Suburban Snapshots

Lazy Moms are
Rarely Overscheduled

Monday, March 19, 2012

Last week or so a friend of mine posted a link to this article about prioritizing time. The gist is that we're not actually all that busy, we just don't prioritize the things we don't feel like doing — I haven't been too busy to blog in over a week, I've just been obsessively pinning birthday party ideas and prioritizing work above writing anything of substance. It happens.

Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about how I spend my own time and how I use it (or waste it) over the course of my week. Admittedly, lots of it isn't a conscious prioritization as it is a bad habit or sheer laziness, like when I'm due for a workout but feel an undeniable urge to alphabetize the liquor cabinet.

Laundry is low on my list. I'm usually in an all-out underwear crisis before I trudge to the basement to get it done, right after I send Anna off to school dressed in a pillowcase. But each morning before I do almost anything else, I make Anna's bed, make ours, and straighten the kitchen. I walk around the house putting away what's been left out of place (why isn't there a Roomba that can do this?). I can't settle into work until my immediate environment is mostly in order.

That said, I haven't dusted in a month or so — whenever it was I ran out of those Pledge wipes, which I now feel too much enviro-guilt to buy again.

We have a neighbor who leaf-blows his driveway every single morning. His yard is immaculate. Last week he came to us about having some of the branches cut from our trees that overhang his property. This is clearly one of his priorities. We keep our lawn mowed and rake the leaves once this neighbor's unrelenting hints start making us uncomfortable — or when we find him actually raking for us, which is awkward. As far as I'm concerned, as long as there's nothing on blocks or on fire on our lawn, we're maintaining good neighbor status.

I often forget to bathe Anna — or forget when her last bath was — until I notice that her hair looks dull. But I make sure that she gets squeezed and hugged and pinched every day, and told she's beautiful, and scolded when she's fresh, and fed after school, and listened to when someone's hurt her feelings. I could stand to prioritize playing dollhouse more often above checking Facebook, and I know Steve would prefer I prioritize sex above sleeping (or cleaning, being gainfully employed, etc.), but overall I think I strike a pretty good balance. I don't frequently feel over-taxed and am usually able to give people the time they need from me.

Do your priorities fall into place, or do you find you've got to plan and work at it? What do you let slide?

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