wherever I am, there i am (rethinking multi-tasking)

By | 8:18 AM 6 comments

Ah, multi-tasking.

It's the gold standard of good motherhood. The yardstick, the benchmark, the paradigm of whether or not things get done in a day. I need to be able to fix lunch, make a phone call, wipe a nose, and oversee the clean up of the lego's...all at the same time.

And while I won't argue that multi-tasking is a necessity to surviving as a mom, I've been extremely convicted lately that I need to NOT multi-task so much. Or be more intentional about the times that I choose to multi-task.

I know, I'm speaking heresy in mom speech...but hear me out.

The consequences of multi-tasking (as applied to mommyhood) is that I may be there with my kids, but I'm not really there with them. I am present in body, but far far away in mind.

I am fixing them breakfast, but not sitting and eating and talking with them.
I am getting them dressed, but thinking about that phone call I need to make.

I am spending the whole day with my kids...but I haven't really been with them.

And I'm not fooling anyone. Especially my kids.

I know when I'm talking with Jeremiah and he is not really engaged in the conversation. Any wife knows that feeling. And it is not a good feeling. Why would I think I was pulling anything over on my kids by only half listening, half engaging?

I don't feel that my life and daily routine need a major overhaul. I just need to remember to slow down. To engage. To take those 10 minutes and sit and color with Ella and talk with her. To build a train track with the boys...not just watch them build it while I stand at the counter on my computer trying to pay bills and halfheartedly look over every once in a while and say what a cool track they are creating.

And I don't feel that I need to always be playing with my kids. I can't color and build train tracks all day long. Of course the bills have to get done, the dinner has to be made, the floors have to be swept...and I am doing a disservice to my kids if they feel that everything revolves (or stops) around them all the time.

But it all boils down to this:

When I am playing with my kids, there I am. All of me.
And when I'm paying those bills (or ___________), there I am. All of me.

My kids and my bills will benefit. And so will I.

Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16
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Kelly Via said...

Definitely a struggle in this momma's life, too! Great post, Jenn!

Ashley said...

A universal tug-of-war between a mother's mind and heart. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

Renae said...

Very timely Jenn! You definitely struck a nerve today, OUCH!:)

Thank you for this! I love to read things and feel a gentle conviction in my own heart to change and that's what this blog did for me :)
I am in such an odd season of sitting and doing nothing, however, it doesn't mean I cant sit and be with my kids.

The Martins said...

Great post...I often feel the same. How could I go through a whole week with them and not have any quality time with them? I far too focused on the to do list. Thanks for sharing!

Tricia said...

So very true! Thanks for the reminder!
It was so great to get to know you this last weekend!