Doing it All (or How I Discovered “Mom-o-tasking”)

It’s funny. As I started to plan “life with baby”, I totally imagined that a freelancing Gemini like myself would take the art of multi-tasking to astonishing new heights. It turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong.

See? He was even in my TEDxMaui headshot photoshoot!

TEDxMaui photoshoots with baby? No problem.

I am a freelance producer, college lecturer and consultant. While pregnant, I envisioned myself continuing on after a brief post-birth hiatus, writing important emails on a laptop under one arm while nursing baby lovingly tucked under the other. Ha!

Truth is, I learned if I want to really frazzle myself (and Henry) beyond belief, I should try to take care of a newborn and work at the same time. The times I’ve tried to do both (out of necessity – lots to do with an event around the corner), I’ve had the worst days. The times I stopped what I was doing and spent time with Henry until he took a nap? The best days. The more productive days. And Henry appreciates it more, which is more important to me than anything.

On this day, he made his first radio appearance (promoting TEDxMaui). Later, he cried through half of a work meeting at WholeFoods.

On this day, he made his first radio appearance (promoting TEDxMaui). Later, he cried through half of a work meeting at WholeFoods.

So, here’s my first piece of advice as a new mom, given to other new moms and moms-to-be:

If you plan on working from home with a newborn baby, don’t try to work when they are awake. Spend quality time with them, feed them, play with them, love them up until they pass out. Then, work like your life depends on it. Mom-o-tasking.

In the spirit of TEDxMaui, being held on Sunday, January 13th at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, here’s a bonus moment: check out this hilarious, lighting fast TEDGlobal talk about monotasking. I need this guy to multitask-proof my house!


9 thoughts on “Doing it All (or How I Discovered “Mom-o-tasking”)

  1. I’m laughing while I read this…I remember the days when I just wanted 1 more hour of sleep, or 1 more hour in the day to work, or 1 more pair of helping hands. Sara, you discovered the truth early. I did NO WORK when my kids were up but when they slept is when the work began. Now looking back because our kids are 15 & 12 years old…they need us more than ever but on a different level. So enjoy the play time…be in the moment.

    • It’s totally the opposite of what I assumed before baby. But I’m so glad it works this way…because I get to to really enjoy everything about my life. It’s almost like when you’re eating a meal… savoring each course, each bite…one at a time.

    • Thanks, Cara! How many kids do you have? What age(s)? Any advice youʻd give to a new mom of a 3 month old? It seems that at every turn there are new lessons to learn!

  2. HAHA! We know exactly what you mean. It’s so hard to get things done. As they get older, it gets easier AND harder to get things done. I like the idea of mono-tasking. Why not focus and put some quality production out there. That’s something I’m trying to do these days. Simplify life, cut out the clutter and concentrate my time on things that matter. MAHALO!

  3. I don’t know how you mamas do it. I do find your advice good even for those with no kiddies. I find I do a better job and experience more satisfaction when I focus my attention on one life area at a time.

  4. I rather like the idea of mono-tasking because multi-tasking is the buzzword of not doing any one thing well. Besides, kids aren’t distractions, they are the reason we’re here! #Henrygram !

  5. I had a bookstore when my daughter was little. I took her to work with me until she was 7 months old. Between my partner, employees and customers we could entertain her for most of a day. My husband had a lot of flexibility and took her for a lot of time. Monotasking was definitely the answer.

  6. Well said mother of many tasks! I know all too well the work-from-home-baby-saga. It continues while consistently expanding to fit our needs…somehow. 😉 Keep up the great work! We should have coffee sometime!

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