I knew when Alice and I came home from the hospital that my life would be different now that I am a mom. Someone would be depending on me for everything. I now have to provide food, shelter, love and entertainment for another human being. The first two weeks my mom was here and life was pretty cushy. I did baby stuff and she did everything else. The next week the husband stayed home for his paternity leave. Again, life is very manageable when both mom and dad are home to baby wrangle and do household stuff. Last week, Alice and I became a two woman act. Anthony went back to work last Monday and I started my new job as mother of one and household engineer. Lets just say getting things done became much more challenging. That leads me to my new found abilities as a multitasker. Sure, I thought I knew what multitasking was. At work I would have a few things going at once. But I had no idea of my powers of 'getting it done.' When you become a mother, you find this whole untapped well of love in your heart that you did not know existed. However, being a mother also brought forth abilities as a multitasker that I never used because life was just easier when there was not a 7 pound person attached to me for 8-12 hours a day. I now understand why my mom was always the busiest person i knew. She always had 35 things going on at any given moment, and it used to drive me crazy that she would not relax and enjoy being lazy. I have a new found respect for her now that I understand the juggling act we call Mommyhood. When there is a 20 minute window of calm, when the little one is sleeping or happy on her playmat, the opportunity must be seized. I know that within approximately 15 to 30 minutes I have to change her, feed her, and then keep her sitting up for 20 minutes to avoid spit-up. Not to mention find 10 minutes to pump, probably change her clothes, and bounce on the yoga ball to relieve gas induced screaming (Alice, not me). So that 20 minutes becomes much more important that any other 20 minute window in the history of the world. I have discovered how much can really get done in 20 minutes, or even in 5 or 10 minutes. I have become a multitasking force to be reckoned with. A typical flow of events would be: Wash bottles and feeding accoutrement and put on speically designed bottle drying rack. Start washer, walk to bathroom to get clothes to put in washer, use the bathroom, put hair up, clean toothpaste out of sink, gather up clothes, walk back to washer and dump clothes in. Walk outside to let dog out with full diaper genie bag for trash can and wait while she does her business (she insists we must be present for potty breaks to happen, otherwise she sits at the gate and stares inside). Back inside, remember I did not put soap in washer so do that, then go into kitchen where I trip over the dog who is waiting patiently for her treat since answering the call of nature is certainly something that should be rewarded each and every time. Dispense treat, then realize I am hungry. Grab Little Debbie and fix water. Set on counter to have right after I get baby clothes out of drier that have been finsihed since yesterday, and throw on bed to fold at later time. Peek at baby who is starting to get squirmy but still has eyes shut. Decide to get bottle ready to be prepared to silence screaming which will surely start promptly upon the Lady of the House waking. When open refrigerator to get out milk, realize nothing in there will remotely pass for dinner, so open freezer and get out something prepared by one of our mothers to thaw. Pray that 3 hours is enough defrost time for said dinner otherwise, PB&J (again). Fix bottle, then get distracted by my waiting snack. Open Swiss Cake Roll, only to then remember the bottle needs to go in the warmer to be effective baby plug. Do that, then back to my snack. 1 gulp of water and 2 bites and I remember I did not collect the bevy of cloth diapers that litter our home now that we live with a mini-volcano, so run around the house and grab them all and stuff into washer. At this point realize i have to pee again, so back to the bathroom. Right before I sit down, baby screams like someone threw cold water on her to rouse her from a coma. Pee faster than when I am at a concert and realize as I go into the stall that they just started playing my favorite song, the one they never play live that I must see. Go in and release baby from her swaddle prison and the 20 minute window firmly slams shut. Sit down on couch with baby and bottle and the only burp cloth that didn't make it into wash because it was wrapped in baby's swaddle by accident, and feel quite pleased at all that was accomplished.
It amazes me that I can do most anything now while holding Miss Baby. Feed the dog, check my email and type one-handed to answer them, fix dinner, load and unlaod dishwasher. The other day i even dusted and vacuumed. Guess those two broken arms (not at same time) in my childhood were just training to prepare me to only have use of one arm once I became a mother. There really is no other choice other than to be a multitasker. Otherwise, nothing would get done and I would still be in my pajamas with breakfast sitting in front of me on the coffee table when the husband gets home for lunch, maybe even still at 5 pm. And I am sure there will be days like that, but hopefully not too many. I wish that someone was here to see how very productive I can be and to tell my that I am amazing--no mother has ever done so well. Maybe even give me a pat on the back or a little reward. Then, I look down and see my reward, who has spitup running out of her nose, a poop stain on the back of her onesie where her diaper has slid down, and hair that sticks up like she recently visited a mad scientist for a little shock therapy. She rolls her eyes at me and stares at the ceiling and i realize that she is my prize and how lucky i am to have such a great reason to multitask sitting in my lap.