Uni-tasking Mamas: Be Proud!

After reading Now Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham a while backI proudly proclaim -- I'm simply NOT a multi-tasker!  You give me a task (please just one) and it will be researched, thoroughly thought out, and then reported upon and/or accomplished.  And done right the first time!   It takes great effort for me to multi-task anything, and do it well.  It's indeed not a weakness, it's just not one of my strengths.  

Some women are naturally multi-taskers -- namely my sister Bonnie!  4 kids, 1 on the way, and she seems to do it with ease.  She can filter out the noise and still focus.  She can cook dinner while talking on the phone, receive a second call on the other line, and entertain an infant in the highchair, all at the same time.   Meanwhile, do a load of laundry downstairs!   In the end, the meal is perfect, the clothes are clean and dry, the people on the phone feel heard/valued, and the kids feels secure in their mom's love!  (My husband wishes to add "She could also be...quite possibly...from another planet!!"  

I am her exact opposite: a uni-tasker!  You see, in the above scenario, my dinner would be burnt, I'd be pressing buttons on the phone accidentally and lose at least one of the calls (not really hearing anything the person was saying in the first place), and my son would be bored, probably feeding the dog his dinner!  And oh yeah,...the clothes would be long-forgotten in the washer, not being dried til the next day when I remember them.  No joke.  I prefer to do the laundry while I'm sleeping or running errands, make dinner ahead of time while Munchkin sleeps (or do a crockpot meal), and maybe just talk on the phone while I feed him.   Everything still gets done, but not all at once, which frazzles me.

I have become better at muti-tasking after I HAD TO, upon entering the "real world" post-college.  I even had to 'white lie' through my first job interview or two for small jobs when asked about it, just to get the job!  My husband contributes this valuable insight, as well: that your computer's processor is in fact called a "multi-processor' but it actually prioritizes and queues the many tasks you ask of it, then executes them one by one.  This is exactly what I have come to do to work around not being a natural mutli-tasker!  And now, I could 'pass' as a multi-tasker, but I prefer silence so I can focus and do it right.   

And take these seriously successful people for example.  1) Tiger Woods -- known for his ability to focus and be "in the zone."  2) Steve Lescarbeau -- lesser known, but proclaimed a "Stock Market Wizard" as a very successful mutual fund trader who works alone in his thoughts, in his quiet, home-office, away from Wallstreet.  So both UNI and MULTI tasking mamas can be proud!  It doesn't really matter how we do what we do, just that it's done!

Who says multi-tasking is better than uni-tasking?  When did possessing this strength equate to being a good mom?  That's my question today for you -- and for myself!


  1. Your words are too kind! I am glad you always feel "heard" on the phone, because I feel like I am always saying, "Sorry, I have to run." Everyone has their strengths is such a true statement, and I don't even attempt to do a lot of the things that you do. Ex. there aren't any "handmade" things in our house other than dinner!!! Love you!

  2. Haha! I love you Bon! Hope you all are having a wonderful time. Take lots of pics and kiss those cute kiddos!

  3. Becca commented on Facebook: "Connie, your descriptions of Bonnie and you cracked me up!!! Being a new mommy now I can totally identify with you. I am really trying to get the hang of multi-tasking while still focusing my attention and energy on Ryan. I've always been a super multi-tasker, but throwing a beautiful baby boy into my world has certainly changed my to-do list priorities and perspective on a lot of things! :) Some chores don't get done as often as they did before, and the laundry may take a few more hours/days to get done, but seeing Ryan smile at me makes everything else seem so trivial. (I would like to be able to see my kitchen counter on a daily basis though!! I'm working on it!!)

  4. @Becca -- So glad you got a good laugh! Bon gave me the best advice when she had to leave to return home (after coming to help out after Munchkin's birth). I was so nervous to be without anyone else's assistance and she basically gave me permission to evaluate whether my day was successful by simply asking myself 3 questions at the end of the day. Did HE get fed? Did YOU get fed? And did he get changed when wet/dirty? It takes a while to become comfortable in your new role -- one of the hardest part is having patience with *yourself* :-) But I have full confidence you'll be a wonderful mommy!