“I think you have trouble completing tasks”.
Probably not the brightest thing to say to the mother of two babies. As I slammed a dirty nappy into the bin of my half-cleaned kitchen, grabbed a toy for my two-year old to play with and ran to my screaming, hungry newborn, I resisted the urge to throttle my husband.
“I don’t have trouble completing tasks”, I told myself. I was a task super hero. No task was too tall. I could complete tall tasks in a single bound!
At least, I USED to be able to. But that was before children. BC.
BC was different. I could concentrate on one or two tasks at a time, and complete them in a flash. I had no distractions. BC I could clean my house from one end to the other in an hour and a half. I could read a book before work, spend an hour at the gym after work, complete any unfinished tasks once I got home, then cook a meal, clean the mess and be ready to go out on the town by 8.30pm. I had no hungry mouths to feed, no little people to play with, no fights to mediate, no kiddie play and sporting commitments, no head lice outbreaks, no vomiting bugs, no life lessons to teach and no toys to constantly trip over and pick up. BC was a breeze. And tasks were a breeze to complete.
These days it’s different. We have kids. And as any parent would know, the tasks involved in parenting combined with housework, and maybe paid work = severe lack of time. Hats off to any parent. I admire you.
These days I start a task. I’m interrupted from that task to do another task. On the way back to my original task I do another five unexpected tasks. If I’m lucky I can get within 5 metres of my original task before I hear cries of, “Mum, I’m hungry”, “Mum, can you get my puzzle out of the cupboard?” or, “Mum, I’m doing a poo and I’m finished. Wipe my bottom please!” Maybe I won’t get back to my original task for another hour, day or week. But one thing’s certain. I always get back to it. Eventually. And I finish it.
So at the risk of sounding defensive, I think hubby was wrong. I don’t have trouble completing tasks. I just have trouble completing them the way I did BC. These days I can’t concentrate on completing one task at super hero, break-neck speed. No “up, up, and away!” for me. My tasks, a gazillion a day, are done in quick, little baby steps the size of my children’s. Some are done fast.
Some take ages.
Like this blog. We’ve been back from our last overseas trip for a few months now, and I’m busting to finish my stories. I think about posting new tips and tales every day. But even writing this, I was interrupted by my three-year-old throwing a massive tanty, and my five-year-old begging, “Play with me!!” I still want to tell you all about the rest of our time in Bali, and about our adventures in Kuala Lumpur, Northern Borneo, Penang and Langkawi. So please bear with me, folks. Baby steps. I will post more.
But in the meantime I have to go and tidy my kitchen, get one of my little fellas something to eat, pick the other one up from day care, pop into the shop, play soccer with the kids, cook dinner, bath the kids, get them off to bed, pack for a weekend away...then get stuck into my paid work tonight. Hmmm. Maybe I’m closer to being a post-kid super hero than I think!