Friday, 28 February 2014

A Declaration of War Against Multi-Tasking

The most unexpected part of being a grown-up is, I regret to say, that multi-tasking is just not what it's cracked up to be. In fact, the pursuit of multi-tasking has become the very bane of my existence.
          

                                                                    image source

Prior to being a grown-up, I actually looked forward to becoming a multi-tasker of epic proportions. I looked on with admiration when I saw mothers in the supermarket ferrying around four or five children with apparent ease and selecting wholesome foods to put into their trolley while simultaneously making mega business deals on their mobile phone.

Yes, back when I lived in pre-child blissful naivety, I aspired to be the quintessential task-juggling Supermum. Over the last 12 months, being the mother of baby who is as clingy as a koala bear has meant that doing anything at all has been nigh on impossible, but to my credit, I would like to point out that I have accumulated some rather spectacular achievements in multi-tasking to add to my CV. These include, but are not limited to, holding a baby in my arm while performing the following things with the other:
  • hanging out and taking in entire loads of washing;
  • going through the self-service checkout at the supermarket with about 700 items in my trolley;
  • typing a blog post;
  • making Spaghetti Bolognese, and
  • applying my daily dose of mascara 
Regrettably, nobody warned me of the truth about multi-tasking. The truth is that it does not save you time at all. On the contrary. In truth, my endeavours to multi-task have actually resulted in:
  • spending about 9 times as long at the washing line on a weekly basis than an average person;
  • causing the queue for the self-service checkout to back up about 100 metres across the supermarket floor while an angry mob of customers with only a handful of items each wait for me to finish and get out of their way;
  • unleashing a plethora of typos (if anyone knows a collective noun for typos, please let me know) on this blog. Luckily, these are usually picked up within a day or two by my sister. She's convinced that I put them in on purpose to make sure she's reading my blog.
  • running around frantically searching for a band-aid after slicing, dicing or grating my finger for the umpteenth time, and
  • poking myself in the eye with the mascara wand on a regular basis (if you have never done this before, not only is it painful, it is also very messy and takes about three quarters of an hour to get your face back to it's pre-mascara-stained state). Oh, and if you know me IRL and have ever wondered why I often go around sporting one blood-shot eye, you now know why.
Just in case I have not yet convinced you that multi-tasking is evil and should be avoided at all costs, allow me to share with you a little incident that occurred in my laundry just last week ...

My baby had finally gone down for a nap and I decided to have a blitz on the housework while I had the chance. I filled up the washing machine and quickly got a load of washing on. There were some delicate items to do too which could be done later in the machine, but to save time, I decided to put them in to soak while the other clothes were in the machine so I could hang them all out together. So I ran some water into the trough next to the washing machine and did just that. Then off I went to tackle the mess in the kitchen.

Sometime later, I heard Ben (Mr Nine) call out from the laundry:

"Mum! You need to come here right now!" (he has a habit of doing that and it's become a bit of a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf).

"Don't yell in the house!" I hissed back.

"No, seriously mum, you need to come!" he shrieked out again, "There's a flood in the laundry!"

I was just about to send him to his room for the rest of the week for yelling while the baby was asleep, when I suddenly remembered that I had indeed put a plug in the laundry trough next to the washing machine and filled the trough with water and that the pipe leading out from the washing machine deposits vasts quantities of water into said trough during its cycle.

Oh yes, there was a flood in the laundry alright, and although my son might not yet know how to wash clothes, I can rest assured that at least I have provided him with an unforgettable lesson in how not to wash them. 

So just in case, like my son, you are not yet a grown-up yourself, please take note: multi-tasking will inevitably turn out to be unexpectedly, and undeniably, overrated.

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

(This was a Finish the Sentence Friday post).

How 'bout you? Have you ever flooded the laundry? Ever poked yourself in the eye with a mascara wand? And which side of the fence do you sit on when it comes to multi-tasking?

I'd love to write more, but my baby has just woken up and the washing machine's just finished. I have to go and hang out some clothes now with one hand ...