Monday, March 29, 2010

Priorities, Priorities!

True story time: last week, I was sitting at the kitchen table working with my son on his math lesson. One of my daughters called urgently; she was in the powder room, and someone had not replaced the last roll of tissue! I hurried off toward my own bathroom where we store the extras. On my way there, I passed through my bedroom, saw my computer sitting on my desk and was reminded of an email that I needed to send. And just like that, I very nearly veered off to do that, momentarily forgetting both my current mission and my son’s math lesson!

I know I’m not alone. Other women have shared with me their stories. I know I’m not the only one who begins one task and is distracted by another, and then another. . .who among us has not left one room with an arm full of items to return to their rightful places and then finds something else that needs doing in the destination room?

It’s all a mater of priorities, isn’t it? This has been on my mind a great deal lately. Like most women, I juggle many roles in life. I’m a wife and a mommy. I handle our household finances. I do the grocery shopping and the meal planning. I’m in charge of homeschooling, planning and implementing lessons. I handle some of the housework, although I’m blessed to have children who give more than their fair share in that category. I’m also a writer, and the need to get words onto paper can sometimes be overwhelming—not even mentioning my writing commitments. In some seasons of life, I am involved in ministry, although right now is not one of those seasons. Do you also wear so many hats that you sometimes forget which one is on your head at any given time?

How do we choose what is best? That’s a hard question because the answer can shift from moment to moment. On Monday mornings, for example, my top priority usually needs to be school lessons, since that is our most intense day. It’s hard to walk past baskets of clothes that have to be folded and carpets that should be vacuumed on the way to the schoolroom, but I know it must be done. Those things are still important, but they don’t have top billing on Mondays.

I’m working right now on remembering that sometimes play takes priority. Not when all the work is done; if I waited for that, I’d never do it. No, sometimes the most important thing in the world is playing cards with my son, or swimming with the girls, or just hanging out watching a movie with the whole family.

I once had a small calendar that asked a question next to each to-do item: “Is this moving me closer to my goals?” There are plenty of people who would look at some of my choices and shake their collective heads. Homeschooling my kids doesn’t get me farther ahead on the career track. Playing doesn’t make my house sparkle. Writing columns doesn’t (always) pay the bills. But the truth is that each of these things are important—and yes, they are moving me close to my goal of raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children and getting through it with my sanity intact.

So yes, prioritize your life—make sure you get the important stuff done. Just don’t forget to ask yourself what that important stuff really is.


Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to almost 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel. She is also a staff writer here at Taking Time for Mommy

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Three In My Nest on Tue Mar 30, 01:40:00 PM 2010 said...

Great article! I SO needed to read this today!!

Debbie's L'Bri on Wed Mar 31, 01:48:00 PM 2010 said...

Great article... Do you put these articles in your newsletter?

I homeschool, trying to run a business, and doing side job of cleaning and raising a family.

If you have ideas on how to make my blog look better let me know. Have a great day. (I played cards with my 7 year old last night while everyone else was away.


Deanna on Tue Apr 06, 10:41:00 AM 2010 said...

I am a list junkie!

I prioritize on paper and try to stick to it!!It helps to make sure I don't forget anything too!

Thanks for stopping by :o)

NYCSingleMom on Fri Apr 09, 10:20:00 AM 2010 said...

OMG!!! Love the title, why is that moms have so many priorities AND you homeschool, I dont know how you do it.
I dont have that kind of patience and I have one child.

Anonymous said...

I agree! Sometimes you need to take some time for play, put off one important job for another and close your eyes as you walk past another task that can wait!. :)
Have a great weekend!


Priorities, Priorities!

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