I just breezed through Whole Foods to buy myself a stash of wine for the upcoming weekend, toddler on my hip (she got sick of the cart) and grandmother on the phone who was busy enlightening me with the details of my grandfather's colonoscopy. I didn't even drop the baby (or the wine), not even when my beloved grandmother got to the topic of bloody stools.
I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but BEEP, BEEP. Take the baby out of the above equation, and you could still call it multitasking. It's all we ever seem to do these days. We use our cell phones while we do everything, from sitting in the bathroom, to dining in the finest of restaurants. We are Millennial moms, and that's just what we do.
I have even mastered the art of having a full-blown conversation on speaker while browsing my Instagram feed and scrambling eggs at the same damn time. It's ridiculous. I'm not proud of this … I should probably be making an appointment to get tested for ADHD, actually. Let me do that while I type this.
Throw a baby in the mix, and voila. You've got Millennial mom multitasking. I hate having to juggle taking care of my baby with anything else, when she clearly comes out on top of a long list of sh*t I have to get through every day. But it's just the reality of our lives, especially if you're a full-time working mom. A full-time, work-from-home mama with a toddler in the house knows how difficult it is to juggle everything at once, knowing that nothing will ever get done before you take care of what your child needs.
It is not easy getting myself up out of bed, presentably dressed and out of the house in the morning all before 7:45 am, but now I have to do it for two. Throw in a baby, her morning bottle and a giant poop to stall things a bit, and you tell me if you wouldn't have to combine morning activities. I have no choice but to multitask. I'm frazzled, I'm rushing. She sees it, she feels it. I swear, she sometimes looks at me like I'm insane (and I very well may be).
Every morning, almost on repeat, you can find me chugging my medication (read: coffee) while I fight to feed my toddler, scroll through emails, think of new business ideas and helping my husband find his keys. I'm working for myself, for a few publications and for a good friend all while trying to figure out how to grow my business. On top of all of this, I try to be the best and most present mom I can be. While begging my daughter to get off the coffee table, and pleading with her to not pull the dog's tail, I take phone calls and try to sound professional the whole time.
OK, now I'm no longer trying to toot my own horn, I'm trying to make a point here. While most of us Millennial moms have no choice but to multitask every single minute of every single day, I can't help but wonder how present we really are in our most important task of all: being Mommy.
Each time I multitask mommy style, I immediately flashback to a video I saw in a parenting workshop of a happy baby trying to interact with his mother. The mother purposely acts aloof and distracts herself with something else, until the baby starts crying and acting out for attention. This was all to prove the point that babies are babies, and babies are seeking YOU and your attention at all times. Then I instantly feel as if I've already ruined this kid's life forever, and start imagining all the therapy she'll need as an adult.
Dramatic? Maybe. But I'm a Millennial mom, I'm bombarded with "what not to do" all day, every day.
Babies don't know when you're running late for work and have to feed them while putting your makeup on (yes, I've done this). They take it as, “Mommy is doing weird things to her face instead of holding me and feeding me.”
Babies don't know that the phone call you're on while they're crying out for you in the playpen is an urgent work matter, and that they have to wait patiently. They take it as, “I need Mommy. Where's Mommy? Why is Mommy talking to that shiny thing again?”
Millennial mom multitasking isn't ruining our children. They'll be fine, happy, capable adults even if they are exposed to the Whole Foods wine run/colonoscopy phone calls. Frankly, sometimes I feel the more realness I can expose my daughter to, the better.
But it IS ruining the beauty of our experiences as mommies. If you're anything like me, you probably look at your child at any given moment and think, “Jeez, where has the time gone? When did you get so big?"
The answer, my friends, is time waits for no one. Not even when you have the pressing work call, the emergency wine run, the urge to scroll through your Facebook feed for the 100th time in a day. While you're busy with your daily life, your baby continues to grow and change at an epic, mind-blowing speed.
But while multitasking, we have to try to keep doing the loving mommy things our babies thrive off of in order to remain somewhat present in the beauty of that moment. Because for me, nothing is as important than the little moments I have with my daughter. Nothing is as important as the feeling of her love for me, her need for all of my undivided mommy attention and the way she twirls my hair in her teeny, chubby fingers while I'm feeding her.
I'm vowing to curb my Millennial mom multitasking just a bit. I hope you'll join me. I think we'll be more fulfilled mommies for it in the long run.
This article was originally published on the author's personal blog.