Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tight on Time? Multi-Task Like a Mutha

Dear Ann Abler,

Photo via +Engadget of +Portlandia (
I feel like time is not on my side. Kids are crawling all over me and I hardly have a second for myself. When I finally do have a moment alone, I’m so scatterbrained that all I can do is retweet, like, or pin things.


Hashtag Hannah
Dear #,

Not this cat/cow (image via +TechTarget)
Breathe. Breathe again. Back away from the screen. Wait – not yet – read these words of wisdom first. Breathe in and out again, maybe do a couple cat/cows, and then have a seat with me. 

First off, commit to whatever it is you’re doing in the moment. Unless it’s listening to your 7-year-old recite a really long Christmas wish list. In August. Something like that could really go on forever, and as you’ve made clear, you barely have a moment to yourself, let alone a “forever.” I know most parenting professionals say give your children 100% of your attention whenever possible, but does anyone really give 100% of their attention to anything, except maybe a sneeze or an orgasm?

Whoever said “live in the now,” maybe didn’t realize there are 17 things going on in the now. Multi-tasking is a must, and it is possible to love your children AND pay partial attention to them, all while chewing gum. You can employ this “adore/ignore” technique and unleash your social media spasms amidst the surrounding chaos of said children.

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While little Layla is doing her 27th handstand saying “look at me,” you can pin some groovy color palettes on Pinterest or retweet the latest injustice. You paid attention all the way through handstand #26; you’ve earned your ignore points. Or if you’re gonna plop down tiny Timmy in front of some Tutitu, try a split screen and start checking the stats on your blog. I only assume you have a blog because you’re a mom, and that’s pretty much standard protocol these days. (Or if not, then I imagine you at least have a decent Facebook or Twitter presence. If not, are you reading this post on parchment paper?). But I digress.

Getting back to your question, the lesson to be learned here is that if you employ my patented sub-par parenting approach, then you can use your truly alone time for more focused activity, whether it be reading, writing, exercising, or whatever you can squeeze in those few precious moments.

As this post does not require your full attention, I hope you are reading it while telling your children, “excellent handstand, honey!” or “put that knife down, Timmy.” You might actually want to investigate that last one further.

Sub-par is better than no-par,

Your Ann Abler

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