Sunday, 1 March 2009

Female Multi-tasking Masterclass

It is a truth universally accepted that a woman in possession of offspring must be able to do a multitude of tasks at the same time:

1. One handed eating: you may need someone to cut it up for you, or you may attempt to saw through chicken breast one-handed. Whereas other people's cherry tomatoes on the side would go flying off the plate, you craft a series of careful movements to get the job done while holding baby.

2. Breastfeeding and texting: once you have spent quality time perfecting the art of latching you will soon be able to breastfeed anywhere. My other breastfeeding faves include standing up while fetching the remote control, sitting on the sofa and putting on make-up, laying in bed and watching QI on the iPlayer on the iPhone.

3. Carrying a basket and pushing the buggy round the supermarket: some people have told me you can leave your pushchair or pram with security, get a trolley and then shop. When all you want to buy is milk, bread, eggs and wine? Piff! So I'd rather struggle with items in a basket, hooked on my arm or placed very carefully on the hood of the pushchair. Just when you think you have tested the weight limit on that very hood, you realise you need olive oil, orange juice and porridge oats. Why isn't there a basket friendly option such as an attachment to the buggy? Ah well, you are most likely to put more items in a trolley, mum. Definitely a man's idea.

4. Feed the baby and eat your own breakfast: Porridge? Check. Baby rice? Check. Spoons? Check. Muslin? Check. Bib on? Check. Baby secured in their seat? Check. Coffee? Check. Floor cover? Check. And we're off....

5. Talking on the phone and changing a nappy: you don't know why the hell you answered it and after 2 mins on their sales pitch you realise its your own insurance company trying to sell you more insurance. No thanks, goodbye.

6. Pushing a buggy and surfing the net on your mobile device: this list isn't for the attentive earthy mother nation, hey it is me. I also need to add that I achieve these two actions while avoiding getting dogs excrement on all four wheels of your baby transport. I'd like to invite dog owners to clean my carpet.

7. Meal planning, writing shopping lists and watching Cold Case: 'this is a good one' my partner enthuses but to me it's formulaic and predictable, so I can catch on at any point in the episode.

8. Smiling and nodding at your partner while you wait for the baby to stop crying at bedtime. He could be telling me he'd won the lottery, I can't hear anything until I know the child is settled.

9. Cleaning the bath tiles while waiting for your conditioner treatment time to end. Perhaps not uniquely a 'mummy' activity however, you do find for added 'time saving' you also clean the taps, shower curtain and re-arrange your smellies on the shower shelf.

10. Giving the baby a bottle and programming the digital recorder. One handed, baby friendly bottle feeding is an art. Well I absolutely can't miss Masterchef.

NB the above activities are not recommended to try in your own home. I am in no way a medical expert but there's probably a very good reason or some research to show that using gadgets e.g. mobile phones around babies can be bad for their health.

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