OK, we’ve all heard about the productivity impacts of multi-tasking related to work (and I’m going to write my next blog on that topic once again). But what about multi-tasking around kids? I’ve been thinking lately about what “good” and “bad” multi-tasking is related to kids.
I think most people agree that being attached to your iPhone may send the wrong message to your kid about what’s important. Kids need real attention: they need to feel like you are present with them and that they are really listened to and heard. Claudia’s recent blog on this got me thinking too. You could probably take this same concept and expand it to how you relate to work colleagues!
If I were a stay at home mom, I’d probably give myself a little more leeway, but with only having a few hours a day with my son during the week, I try to be really thoughtful about how I spend that time. I intentionally put away the phone and disconnect as much as possible during the early morning and after work time I spend with him. I love those times so much I think I’m even more productive when I’m working since I allow myself to disconnect and really be with him!
I have, though, found myself really enjoying doing several adult things with Gus, in addition to playing with him, reading to him or feeding him. Here are my favorites so far. I’d love to hear what other ideas moms have!
- Involving him in cooking. He loves sitting in his high chair and hanging out in the kitchen, especially if he thinks he’s going to get some good food out of it! I like to have him right there with me and talk with him about what I’m cooking.
- Walking with him to the grocery store. We have our little routine of walking to the store, using the stroller as a grocery cart to pick up a few items as we wander around Vitamin Cottage, talking about what we are going to make for dinner and what new foods he’s going to get to try. The best part is that I don’t need any bags! I just put it in the little carrier underneath his seat.
- Holding coffee dates here at the house. With our new centrally located house, big comfy couch and Keurig coffee machine, I’ve started doing some of my networking meetings during the day here at our house. This is bonus time with Gus since it is during the workday, and our nanny probably loves the little break. We hang with him for a few minutes, get a few laughs out of his giggles, and then get to business. It is different, fun AND less expensive!
- Taking him with me to exercise. I’ve changed my exercise routine up so that I can take him with me. I’m doing more walks and runs with him in the stroller or carrier than gym visits where I have to leave him at home, and I enjoy it so much more. He gets a change of scenery and I get a little extra challenge of carrying him. I don’t know how I carried around 50 extra pounds while pregnant – when I walk with him and his 20+ pounds in the carrier I get really tired!
- Involving him in conversations with dad. We are lucky that most days, both my husband and I are home between 5 and 5:30. Before we had Gus, we (okay me) would be much more likely just to keep working or work on other things, but now we really detach from our electronic devices and talk about our days, and of course, Gus’s day. We involve him in that conversation, talking with him while we are talking with each other.
I realize I’m probably on cloud nine here, with Gus at that “perfect” age of just over 9 months and happy most all the time. Hopefully we can keep this up as he grows and starts talking and walking and having more opinions about what we should be doing at any given time!