Women are masters at the art of juggling — managing two or more tasks, responsibilities, or activities simultaneously — yet, many of us take it for granted. Today we call it multitasking. It can be as simple as talking on your cellphone while making dinner, or as complex as, well, the sky’s the limit.
Whether through nature or nurture, women seem to be much better at multitasking than men. Not all men, of course, but most. It may just be a function of necessity that drives women to do several things at once, or it may be an inherent quality passed on to us by our mothers and our mothers’ mothers.
Think about the women you know and how they live their day-to-day lives. Whether working women or stay-at-home moms, single or partnered, a woman’s mind is never seemingly at rest.
One woman I know, who’s of prime retirement age, holds down two full-time jobs, is constantly travelling and entertaining, and is very involved in her adult children’s lives and that of her grandchildren. Down time to her means listening to her voice mail, answering her e-mails, and planning her schedule for the following month — all at the same time. The only time she really chills out is when she’s watching a movie with her husband.
Another woman I know, in her mid-thirties, just had her third child. With her newborn at her breast, she can almost always be found busy with one or the other of her older kids, cooking, cleaning, or organizing her bustling household. Down time to her means finding an hour to write thank you cards while making pack-up lunches for her children.
Finally, for this last example, take the same lifestyle as the woman above, including the newborn third child, and add to it a successful home-based business, and you can really see what I mean when I say that women are great multitaskers and life jugglers.
And we should be proud of ourselves.
Yes, we have to be able to shuffle. But so do men. Yet, it’s not their forte. Men are better at compartmentalizing, by which I mean, when a man is at work, that’s where his head is at. Not figuring out the evening’s meal, or just how he’s going to put up that shelf in the bathroom. He’s focused on the task at hand.
That can sometimes be frustrating for his female partner. But women have to learn to accept the reality, and be less surprised at men’s single focus. Know that if you ask your husband to fix the television, while he’s tackling that task, he won’t answer the phone, change the baby, or start dinner.
And that’s OK — you need him to focus on what he’s doing and get it done — because obviously if you could have fixed it, you would have.