I used to think I was a pretty good multi-tasker. . . and then my son was born, carrying a big ol’ dose of reality in his adorable tiny fist. Amid the diaper changes, feeding times, bathing and general baby supervision it quickly became evident that I cannot do two things at once. In fact, the more I try to concentrate, the more he tries to get my attention and both of us just become completely frustrated.
A few weeks ago I had to take my sidekick along to decorate our church for VBS. I knew this would slow me down quite a bit, but what I didn’t foresee was the need to read, understand and execute an entire 11-step creative cardboard project. Yes, I’m apparently into torture.
While I begged and pleaded my little man to occupy himself with one of the many items we brought along, the more he wanted to “help.” Unfortunately it was one of those tasks that little fingers were just not made to conquer and I hardly had a clue what to do myself. The more he talked, fidgeted, and jumped in the middle my project and the more I tried to concentrate, be patient and build something beautiful from a bunch of flappy cardboard pieces, the more frustrated, unfocused and so-not-cool I became. Until finally my son had had enough. He promptly stuffed all his games, colors and paper in his backpack, put his arms through the straps and calmly said, “I’m going.”
When I asked just where he thought he was going, he assertively said, “I’m going home.”
That’s when I realized that losing my cool over this silly project (which would probably go seriously underappreciated) was so not worth it. So I finally apologized to my son, left the project lying in the middle of the church aisle and went home to spend a few dedicated hours with my little guy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that moms drop everything, never complete a task and come running at every inquiry from a small child’s voice (although I’ve stopped and started this article no less than 12 times because a certain someone just woke from his nap), but I have learned that the cost of some battles are so not worth the fight, and sometimes a mother’s concentration can wait another day.