If you’ve got kids, chances are, you’ve got a lot of work to do. The chances are also pretty good that they have a talent for interrupting whatever you’re doing, because whatever they want (excuse me, need) in their moment of distress, it’s got to happen for them now.
In my case, at least, they’re pretty good at manipulating, too. Take my oldest son. Once, when I was busy doing something-or-other, he said, “But Mom, I’m more important!” Yeah, it takes an oldest child (me) to know one. He did have a point, though.
It’s the classic mama conundrum. Working moms probably suffer from it most acutely, but even those who spend most of their time focusing on home and family have to make these kind of can’t-win choices.
In some cases, the choice is obvious. Like my son said, people are most important. If your baby is screaming, it might be a good idea to abandon your work for a few minutes to find out why. But here’s the other difficulty: even if other things matter more, the less important work-type tasks still have to get done (and I’m not saying all household tasks have to be done by me, but they do somehow need to happen). Kids need clothes to wear and food to eat. Some mamas have to finish that report or punch in for the day in order to get paid. And they might have to extract a screaming child from their leg in order to get it done.
I don’t claim to have the answers. Sometimes distraction works, sometimes not. Sometimes bribery pays off. But I don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, so I’m going to throw the question out there.
How do you deal with interruptions so that you can get your work done?