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Cathy: More on multi-tasking moms

Baby C has a new trick. When she is nursing herself to sleep as I type, she now kicks my one typing hand over to where she can hang onto it with a foot and a hand. Now I can’t type at all. But is that really such a bad thing? After all, I should be using this precious time to bond with my little infant, right? But I really want to answer that email/add to the manuscript/compose a blog. So maybe she’ll grow up with an unnatural attachment to PCs. Apparently I have developed one, is that so bad?

Today (Tuesday as I write this to be posted later) is my son S’s tenth birthday. I wrapped his presents, while considering that I am missing half the cake ingredients, our bank accounts are drained from last week’s travels—gas alone was unmentionable—and honey gets paid tomorrow. I had K go out to the van to get the play yard (really, baby holding pen, let’s call a spade a spade). However, two sides refuse to go rigid for us. We tried everything—quite comically. So I put her in it anyway, and just wrapped away, on the floor right next to the pending crisis of collapse, while on the phone with a possible new client; and frantically waving S around to the front door so he can’t see what I’m wrapping by coming in through the slider in the office. Why am I trying so hard to hide these from him now, when he already found them? Because I can, I must. Maybe he didn’t see everything.

My mother-in-law just came back from her morning exercise. She has agreed to go to store for confectioner’s sugar and butter. Phew, one thing down. I don’t have to go to the grocery store and risk overdrawing my humble account. There will be chocolate frosting for the cake. And butter in the cake itself. Now, I just have to make both; switch the laundry from baby C’s pee accident on my bed this a.m., where she thoroughly soaked through every layer from comforter to the mattress pad; make that bed after two rounds each for two loads in the dryer because the sheets and comforter and mattress pad always twist up in knots around themselves and don’t dry on the first round. And there are still the two baskets of yesterday’s clothes unfolded, wrinkling for first week of school.

In the meantime, I’m still thinking about what I’m going to charge this woman for a curriculum consultation for her home-schooled child with special needs; trying to consider lunch and dinner options from what’s in pantry without over–pasta-ing the day, and it’s already 11:49; and I’m pinned nursing again, typing and fending off kicks, while also staring at the box of baby hand-me-downs taking up precious space waiting to be wrapped and sent off to friends expecting a girl any minute now, several states away. K has disappeared behind his locked bedroom door for the fourteenth time today already, completely sealing himself off with his MP3, so I can’t holler up to ask him for help again. S is wandering the house, humming and wanting a little attention and something to do. He wants to ‘sacrifice popcorn’ to the dog, because it’s fun to line up popped kernels on the couch and watch her lick up the row one by one with her long, fast, curly tongue.

I won’t even mention that box of papers that still need to be organized. Oops, too late! Now, baby C is asleep on me, I pray I can put her down without her waking up in the collapsing pen, so I can get started on that cake. Now what’s all that nonsense about scheduling and prioritizing, again?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cathy, two songs keep popping in my head as I read this…..”Life in the Fast Lane”, by Don Henley if I remember correctly, and the more recent “Here in the Real World…”, by a country artist whose name is escaping me right now. And the sheets in the dryer twisting up into knots thing…that makes me crazy…

    August 28, 2008
  2. Cathy #

    lol! i just googled the country song. i hope i didn’t sound like i was having a pity party! so sorry if it did seem that way.

    at the time i wrote the above, i found it all very funny. i considered all the multi-tasking tips and info lately here – esp against multi-tasking. i was thinking how it’s virtually impossible to not multi-task as a mom, and that every priority and schedule attempt is thwarted by constant interruptions throughout everyday by our little darlings. like now, again, nursing, typing and having a ten year old rant at me that it’s not fair he can’t play video games right now. you see, his schedule posted on the fridge says he can at 5pm.

    August 28, 2008
  3. oh no, i didn’t hear a pity party! i thought it was hilarious! i think all of us live a life something like that. 🙂

    August 29, 2008
  4. Cathy #

    oh good! glad that’s cleared up!

    August 29, 2008
  5. Hey, Cathy–I woke up to one of those baby-pee baths myself yesterday….

    In other vaguely related news, I actually said NO to two client requests yesterday. I’m still up to my eyeballs with these other client projects, and even though I’m on retainer with this other client, I said no to two same-day turnaround requests. I just knew I couldn’t take on any more work on top of the 10-hour day I was already pulling. This probably seems obvious to everyone else, but I tend to go into superwoman mode and just say yes to everything, then have a panic attack from all the stress. So, a major breakthrough for me — hopefully to reduce the amount of “bad” multitasking around here!

    August 29, 2008
  6. Cathy #

    congratulations on entering no-dom, miranda!

    in bad multi-tasking mode, my dh and i rushed out at the end of night last night on a bj’s run, and were both exhausted, which resulted in baby c’s foot getting slammed in the van door, which wound us up at the hospital for xrays, instead of the store.

    talk about guilt. now i feel like a jerk for being a wise-a** above. and little girl’s new nickname is baby bluefoot – i assure everyone she’s ok. but her parents aren’t – i still want to cry. nothing appears broken – tiny anomaly only radiologist saw – appt on tuesday with ortho to be certain, after the swelling goes down. attending said, if this was ever going to happen, it’s about the best age for it. everything is still squishy, and she doesn’t have all the bones in her foot yet. can i just go be an ostrich now?

    August 29, 2008
  7. Oh Cathy! I’m so sorry. I know too well how this kind of thing feels, and the associated guilt. Just remember we’ve all done something similar. It’s an unfortunate fact of parenting. Try not to beat yourself up too much! Baby C has probably forgotten all about it by now, seeing as she isn’t walking yet! Big hugs….

    August 29, 2008
  8. Cathy #

    thanks, m – just happened to be sitting here long after i’ve usually turned this thing off. means a lot. goodnight!

    August 29, 2008
  9. Juliet Bell #

    Ahhh – the joys of being retired!

    August 30, 2008
  10. Juliet Bell #

    Oh yeah – what’s that photo? Looks like a turkey in the oven!

    August 30, 2008
  11. Juliet Bell #

    Above is bady phrased – I do know what it really is.

    August 30, 2008
  12. Juliet Bell #

    …and the above is badly spelled! I think I need another cup of coffee!

    August 30, 2008
  13. oh cathy! i’m so sorry to hear about baby c’s accident! and i agree with miranda. don’t be too hard on your self. it happens to the best of us!

    August 30, 2008
  14. Cathy #

    thanks, kelly! and juliet, that day is a loooong way off for me! if ever…so enjoy for us both!

    August 30, 2008

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