I swear, once that stick turns blue for the first time, every woman, if they weren’t already, turns into a multi-tasker instantly. I believe it is a gene many women have at birth, but it really kicks into high gear once you find out you’re having a baby. The overwhelming to-do list grows rapidly inside your head as you hear the giant clock ticking the time away before baby’s arrival.
It is a skill many of us are familiar with. To me, it’s a survival skill. If I didn’t multi-task on a daily basis, I honestly don’t know how anything would get done in my house. Let me walk you through the first 45 minutes of many days of my life… and yes, I do realize this is likely a typical start to many of your days too.
- Crawl out of bed, wake up my 6 year old for a full-day of Kindergarten, make sure her clothes are clean, without holes or stains & ready to go. Can’t wait for uniforms in the fall! WOOHOO!
- Possibly shower & get dressed, if I didn’t hit the snooze alarm one too many times.
- Set up my 6 year old with a show to watch while she eats her breakfast that I also had to get ready for her
- Make french-pressed coffee for the adults & my daughter’s coffee = pink milk
- Make lunch for my daughter & the hubs
- Make sure the backpack is ready to go with her morning snack, any signed permission slips, homework, library books to return, lunch money, snowpants, hat, mittens, shoes, etc.
- Hand-write a note for my daughter’s lunch-box, usually while scarfing down my breakfast of a banana
- Make sure my daughter brushes her teeth & goes to the bathroom
- Get my daughter’s hair brushed, boots & coat on
- Make sure the hubs has his phone, laptop, coffee, water, lunchbag, keys ready to go.
- Kiss them both goodbye.
- Drink coffee… realize it’s cold, warm it up in the microwave.
- Deal with 3 year old.
At some point during this chaos, my 3 year old occasionally wakes up and I get to deal with her needs, which I could also list, but the main thing to note is that she wakes up slowly and usually wants to be held during all of this madness. So, I get to do some of these tasks literally with one hand. And, it should be noted that the hubs will help with some of this, if I ask nicely, and he isn’t overwhelmed with all the things he has to do during this frantic 45 min. The hubs’ morning looks like this:
- Get woken up by wife.
- Scratch balls.
- Scratch balls.
- Get dressed.
- Eat breakfast.
- Grab everything his wife sets out for him by the door. Including his daughter, who is somehow magically groomed and ready to go.
- Drop off daughter at school.
- Drive to work…. while scratching balls — hey look, multi-tasking!
I realize I should be grateful the hubs actually takes my child to school, right? But how do us Moms get ourselves, husbands & children ready in the blink of an eye while our husbands allow for just enough time to get themselves dressed? I’m sure many of you reading this not only have the above list to deal with, but also have to get yourself shiny & new for work. I don’t know how you do it. Seriously. Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
But what I really want to know is, why do we have to beg, borrow or steal to get our partners to help out? Again, I know I should be kissing the hubs’ feet for actually chipping in when I ask… but why do I have to ask? Can’t our partners see that we’re frantically trying to balance everything with one hand — especially in the morning? And God help us if we have to pack to head anywhere for an overnight stay. Instead I get “You need to chill out!” or “What’s WRONG?!” or my absolute favorite “You’re acting like your Mom.” That last line deserves another post entirely. And if I forget something, anything for our trip? My fault. Hey – here’s an idea, dads… chip in before your lovely wife loses it. Or, oh, I dunno, how about at the very minimum, pack your own damn bag?! Seriously though, I’d love to be asked “Hey, what can I do to help ease the pressure of packing up our family of 4?” Ya know, before the madness begins? Not 5 minutes before we scramble out the door.
Yes, women may have been born to multi-task, as it does tend to be a survival gene. Many of us just do some of these tasks because we find it easier to do it ourselves instead of stopping to ask for help, or waiting for someone else to do in 45 minutes what it takes us 5 minutes to do, while we juggle 5 other things on that never-ending to-do list. Can’t we all just help each other out instead of waiting for the inevitable fight that will break out when we are overwhelmed? I’ve gotten over the morning routine… but the rest of the day? We’re on our own. I love my husband, and I am super grateful he does chip in when I ask. I realize some men don’t even do that. But I’d feel swept up off my feet if the hubs actually did any of my typical tasks without me having to ask first. Dads — if you haven’t figured out what to do for lent, how about putting on the multitasking Super-Momma cape for 40 days? There, I said it.
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