Self-knowledge can be a wonderful thing

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This morning with baby I actually tried to apply something I’ve read about, written about and know about: multitasking increases stress and reduces productivity. I was inspired because last night, as I started flitting around the kitchen starting multiple recipes at the same time, Husband suggested we focus on what we’d agreed was most important: getting everything ready for the morning so I could get out the door as quickly as possible. So I stopped work on the recipes and made sure some of those other details were taken care of, then back to the recipes BUT with a new focus on not doing too much at once.

Mornings can be a bit crazy. Baby wants to nurse a lot. Then there’s potty and diaper changes. She’s racing around, picking out clothes to wear (which she won’t let us put on), playing with toys, wanting constant attention. I’m trying to make breakfast, feed myself and baby, make tea, take my vitamins, pack up the bottles, pack both our bags (including clothes and diapers for baby), get myself dressed (with earrings and watch) and do my hair (i.e., wet and smooth), brush baby’s teeth, wash her face (that one doesn’t happen often), and sometimes hang clothes from the washer or put away dishes.

Then there’s the final stretch: gathering extra things baby needs (boots, hat, toy), boot & hatting myself, dragging all the bags out to the car, dressing baby (which my husband usually does if he’s around – plus bringing the bags out – plus parts of baby feeding, playing and entertaining when work schedules permit), getting out the door (a separate act all on its own), and getting into the car (again – sometimes quite the process as baby now wants to walk, play, run, turn back to the house, go up and down the stairs, etc. etc.).

Today: Baby up at a bit past 5. Focus on nursing and diaper change. Then dress baby. Had a BLISSFUL 5 minute break with a hot bath as hubby had to take one first b/c of work stiffness/soreness. After that I was on my own. Baby and I sat and ate together while playing with cards. Success: she ate quite a bit. I was relaxed. And then, once she was done eating, (not before, as usual),  I moved one by one through the different things to do in the morning. She helped hang the diapers AND load up the washer for another load. We worked together. We had another eating break (yum, those apple breakfast bars we made last night are great AND she likes them! We substituted hemp for nuts) and continued working/playing. I let myself enjoy the moments, such as when she was taken aback by the wind outside and we stopped and watched birds and trees for a while.

Verdict: unitasking to the extent possible is a success! I got just as much done, probably more quickly and effectively (i.e., baby ate more), in a more relaxed fashion, and was happier and more connected with my daughter. I will do this more.

On another note, inspired by this post by HopefulLeigh, I took a quick, free, maybe-accurate online personality test. And, encouraged by her description of taking the test and answering as honestly and “true most of the time”ly as possible, I did the same. Bearing in mind that this is just a snapshop, it looks like I maybe a Supervisor (ESTJ – extroverted sensing thinking judging). This is one of the four types of Guardian personalities, which like to “use all their skills to keep things running smoothly” (yes, yes, yes). I don’t think I’m as much of a traditionalist as the description suggests – I frequently improvise, like it when I have to deal with chaos, and can be pretty casual and, I hope, warm in my interactions. I also would say that I’m not so big on tradition, but I AM big on following MY traditions: I love to set up habits and rituals for myself, family and friends and want to follow them. I can also be a bit impulsive, jumping to conclusions or into action (according to the link, this actually fits with the type). This might also just be a quick brain and/or a subconscious that has been mulling over a question for a while and spontaneously spits out an answer.

A lot of the other descriptions read true: socially responsible, like to take charge of groups, “good at making schedules, agendas, inventories, and so on” (LAUGH! This is so me), and being a model student.

Overall, a very useful exercise for me. I find it strange to realize that I haven’t done this in a long time, and that I can glean so much insight into myself by finding something else to describe me.

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