As I was writing it, I realized that in spite my warnings to my children not to interrupt me, I had to stop and talk to them about three to four times before I could finish the piece. This was three or four times within fifteen minutes.
And each time I noticed my mounting frustration, my need to have to go back over to read the sentence I had just written, how I couldn’t finish my thought and how easy it would be to throw up my hands and quit. I don’t because this is important to me. It may not be the keystone habit that I’m working on but it is nevertheless important to me to be able to have time to write.
I was never good at multitasking. As it turns out, it’s not the most efficient way to do things anyway.
When it comes to writing, however, I find that in some ways my mind is already on overload because I’m pulling disparate things together and putting them into some kind of a coherent whole. To then have to pay attention to children as well through it makes one big mess.
Those of you who make things with your hands have a little more leeway but interruptions make everything last twice as long if not longer. It becomes easier to think, “I’ll just get back into [writing, knitting, reading, insert whatever hobby makes you feel alive here] when the kids are older.”
In my case, when my oldest child was almost a year old, I thought I would have time when she went to school. Well, we all know how that ended – we’re homeschooling.
But then I reasoned, surely education encompasses having to learn to control oneself as well. I must teach them to manage their time as well. The children need to learn that sometimes they cannot interrupt me, cannot get what they want immediately, that I am here with them all day long but that does not necessarily mean I do nothing else but stare into their eyes lovingly and get nothing else done.
Most of the battle here for moms is with their own selves, their thinking. If we go back a generation, most older women advise me to teach my children to manage themselves. It’s the younger moms who want to handhold one moment and complain of not having time to themselves the next. I think it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions.
This isn’t about being sentimental or selfish. This is about a workable solution.
There are some moments of the day I do not allow interruptions. I do punish the older kids for them. With the baby being one, those rules are relaxed a tad for him but not for the older children. This might seem harsh but only if I think that the children will never encounter a time when they cannot do as they wish. You see where this is leading, right?