Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Importance of Priorities

I've entered a new phase in my life: stay at home mom to school-aged kids. 

I was going to go on, but let's just pause for a moment to say,


OK, back to the post:
One would think (I would think) that this would mean I now have virtually unlimited time to do with what I will.  Unfortunately, this is not so.  I have been amazed and dismayed to learn that while I do have 7 hours a day sans kids, I still do not have enough time to do everything I would like to do.

But here's the thing.  It is so tempting to say yes to everything, just because I can.  After 13 years of having my schedule dictated, at least to some extent, by the whims and moods of young children, to have such an extravagant amount of time to spend according to my whims and moods is almost overwhelming.  And it would be so easy to over commit.  Ask me how I know.

Moms group that meets half an hour away? Yes! Volunteer at the food shelf/the clothing ministry/the church office/the homeless shelter/my kids' school (all in the same week)? Sign me up! Breakfast/lunch/coffee with a friend? Absolutely!

In these first few weeks of adjusting to my new normal, I have realized that I need to set priorities--decide what is important to me--and filter all of these opportunities through the lens of my priorities.  It's never easy to say no, but setting priorities makes it easier to decide what I can say yes to and what I can decline. 

Not so different from what all of us should be doing, whether we work full time, part time, or not at all, right?  But in the touch and go world of a stay at home mom to small children, number one priority is keeping our heads above water, and everything else, including setting goals and establishing priorities, goes out the window.

Later this week I will share my priorities in this space.  In the meantime, do you have a formal list of priorities to help you decide how to spend your time?  Or are your priorities less well defined?  Feel free to share your thoughts :)

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