The Mommy Chronicles: It’s Time to Stop, Focus, and Repeat

14 Mar 2019 Marlena Rice

I was headed to school recently, and for the first time in a while, I realized I wasn’t rushing during my half-hour commute to collect my son. You see, I like to ensure that Im in the pickup line before the principal conducts her mandatory inspection of the “on time” parents before sending out the children whom she knows matches the vehicles in line. My child will not be the one traumatized by being the last kiddo picked up from school.  

What caused me to slow down?  

Well, while driving, I glanced over at the vehicle to my right, and I saw a woman doing what looked like the impossible. She was driving her SUV, holding on to a mattress strapped to the top of her vehicle with her left hand, and smoking a cigarette with her right hand.  

Maybe she was driving with her knees?! 

Aside from worrying that this woman was a serious traffic hazard, she also made me think about how, as a mom, I often feel like multitasking is the smartest idea – as opposed to of focusing on one thing and perfecting it. I guess I like to think that even under stress, duress, and insane pressure, juggling and completing multiple tasks at once is a better option. But the reality is this: we all need to slow down. Yep, this includes you, mom. 

Multitasking may look good in your Erin Condren planner, with its flashy, annoyingly fun stickers covering every box every day of the week – but sometimes, you just need to focus on one thing.  

So, how can you best embrace this idea of oneness? Start slow. Keep it simple.

  1. If you don’t already do this, start eating every meal at your kitchen or dining room table. Keep the TV turned off. Focus on your family.

This sounds ridiculously simple, but think about all of the distractions we face during one meal: a begging dog we leave our meal to get up to feed, thinking about what we need to do after dinner and when it will be accomplished, and, goodness forbid, your phone beeps and you just have to find out if it’s from your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram notifications.  

Just eat. Talk. Enjoy. Nothing else. 

  1. Leave work at home. This is always a toughie, especially for those of us who work from home. Do a great job while at your place of employment, and then come home and truly be off. Don’t talk about work, don’t worry about that email you received at 4:45 p.m. that was in ALL CAPS and BOLDED.

Appreciate the fact that you now have time to do something of your choosing. If you work at home, keep your work (and work phone) in a separate room. Closed doors on a Friday afternoon can be your friend in this scenario.  

  1. Practice thinking about one thing at a time. Focus. I know its hard. So often, we moms think circles around the men in our lives, but maybe that’s why our husbands, dads, brothers, and male co-workers seem less stressed than we are. Remember, I said start things off slow and simple? Let’s think like men here, ladies!

Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Check out her blog at heartfullybuilt.com.  

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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