On prioritizing

As I was just lying in my toasty bed with the warm, soft skin of my 11-month-old son in the crook of my arm (I’m still breastfeeding, and I had just finished nursing him), I considered my options.

Option 1: I could stay under my comfy covers, next to my most precious, ever-growing and ever-changing baby boy for 35 more minutes until my alarm sounds.

OR

Option 2:  I could run downstairs and write a quick post before begins the whirlwind of getting my seven-year-old stepson ready for the school bus and then beginning my work day. (Thankfully, I don’t have to go into the office every day that I work. I work from home from 7AM to 4PM two days a week and a sitter comes to my house.)

I decided to let fate guide me by kissing my snoring son gently on the forehead. If he woke, I’d stay in bed until he fell back asleep; if he didn’t stir, then I’d go with Option 2. When he remained perfectly still, I reconsidered Option 1 for a few seconds before slipping on my glasses in the dark. As I was sneaking out of the bed, it made me think about how often I’m faced with these kinds of decisions. How are we, moms, supposed to determine whether this or that is a better use of our time, especially when time to even ponder such thoughts is so precious these days?!

In the minutes I have left to contemplate this question, I’m going to take a crack at formulating some sort of educated guess…

Well, for myself, and I imagine that for most people, there are some uses of time that are givens; the “oh-I-do-that-because-I-have-to”s. For me, that category of activities includes working 40 hours a week (if given the choice, yes, I would definitely work, but maybe not quite so much), preparing meals (hail Trader Joe’s for carrying a whole selection of ready-made meals that everyone in my house will eat!), and doing laundry (yes, I would gladly skip this one altogether, thank you), just to name a few. I think the question I want to focus on here is about the rest of the time in my schedule, in our schedules as mothers, wives, employees, etc. How are we to know the best ways to spend our days, hours, minutes?

I think it’s fair to assume that the answer is different for everyone. Perhaps, however, the way we each arrive at our unique answers could be the same? I bet all it really takes is carving out time to reflect on a few variables and put together an action plan.

But, what are those variables? Let’s see….

  1. Values
  2. Goals that align with these values
  3. Activities that bring us closer to achieving these goals
  4. Amount of free time necessary to devote to each of these activities
  5. Activities that we currently do in our free time that don’t align with our values or goals
  6. When free time exists in our schedules (maybe more than we thought if we subtract #5?)

Well, that’s seems easy enough—nothing too groundbreaking here. Let me know if I forgot anything—I’m good at leaving glaring holes in my logic when writing in a hurry. Maybe my next post can be exploring how all these variables fit together? Until then, happy mothering!

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Posted on April 7, 2011, in The Balancing Act and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I love that you’ve started your own blog! 🙂 I look forward to reading and preparing myself for my own “mommy adventure” whenever that may be!

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