Women are renowned for being good at multitasking, and nothing hones this skill better than the pressures and demands of motherhood. .
This is no surprise when you consider the endless to do list that looking after young children entails. Little opportunity exists to complete anything in a leisurely or focused manner, making ‘layering’ the only realistic solution.
Luckily, our brains are wired so that the transition to ‘Chief Multitasker’ is a relatively natural - albeit undeniably stressful - process. But what is it that makes us so adept at doing it all? Both evolution, hormones and social factors are likely creditors, with research having proven that women are less affected than men by distractions when carrying out certain tasks. Just as well, when that infamous ‘witching hour’ of tantrums and melt downs is THE time when the many and competing demands of the day need integrating.
Our mum-of-all-trades capabilities are thought to be, in part, due to the (super) power of oestrogen, which some researchers believe enhances cognitive control to such an extent that cooking dinner, whilst doing an online grocery shop, opening the mail, responding to an email AND talking patiently to an inquisitive toddler is all par for the course in a day in Mum Land!
The Dad brain, conversely, has been shown to mobilise more resources in attention-switching environments. However, this is not necessarily a bad trait. The ability to filter out distractions does, after all, lend its own unique advantages in everyday life, so says the hunter-gatherer hypothesis. .
➡️Top multi-tasking tip: ‘Know your limits - multi tasking is very much needed when you become a Mum but you have to remember you’re not superwoman and can’t do it all, and that’s fine. Drop the Mum guilt and do what you can, there’s always tomorrow’ @mumofwildings