Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Hello lovies! It’s another wonderful weekend and where I get time to write instead of my day job. And that’s exactly what today’s post is about… Well… Kind of. Today’s blog is my two cents on multitasking.
Let me preface this by saying, this blog post was started and meant to be posted a few weeks ago, but like I'll talk about later, life happens, and it just got away from me… So here goes…
You might be wondering what expertise I have in offering any kind of advice on this topic, the answer is absolutely none. I have said it before and I will likely never stop saying it, I am not an authority on anything.
My ‘expertise,’ if you want to call it that, comes in the form of experience. If you haven’t read all of my posts, this might be news to you so I’ll repeat it. Rose Rayne Rivers isn’t my real name, but the stories I write about in these posts are mostly based on my actual reality. I am a mother of three kids (each involved in a different group or activity), I have a full time day job, a part time job, I volunteer for the booster clubs/parent organizations associated with my kids’ teams/schools, and I write in my ‘spare time.’ Just typing all that made me realize how tired I am, so let me take a break and go take a nap, or get some coffee…
Just kidding. But not really.
As you can see, I have a lot on my plate, and multitasking has become a crucial skill. I’m lucky enough to have a partner who is incredibly supportive and does basically whatever I ask of him in order to juggle this ridiculous schedule our weekends (and often weekdays) include. I do understand that this isn’t always the case for everyone, but if you don’t have that, (or even if you do), the most critical advice I can give you is to find a tribe.
You can’t go it alone and if you try it will be unbearably hard, so just admit that fact that you aren’t superhuman, and accept that help is a necessity. If you're out there doing it all on your own and pissed that I say it's impossible, I'm sorry, hats off to you. But for me, and likely most everyone else, help is required for my mental stability…
So what is a tribe?
Well, my tribe of women formed naturally in the groups that my kids belong to, but for you, it may be different. Your tribe could be made of other writers, family, maybe even old friends. It could be anyone really. Find the people you can count on and hang on.
Here is the thing about finding your tribe though, don’t take advantage. I tend to be one of the most busy people in my group of friends. Most of my friends are stay at home moms, or they have part time jobs while I work a lot of hours. Currently I’m the main breadwinner for my family, so it becomes difficult for me to offer as much help to my group of friends as they offer for me, but I do make sure I do it as often as I can. It's important that whenever you can, you offer your tribe the help they offer you, so that they don’t feel the friendship is one-sided. For example, this weekend, one of my daughters has a competition in one city not near where we live, the other has one in a different city near-ish where we live, and my third kid thankfully has nothing except an invitation to a birthday party.
So here is what my multitasking looks like today. One of my kids is with one of my friends, out of town at her competition. I'm sitting at my other kids’ competition while I switch back and forth between watching the first kid on a live stream, and typing this blog. The third kid is at his party with my husband.
Do I wish we could all be in the same place? Absolutely, but sometimes that's not possible. So I have learned that the key is rolling with the punches and just doing what you can. Also, in order to stay fair, I've offered to take the kid of my friend who took my kid this weekend with me the next time we go out of town so she can multitask.
This weekend isn't the norm. We don't usually always have to be in three different cities, but we almost always are torn trying to get everything in. Which leads me to my second most important piece of advice. Schedule, schedule, schedule. Get a planner, or a digital calendar or whatever works for you and make a plan.
I have blocks for working, and my husband and I have set days we are in charge of taking and/or picking up our kids from their activities. I also plan times that correlate with those to write. For example, on Tuesday nights, I go straight from work to pick up my daughter which puts me there about an hour and a half early so I can use that time to write. The point is, knowing what you need to do and when you will have time to do it will save you a lot of stress trying to keep balls from falling. One caveat… be prepared to throw the plan out the window if necessary. Inevitably a kid is going to forget to pass information along, your boss will throw a last minute project at you or your spouse will have to work late making your best laid plans of splitting up unable to happen. Learn to roll with the punches because life is unpredictable and you will never be able to plan for everything.
Which brings me to my last piece of advice. I've said it before and I'll say it again, give yourself grace.
If at the end of the day you don't feel like working at your part time job (and you're able to not do it like I can)-don't. If you aren't inspired and you can't write during the thirty minute block you set aside for yourself-don't. If you get sucked into doing an Encanto reenactment by your four-year-old for the hundredth time this week instead of cleaning the toilet, do it! (that last one may or may not have happened in my house multiple times this week).
The point is, life is for living and like it or not things won't always go as planned. Give yourself the grace to skip basketball practice or work if you need to. Unless you're on deadline, writing can wait until inspiration sparks. If you miss one performance because you have to work, it's not the end of the world. Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect because nobody is.
Ultimately, my point is, we're all busy. Everyone is doing multiple things and we need help to get it all done. Do your best to plan, and when you can't do it–don't. It's as simple as that. Multitasking sometimes means making a choice. Prioritize what's important at the moment and understand that may change daily. Some days work will take priority. Hopefully, most times family will, but in the end, if you can't get it all done, you can only do what you can do.
This blog for example started out being for the last weekend in February and here we are almost at the end of March and it's just getting posted because I got caught up with the rest of my life and couldn't finish. While I wish that wasn't the case and I had posted something every weekend since then, I understand and can reason with myself that sometimes that's not going to happen. And that's ok. I'm only human and I can only do what I can do.
So that's it folks. That's my two cents on multitasking. It's hard. We all have to do it but don't forget-you can only do what you can-so give yourself a break when you can't!
Have a great rest of your weekend!
-Rose Rayne Rivers
-Rose Rayne Rivers
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