Now that I have been working for well over a year, multi-tasking has become second nature to me. It sounds like a praise, but believe me, its not, its just a reflex action on which the conscious mind has no control.
How can this be a bad thing? Well, I now completely lack the ability to do less than three things at a time. When I sit down to watch a movie or a TV show, I am still working or thinking about working or feeling guilty about not working.
I decided to make a chart of my daily activities and how they get completed. lets read out a page...
When I eat breakfast, I am also checking my mail, dodging cereal into Bond's mouth(This is his moment of fun with me! Turning the mouth just in time to splatter the spoonful on the table mat! Till date the scores are even..so guess, I am not bad at ensuring that 50% of what is dished out does eventually find a place in his tummy.) and cleaning my kitchen from the party-night earlier.
When I am folding clothes, I am also taking up Q&As with Toshali, getting Bond's craft list into my memory and praying it stays there till the evening. Also ticking my check list on the pending phone calls that need to be made.
When I am driving, I am going through spellings with Bond, thinking about the work I need to do that day, and also trying to remember what I need from the grocery store. trying my level best not to miss the important 'for sale' signs.
When I am cooking, I am also on the phone. As all moms will agree that this is the ideal time for the kids to get their way. So usually the scene that continues with an on going phone conversation is like this :
Bond: "Mom I am going to play, will do the homework later."
Me: Glaring once, mouthing a shriek, gulping a curse and with no apparent reaction..finally shouting a huge "NO", only to scare mom-in-law at the other end of the phone...
Mom-in-law(from the other end of the line) : "I was just asking, GOD!! You really have become rude and insensitive since you took up that job of yours.. "
Me: Blurting illegibly, going crazy signalling with the rolling pin at Bond to get back in, while he coolly takes his cycle and closes the door on my silly face.
When I am going to the bathroom - wait a minute. I don't get to go to the bathroom for more than 27 seconds anyway, so that doesn't really leave time for much else. Except yelling down the hall at my daughter to pick up the phone that's been ringing since I entered the bathroom and nobody seems to mind the brain numbing ring!
The list is endless, please ladies feel free to add in all the multi-tasking you have been doing. We do not realise it unless we put it on paper(blog) like this!
Torture for me would be to sit me on the couch with absolutely nothing - no paper, no pens to write on my hand with, no articles to read. Then make sure the kitchen is messy and my kid's are watching High School Musical instead of studying for the upcoming quiz. Then just force me to sit there and do nothing.
After about 19 seconds I would begin to tremble. After a minute I would look like I was goingthrough detox. After about 5 minutes, you would have to strap me to the couch, because that would be the only way I would be able to not do anything.
What if it is like a drug addiction and I have to add more and more tasks to my plate? Where would I be able to draw the line? Is there a limit to how many tasks a woman can tackle at a time?
After being married for almost thirteen years, I am convinced that the only multi-tasking men can do is read while going to the bathroom.
And then they come up with books like 'Why women can't read maps'.