What is it about multi-tasking that makes us think that we are so much more efficient by doing so? Today I stood in “Nine items or less” line at the grocery store. There was a woman at the front of the line tying things up at the checkout because she was on her cell phone, paying with a credit card, and had a baby on one arm. Now I ask you, would it have been too much trouble for her to focus on one thing, such as completing her transaction at the checkout so that the rest of us could get our perishables home and into our refrigerators before they spoiled?
Apparently, it was too much trouble for her to focus and she held up the line for a good six minutes or so because after she paid, she had to then take the time to focus and put her credit card back in the appropriate slot in her wallet with baby in hand. Now, what is so fascinating about this is that this woman was either entirely oblivious or just didn’t care about anyone but herself. I am sure she thought that she was being “super mom” and accomplishing it all by buying groceries, babysitting, and taking a phone call. But what she doesn’t understand is that her inability to properly juggle all three tasks in a timely and efficient manner inconveniences the rest of us.
This is where I’d like to tell all of the mom’s and working mom’s out there that you cannot do it all. Please don’t pretend that there is a red “S” painted on your chest below your blouse. It’s okay that you can’t do it all. In fact, no one expects you to do it all but you, which are why you need to acknowledge to yourself first that you cannot do it all.
By the way, you don’t have to do it all if you learn how to:
1. Say no
2. Delegate (but I know, no one can do it like you can, right?)
3. Stop being a control freak
4. Learn how to ask for help and
5. Learn how to accept help when it is offered
Far too often women don’t feel that they can delegate for fear that the job won’t get done exactly how they want it done. Well, either try to explain it more clearly or let go of your grip and let someone feel good about helping you, even if it’s not 100 percent to your liking. Trust me, you’ll learn to live with it and you’ll have one less thing on your plate.
The other thing to know and acknowledge is that it does not show any type of weakness by asking for help or accepting help when it is offered. It does not show that you are less of a woman or that you are incapable or an unfit mother or wife if you ask for help or take it when offered. Mom needs a break too. Believe me, men are amazed at how women run on empty and get it all done. That’s why they don’t bear children. The world would come to a screeching halt if they did.