Behind the Scenes: The Hidden Cost of Women’s Multitasking

Image credit: AI-Generated

It was a relief not to see the usual posters and pictures of mothers with several hands doing umpteen things on the one day people notice their invisible mothers. The rest of the days, most of the stuff gets done by magic! Floors get cleaned, beds made, laundry done and folded, food made on time or packed, empty bottles and tins refilled and the list goes on. There’s magic in the air and it all gets done. Nobody sees any sweat, blood, time, energy, fatigue and effort of any kind in any of the chores that get done. But if it is not done, then there is only one person responsible for it. The invisible becomes visible. The rest of the family shirks from adulting because it is only for one person at home.

The benevolent sexism of praising us for multi-tasking, doing n number of things, being sacrificial, and working non-stop, is the world’s way of fooling women into doing all the unpaid care work while the rest can take rest. The reason is that they are economically productive and, therefore, have the right to rest.

It has been so ingrained in our brains that to rest is to be useless, therefore we need to keep working every waking minute. And to be useful, we need to do as much as possible. We train ourselves to do many things at a time. It is just like driving. We learn to do things automatically once we learn them, without giving it much thought.

Do we women really multitask? Next time, you catch yourself multi-tasking, observe yourself. Are you attending a call, cooking, and taking care of our child all at once? It may look like it but observe again. You are able to do only one thing at a time. You may miss a word or two in your tele conversation while checking the pot on the stove, you may overcook something when checking your child’s homework. It is only one task at a time that you are doing but they are done at such speed that we think of it as multi-tasking at the same time.

Don’t get fooled. Like the rest of the world, it is alright to concentrate on one task at a time and do that well. It is alright to take it slow and be gentle to oneself. Multitasking can burn us out, so take your time. Doing a lot of things at the same time can overwhelm and stress us. Treating ourselves kindly is important. Next time we feel overwhelmed, slow down, and do one thing at a time. Be kind, be gentle to yourself.

–Sajitha Rasheed is a relationship workshop facilitator and the Founder and Chief Mentor of Mind Mojo.

Behind the Scenes: The Hidden Cost of Women’s Multitasking

Image credit: AI-Generated

It was a relief not to see the usual posters and pictures of mothers with several hands doing umpteen things on the one day people notice their invisible mothers. The rest of the days, most of the stuff gets done by magic! Floors get cleaned, beds made, laundry done and folded, food made on time or packed, empty bottles and tins refilled and the list goes on. There’s magic in the air and it all gets done. Nobody sees any sweat, blood, time, energy, fatigue and effort of any kind in any of the chores that get done. But if it is not done, then there is only one person responsible for it. The invisible becomes visible. The rest of the family shirks from adulting because it is only for one person at home.

The benevolent sexism of praising us for multi-tasking, doing n number of things, being sacrificial, and working non-stop, is the world’s way of fooling women into doing all the unpaid care work while the rest can take rest. The reason is that they are economically productive and, therefore, have the right to rest.

It has been so ingrained in our brains that to rest is to be useless, therefore we need to keep working every waking minute. And to be useful, we need to do as much as possible. We train ourselves to do many things at a time. It is just like driving. We learn to do things automatically once we learn them, without giving it much thought.

Do we women really multitask? Next time, you catch yourself multi-tasking, observe yourself. Are you attending a call, cooking, and taking care of our child all at once? It may look like it but observe again. You are able to do only one thing at a time. You may miss a word or two in your tele conversation while checking the pot on the stove, you may overcook something when checking your child’s homework. It is only one task at a time that you are doing but they are done at such speed that we think of it as multi-tasking at the same time.

Don’t get fooled. Like the rest of the world, it is alright to concentrate on one task at a time and do that well. It is alright to take it slow and be gentle to oneself. Multitasking can burn us out, so take your time. Doing a lot of things at the same time can overwhelm and stress us. Treating ourselves kindly is important. Next time we feel overwhelmed, slow down, and do one thing at a time. Be kind, be gentle to yourself.

–Sajitha Rasheed is a relationship workshop facilitator and the Founder and Chief Mentor of Mind Mojo.