girls extra goodnight kisses. Ironically, these are often the moments I’ve rushed through so I can get something done. But I’ve noticed something about these “to do” lists. They never end. There is always more laundry, more dishes and more errands. So I’m really going to try to be a little more present in my life. For today, I’ll let a few of the calls go to voicemail, play a little longer with my kids and I definitely won’t move any more clothing racks.

3 Responses to the multitasking mama

  • Alex says:

    My friend, this is why I can usually only get away with planning one activity a day. I need a lot of time in between feedings, diaper changes, play time, etc., to collect myself, refocus my energy and organize. I am not a multi-tasker. I suck at it. This is why I can't have another baby until Noa is 4.

  • Jordana Bales says:

    Oh how I relate to this one! I am the queen of multi-tasking. In fact, I am getting a pedicure, balancing my checkbook, downloading movies, sending another e-mail and nursing Ava as we speak ( : But seriously, a good lesson for me to keep in mind as well.

  • Ann Gergis says:

    I am a first time mom of a 4 month old beautiful and energetic little girl named, Eve. I have always been bad at multi-tasking so I try to take one thing at a time and pray that I can finish half of my "to-do's" by the end of the day. I agree, the list never ends – it normally gets longer by the day! I try to be present for my daughter, but there's always room to improve. After all, we can never get back these challenging but oh so precious moments. Quality is more important than quantity. (Barry directed me to this site, I love it!)

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kelcey kintner