I dropped off Brooklyn to her preschool class about five minutes late today. Brooklyn walked in and loudly announced to her teachers, her classmates, the custodian, and pretty much everyone within a five mile radius, “I’m late today because my mom was on the phone and going to the bathroom.” Ugh, you’d think Art Linkletter had appeared with a microphone as she walked into her classroom.
My face turned red. Actually, it burst into flames. I stammered something like, “These things didn’t happen simultaneously. Really. Um, I have to go. I mean, as in leave the building. Not as in use the bathroom. Because obviously, I already did that. But not while talking on the phone. Okay bye.”
In all fairness, I have to admit that I have talked on the phone while peeing a time or two or twenty, however. I’ve sent texts while sitting on the toilet. I’ve added items to my shopping list while in the bathroom. I should probably be really embarrassed about this, but I’m choosing to look at it in a different light. I’m looking at it like an accomplishment worthy of praise because clearly, I’m a rockstar multi-tasker!
I check math homework while washing dishes, I referee fights while cooking dinner, I braid hair while reading email, and I
shovel toxic sludge out of clean the boys’ room while talking on the phone. Now any mom can do these things. Moms invented multi-tasking. But if anyone can multi-task better than a mom, it’s a single mom. I didn’t even know it was physically possible to juggle all I’ve been juggling for the past year and a half. If anyone had told me then that I’d be raising my six kids completely on my own with no help from their father, or family, and with precious little financial support, I don’t think I would have believed it.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, but I think it’s the mother of multi-tasking. Plain and simple, we do what we have to do. We don’t curl up and cry. Well, sometimes we do, but then we dry our tears, pull ourselves up and do what needs to be done. Sometimes that means, staying up until 3:00 in the morning to finish work, wash your floor, or fill out yet another application for aid. Sometimes it means having a conversation with your teen while folding laundry. Sometimes it means paying bills while listening to your child read to you. And yes, sometimes it means talking on the phone while you pee.
So hat’s off to you single moms out there, whether you’re single by choice, by death or divorce, or because your husband is deployed or just works a lot of hours. It’s a juggling act and you do it well! (See how I turned this around to praise all you hard working moms instead of focusing on the fact I occasionally, rarely, almost never talk and pee simultaneously?)