Multitasking: The art of distraction

By Sarah Blight

Multitasking MomThere was a time in my life where I would brag to my husband about my mad multitasking skills. I mean really, it IS a skill. Talking on the phone, making dinner AND unloading the dishwasher at once? Please. I am a pro. This was even pre-kids, mind you. I would point out to my husband, how we women, were so talented in this department. We pretty much owned it-each and every morsel of the multitasking pie.

After we had our first baby, my bragadocious-ness kicked it up a few a notches. Not only was I talking on the phone, making dinner AND unloading the dishwasher, let's add in a fussy baby who was attached to my person via a baby carrier: if I was a Girl Scout, I would have earned a badge of multi-tasking greatness that even the most accomplished Girl Scout would be jealous of.

The years flew by in one big blur (the days were a bit long at times though, I won't lie and before I knew it, we are a family of 4 and my 3 year old and my 5 month old are interacting, laughing and playing and cooing at each other one evening around dinner time.

It's the cutest thing in the world…I think…at least based on what I'm hearing, or only half hearing. To be honest, I was busy eating dinner, catching up on emails and logging onto Facebook. I was so busy catching up on everyone else's lives, that I was missing such a sweet, sweet moment in my own, happening right under my nose.

My husband pointed out to me very candidly recently that when I'm multi-tasking, I'm not effectively doing ANYTHING. Okay, sure the laundry may get folded. But I'm not 100 percent engaged where I am at that moment. I'm only half listening to the other person on the phone while I'm only partly paying attention to the email I'm reading and I'm only sort of watching my kids play and interact.

Wow. Can you say "feeling like a d-bag?"

When doing a task, or being with my children, it's way more beneficial to focus. Task-wise, I get all my items accomplished so much faster and the quality is way better. Kid-wise, my 3 year old knows when I'm zoned in on him and I can see how that positively affects him. He radiates it. He's happy. He stops constantly asking me to "play trucks" because he got his little love tank all filled up when I was focused and intentional about my time with him. And I am a happier mom! I feel less frenetic, more able to give myself fully to whatever I'm doing. I feel better about myself as a wife and mama.

So that is my goal. Particularly during this holiday season, when life fills to the brim with stuff, with busy-ness, with distraction- to continue to shut off the computer, to mute the phone, to disregard the piles of laundry and the disgusting bathroom sink that desperately needs to be cleaned NOW and to turn my gaze and my focus on my kiddos. Those little people who are growing up before my eyes and whose moments I've been missing out on for no good reason.

Sarah BlightGet a FREE chapter of Sarah's new book "Going to the Motherland" by clicking here (ALL 5 star reviews from other moms on Amazon…you'll love it!).

In addition to being an author, Sarah is the founder of She is the mama of a spunky, 3-year-old son and a not-so-sleepy 3-month-old daughter.

Sarah loves helping expectant moms learn what experienced moms and leading experts have learned about pregnancy and birth. In her spare time (insert sarcasm), Sarah enjoys naps.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.

© December 19, 2012 Sarah Blight. All rights reserved.