Positive Thinking

The Multitasking Fiasco

silver lining

Today was rough. I hope you will bear with me throughout today’s story until the end. I think you’ll see it ends on a more encouraging note…

Generally speaking, I’m usually pretty good at multitasking. I’ll watch a television show while crafting; I’ll talk on the phone while doing laundry; I’ll work while supervising Sweet Pea during playtime. Today, multitasking blew up in my face…BIG TIME!

It all started at 3:30 when I had to call into a meeting for work. I’m sure anyone from my work reading this will be shocked to learn about everything that happened on my end of things during our call.

Typically, when I take these calls, I have to mute my line. Sweet Pea is usually babbling in the background, her toys are making noise, or, if she’s upset, she’s fussing at me to hold her. Today’s call started out fine enough. Sweet Pea was playing around in the room while I was listening in on the call. There wasn’t much for me to contribute to at the beginning so I just sat and listened to make sure I stayed up-to-date on everything going on with the project. Then…a couple of problems exploded all at once!

  1. Attending to Other Tasks. During the call, I did some reputation monitoring for one of our brands and had to deal with a problem that had come up. It went beyond what I could do so I had to reach out to my manager about it for help.
  2. The Chewing Gum. I went back to the call. I couldn’t deal with this other problem right now. As I focused more on the call, I happened to look over where Sweet Pea was and saw my purse dumped out onto the floor (I had tucked it away on top of the couch where I didn’t think Sweet Pea could get to it) and she was holding something in her hand and chewing… Oh geez! I rushed over as fast as I could and pulled the object out of her hand. It was a piece of gum. I stuck my finger in baby’s mouth just at the time she gave a HUGE gulp and swallowed what she was eating. She’s only 11 months old and obviously not old enough to eat gum! I panicked for a second, thinking I might have to call the doctor. Fortunately, she had only gotten a tiny piece of the gum in her mouth upon further inspection of the piece she was holding and swallowed it just fine. I’m hoping I find it in the next couple of days. You may know what I mean… 
  3. Oven Charges. I tried to get back to the call. Sweet Pea seemed to be doing fine now and was back to playing with her toys. I had picked up my purse and put it completely out of her reach by now. They were still talking about logistics for a few different things on the call. I listened in to make sure I was aware of what was going on even though I wouldn’t be handling that part of the project. I flipped over to my personal email while I listened to the call because I heard a ding on my computer. There was an email from our previous apartment complex (the one we had just moved from a couple of months earlier). They had a belated bill for us of $200, including a $30 charge for not cleaning the oven when we moved out. WHAT?! Frustrated, I went back to the meeting window so I could see what was being shared on the screen in our meeting. I would have to deal with this later. 
  4. Napkins Are as Good as Food, Right? Just as they started talking about my area of expertise on the call, I looked over at Sweet Pea to see how she was doing and, lo and behold, she was chewing on something again. I rushed over quickly, panicked that she had found another piece of gum, and realized that she had been tearing apart napkins and eating them. I frantically took the napkin pieces out of her mouth and grabbed the napkins from her hand, while also fumbling with my phone to unmute it and answer a question I had been asked. [SIDE NOTE: You might be thinking this child was just hungry and needed to eat something. She had just downed two bottles right before all of this was happening!] 
  5. Other Task Getting Worse. After I resolved the napkin issue and responded to the question on the phone, I was able to relax again. I sat down on the couch and kept listening to the call. I saw the message icon on my computer and switched back to the reputation monitoring task. Things had gotten worse since I left. I had to reach out to some people who, fortunately, took it off my hands at that point. There wasn’t much more we could do.
  6. Coffee Table Mishap. The call wrapped up, I hung up the phone and soon afterward my husband came in. We were talking and I was working while Sweet Pea played with her toys. Our little walker. She was walking around when she stumbled and fell face-first into the coffee table. There were a lot of tears and a little bit of blood. I ran over, soothed her and got her cleaned up. She seemed to be fine. She had bit her lip on the way down it looked like.
  7. Off to Get Dinner. My husband and I were both hungry and needed to eat so I headed out to the store to get dinner and pick up some soda. We were out of it at home. While I was leaving the store, the box of soda slid off the cart and one of the cans exploded in the box. Icing on top of the cake, was it not?!

As you can see from my story, today was filled with one mishap after another. The hits just kept coming and to say I felt like a bad parent is an understatement. I should be able to protect my child from everything, right?! Ridiculous. That is an unrealistic expectation. Nevertheless, I still wanted to and felt bad when I couldn’t.

I don’t know if the phrase “Every cloud has a silver lining” is actually the right description here, but let’s just say things aren’t always as bad as they seem. I had a completely overwhelming and hard day but it was also really sweet. Here’s why:

Looking for the Bright Side in a Chaotic Day

  1. Baby Smiles. I was able to wake up to my baby’s smiling face this morning. She woke up in a great mood and we ate breakfast together, brushed our teeth and played together.
  2. Little Adventures. She loved our little adventures. I had to run out and do a couple of errands today. Sweet Pea loved getting to come and be apart of it. She smiled and cooed as I put her in her car seat and took her out at each stop.
  3. New Discoveries. I loved getting to watch her discover things for herself. We have her old car seat sitting in the living room and she has started climbing into the car seat, grabbing her bottle and feeding herself. It’s her little chair and she loves it.
  4. Daddy-Daughter Time. Finally, one of the sweetest moments of all was standing outside of Sweet Pea’s room tonight, listening to her daddy rock and sing her to sleep. Heart. Melted. It’s an even sweeter moment for me to think about because we’ve had a difficult time lately. Sweet Pea has been pretty partial to me since I take care of her during the day while her daddy is at the office, and I’m usually the one to feed her (she shows favoritism toward who feeds her, even if it’s with a bottle). Her daddy loves her so much and I know she loves him, too, but it has been an interesting challenge to get her to allow him to do some things for her, too. Tonight was sweet to me as I listened to her daddy singing to her and rocking her to sleep and saw her little hands wrapped around her daddy’s shoulders.

Hopefully, this story will help you look for the sweet things that happen even in the midst of chaotic and hard days, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, a working mom or none of the above. I think all of us could benefit from looking at the little gifts God gives us throughout the day and turn around and thank Him for those sweet moments.

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