New Dad Tip #5. Never work on more than two tasks at once:

Take a moment to think of the times when you were happiest, and most relaxed after accomplishing your goals. Perhaps you met all of your deadlines at work, and the house is completely clean, and you just finished washing your car. You are free because you now have absolutely nothing that you “need” to do. But as a new dad, there is almost always something you “need” to do. While you are washing the dishes, you stop to help your wife find a burp cloth. If you’re cleaning bottles, you might stop to hear if the baby is crying. As a new dad, three simple tasks might take as long as it once took to complete five or six chores. We may feel like the baby is “taking over” and that we can’t get “anything done.” But we need to accept that the baby is an ongoing task magnet. And we’re setting ourselves up for failure by trying to accomplish too much at once.

It’s better to work on only one or two things, and feel relieved when you’re done. Then work on one or two more. Taking on multiple tasks will stress you out. Your mind will begin to associate any task with stress and frustration, and your body language will reflect negatively the next time your partner asks you to help with even simple chores around the house. Next time you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, politely say that you want to be attentive and that you are happy to help out with everything you can, but you work best if you can only do a few tasks at a time.


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