I read some where that there is no such thing as multi-tasking.
Funny, because this topic has been a discussion amongst some of the moms in the support groups that I am part of. The question is whether or not we really can get more done by doing many things at once?
Usually, I am the type of mom who is doing quite a few things at once. I have found, that I am more productive when I set out to complete a list of items and tick them off one by one. If I try to do more than one thing at a time, (as this article states) I would usually fall short, or make a mistake in the process.
Fact: I am even more successful at completing these lists when I set out to complete my list first thing in the morning.
But, all things taken into consideration there are many tasks that can be accomplished simultaneously , with a little help from my support network. Most of the time I can accomplish what needs to be done, simply by asking for help, and by managing it all from my smart phone.
I have complained about technology before, (maybe out loud but not here on the blog) and how I feel the iPad has taken away the childhood of yester-year. I grew up climbing trees, drinking from the garden hose, making mudpies, and riding my bike around the neighborhood for hours.
This is very different from my kids’ experiences of inviting friends over to play video games and stream movies. I understand the necessity of advancements in technology, but I also weigh these benefits as well as the challenges that accompany the use of electronic gadgets when raising children. (PSST. Steve Jobs never gave his kids an iPad. Coincidence? I think not.)
In November, I was in New York with my family for a medical emergency of my niece. I had to leave Manila in a hurry. I tried to prepare as much as possible while leaving instructions for the household staff on how to pack the kids’ lunches and manage their schedules. I did the food shopping for the first week that I would be gone. I wrote my lists for the help, and left instructions with Nino for kids’ different activities.
The beauty of advancements in technology, and smart phones, have afforded me amazing opportunities to stay connected to family and friends in the states, even if I’m living in Manila.
So early this morning I was able to spend some time with the administration, faculty, and staff of one very special public school. Together with Cathy Cham, and our @bestbuddiesphl ambassador, Vico Cham, we gave an orientation for parents and buddies to begin the endeavor of #inclusion through #friendship. It was a wonderful morning filled with amazing possibilities! #bestbuddies #bestbuddiesasiapac
In fact, on the Sunday morning (in November) before I left Manila, my niece face timed me from the ICU. It was THAT FACETIME conversation that prompted me to look into flying in to see her.
On that Monday, in the car, on the way to an exploratory meeting to propagate a Best Buddies chapter in a public school in the Metro, I searched pricing for tickets with the help of my travel agent, and coordinated with Nino to see if the scheduling would work for our family.
By Tuesday midnight I was on my way to see my niece.
Once I arrived in NY, I would take the day shift at the hospital so my sister could freshen up and tend to other things. While I sat in the hospital with my niece, I received reminder viber messages from Gelli’s school and from co-parents about her baking activity for the next school day. I was able to forward the reminders to Gia and Nino through iMessage so that Gelli would be ready with cookies to share and sell for her activity in school. I did this all from my niece’s bedside in Westchester Medical.
The beauty of being a mother now is the experience of the collective. I have learned from many mothers. I have my own mother to thank for a great many things, but I have also been blessed with other mothers who have taught me, and shared so much of themselves with me. This collective motherhood, has gifted me with experiences, tips, and tricks in raising my own children. It’s with this collective, that I feel armed with a wealth of information and experiences to draw from. Some of these mothers are my friends. Some of these mothers I follow on social media, which I visit on my tablet, my laptop, and my smart phone.
As a mother, I have more than four children. I have nieces and nephews, I have students, I have my best friend’s kids, and I even have my own children’s friends. They are all children I mother, even if I did not give birth to them. To all of these children, I am all responsible (even if in some small way) to be a mindful mother to them as well.
Perfect example of this type of motherhood? My sister Mary Jane is Ninang (Godmother) to my first born. She is the second mother to all of my children they way I am to hers. All of my kids call her NeMom. This name represents the influence and love and respect that my children will benefit from their relationship with her, much the same way Nino’s niece and nephew call me Mommy M.
Ok. So how does the title of this blog post bring everything together?
I got to sit in the hospital with my niece, receive text messages from Gelli’s teacher in school, and forward the information to Nino and Gia who made the preparations for Gelli to go to school the next day. I also look to the mommas who are active in each of my children’s batches, for help with reminders as well. It is with their help that I can stay up to date and on top of the kids’ assignments and important events in school.
I can sit by the beach on New Years Day and research the newest studies on Down Syndrome. I can check out the newest six episode reality series on A&E called Born This Way and wish my fellow mom bloggers from all over the world a Happy and Healthy New Year.
And I can do all of this through my iPhone, my iPad and my laptop which are all armed with apps to make my life easier as I navigate this multi tasking job of being a mindful mother in the age of ever changing technology.
Because it’s all about achieving a balance that makes motherhood easier with the many hats that we wear…
Here’s to more balance and more motherhood hacks in the coming year. I’m looking forward to it all.