Member Articles

Write an article!

Are you anti-blackberry, or is it just me?

How do you multitask without losing your mind?

by Rachel S.  |  6095 views  |  8 comments  |        Rate this now! 

When I recently read Jeannie MacDonald's Work It Mom article -- on why we should stop multi-tasking -- I felt like she was spying on me. Jeannie, you caught me.

I'm the mother who washes dishes while drilling her daughter for tomorrow's spelling test. I'm the parent who checks email while helping her kid finish that report on pandas.

Jeannie's reasons for ceasing all multi-tasking, however, do not fit me. I'm not trying to "top" another mother. I'm not being "competitive."

I'm the 35-year-old solo mother of a second grader. It's that simple. We have no contact with her father. I work 40 hours a week, go to soccer practice and games, write a few blogs, pay the bills, grocery shop, cook, have play dates. I finished my taxes this morning. I sent out birthday party invitations.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm trying to date, too?

Multi-tasking stresses me out, but what can I do? Maybe I need a new gadget to help me focus on one thing at a time?

In a recent Work It, Mom! Q & A, Lylah M. Alphonse said that Google Calendar makes her life easier. I've tried Google Calendar, but I'm old-fashioned. I carry around my "At-A-Glance" calendar. I love the

feel of paper. I love crossing things off lists.

Victoria swears by her Blackberry, and Molly Gales says that her palm pilot is the best. Do any of you swear by these gadgets?

I depend on my laptop, but resist getting another electronic gadget. Am I alone on this one?

In the meantime, I'm signing off for a conference call with my editor. I'll try my best not to check email when I'm on the call.

I'm learning as I go along. I would love to know how multi-task without losing your mind.

About the Author

Rachel Sarah is the author of "Single Mom Seeking: Play Dates, Blind Dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World" and the single-mom columnist at Lifetime TV. She blogs at

Read more by Rachel S.

8 comments so far...

  • I think it's great after all it's easy to use and for someone like me that's important.
    Check out my web page for Keratin hair treatment.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Tommie on 26th April 2011

  • Multitasking rules! I don't know any other way. Like others have said - how would you get anything done?

    One thing I have to do is not try to multitask at some point during the day even just for 15 minutes.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MortonPixie on 6th April 2008

  • I understand where you are, times three. I have three children from my ex-husband who "chose not to participate" when we were married, and "does not participate" (his words!) in the 8 years since we've divorced. Multi-task -- oh yes, you have to! And always build in uninterrupted, undivided attention, time, love and affection - because even a few minutes a day makes a difference....

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BlapherMJ on 30th March 2008

  • *laugh* We do spelling practice on our commute to and from work/school. We also do our math fact practice. I haven't wrecked - and the kids have excellent grades, so I feel like it's working. :)

    I can walk on a treadmill while in a conference call and folding laundry. I figure if you only have one thing that needs actual brain power - you're ok - the rest can be rote.

    Multitaskers Unite!!! (I am giving my blackberry up because of budget cuts at work and I'm really excited. It'll help me stop the midnight work email check before I go to bed. But I love my iPhone for personal email, blog checking and other stuff while waiting at doctors appointments, kids practices, etc.)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by hecticmom on 29th March 2008

  • Hi Mamas!
    Thanks for your comments, which make me feel... normal.
    Deep breath.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Rachel S. on 28th March 2008

  • If it weren't for multitasking, how would we ever get anything done??? I'm with you. Yesterday, I had my son do his spelling and math homework at bar so that I could help him while I cooked dinner. I've done business calls while changing diapers (thank god for a happy baby who hardly ever cries!!) and I too check my email while helping the kids with various projects.

    In this day and age, June Cleaver is rare if she exists at all. We do the best we can, and in order to get even a fraction of the things we need done accomplished, it unfortunately sometimes requires us to take care of the kids while doing ten other things.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by sonyareads on 28th March 2008

  • I agree that what may look to outsiders as competitive multi-tasking between moms is actually not competitive at all. It's just busy people trying to juggle all the stuff that is expected of them!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 28th March 2008

  • wow! multi-tasking without losing your mind... i think that’s a goal we all have! I don’t have a blackberry - but i do have a windows mobile device/phone (same functionality) and i love it. It allows me to keep up with email when i am not near my laptop (or when i don’t want to boot up) and determine if i really need to follow-up. i see it as more of a 'heads up' and i can send a quick response via the phone if i need to or decide to go drag out the laptop and login to straighten whatever issue out in a longer email (or, crazy, could just call - but who wants to talk on the phone? haha)

    personally, i think the multi-tasking you described here is normal and completely understandable (i mean how much mental power does it take to wash dishes, right? why not think about spelling?) in addition to necessary. to me, as long as your kid knows you love them and you are doing what is needed to teach them to be successful and happy in life... you are all good! even if you are checking email while doing such ;)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 28th March 2008