I am getting stupider. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t all that smart to begin with, but over the last few years I have actually felt myself dumbing down tremendously. I can pinpoint the exact moment it started happening, too: My first day as the stay-at-home dad.
Back when I was an engineer and had an office job, I was actually pretty good at getting things done. I would knock out tasks left and right and check off the to-do list every day. Now that I’m in charge of the house, I can’t find my socks. Seriously, I have like two pairs left and they don’t match.
I have always blamed multitasking on my recent inability to do anything well. I’ve told my wife for years that my brain does not have the ability to do two things at once. I can do one thing adequately or two things very poorly. Those are my choices.
Well, now it turns out that my inability to multitask has been validated. Hooray! Dr. Labcoat and his research team at the University of Stanford-or-Somewhere recently published a groundbreaking study that proves, among many other things, that funding is somehow still available for college brain studies. Also that no one’s brain has the ability to do two things at once. The study found that people who thought they were good at multitasking actually multitasked worse than people who normally tend to focus on one task at a time.
They also found that multitasking during cognitive tests actually reduced performance on those tests as much as smoking marijuana. I think that part of the study was done in Colorado. When the Stanford researchers contacted them for follow-up data, the Colorado team replied, “Huh?”
Add all that to the fact that they believe more studies will prove that multitasking actually causes brain damage, and... hang on, I have to go change the laundry.
This news is huge! I finally have some concrete scientific proof to point to when my wife questions my inability to function. It’s not me, honey, it’s the kids. There’s three of them and they all want stuff at the same time. They’re to blame, not me. It’s science.
As an example of what I’m talking about, here’s a typical conversation between me and my wife when she gets home from a long day at work:
Her: “What’s for dinner?”
Me: “Sorry, Son Number Three’s shoelace broke this afternoon, so I haven’t gotten around to planning dinner yet.”
Her: “Uh... it’s 6:45.”
Me: “Have you seen my socks?”
See what I mean?
Mother’s Day is this weekend, and as we celebrate all those stay-at-home moms, all those working moms, and all those single moms who do everything all at once, let’s remember this multitasking study. The fact that they can get anything done at all is a sheer miracle. The amount that they do accomplish for their families is a testament to how awesome they really are.
They could probably find a cure for cancer if we just left them alone for a few hours.
So to all you moms out there - Happy Mother’s Day! Take the day off and go smoke some dope or drink a couple bottles of wine. It will actually be better for your brain than dealing with the kids. You can find a cure for cancer some other day.
You know, come to think of it, those two pairs of socks I still have might match if I just swapped their partners...
See, this is what I’m talking about. What’s for dinner?
See you soon,
Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen
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