Friday, February 09, 2007


prioritize verb
assign a priority to; "we have too many things to do and must prioritize"

WordNet® 2.1, © 2005 Princeton University

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Ain't that the truth! I've been thinking a lot about priorities of late. And given that I have very little time to think (see above), here's what I've come up with thus far. As with all things motherhood, it is just well funny frankly if you look at it the right way.
Yesterday, like millions of mamas across mamaland, I looked at my day and had to prioritize. What would get done (or at least attempted) and what would no doubt wait for its place on yet another list, wait for yet another day?

I thought about parenting prioritization's spectrum. On one end, is a messy house, dirty clothes in piles, doggie poop piling up in the back yard (ours is getting together soon to conspire to kick the grass out altogether - beware the potential dog poop revolution)...

Sorry but this is taking me down a side path. I saw an ad for a company the other day that provides poop scooping services and just had to laugh. People showing up oh so officially to scoop up our beloved pets daily dumps and get paid to do so... Who wants to explain that that's their job? Do you think they tell prospective dates, "I'm a dog poop scooper" or go for something a bit more suave such as "I've an environmental engineer!" Hmmm. Regardless here are a few of the company names -- all quite clever -- I've seen for these services: poop butler, wholly crap, doody calls, we scoop it, and critter concierge (this last service will even brave your kitty's box)! Speaking from experience, that is BRAVE. And while I giggle, I kinda wish we had a line item for these folks in our family budget. Ahhhh... one less thing to prioritize.

Which brings me back to yesterday and prioritization. While some folks put their young ones on the top of the list, spending hour upon hour of quality time together while piling dishes up on the counters to an unsafe level and continuously having to kiss booboos that come from tripping over toys on the carpet (trust me we fall on this end of the spectrum), others go in the other direction.

I have a relative who is a Grandma (but functions as a mama to her grandson) and well illustrates the other side of this coin. Everything in that house is in place and pristine. She prioritizes order, cleaning over chaos and getting things that need to get done, well - done. I'm always a bit jealous to enter such homes, all the while wondering how they do it. These are the folks, who can set up the rules and consistently enforce them (at least in my vision of the world), who can set up a schedule and stick to it.

I, on the other hand, like most mamas... well... struggle. Mamahood lesson #1 should probably be (or maybe 3 or 4 after "forget about a good night's sleep" and "you'll never eat a meal without giving half away to your kids"): prioritize and then let it go. Go with the flow mamas or you'll have to wear a helmet to keep from bashing a hole (or several) in your walls with your head.

Yesterday I survived and that's saying something. Facing a long list of things I needed to do (and some I just really wanted to do), I chose to prioritize all-things kids (carpooling and playdates over bill paying and house decorating). Then the universe worked its magic...

I smiled through the carpool snafu, bounced back from the sibling tiff in the car on the way to school, moved past the play date that just didn't happen and well... shuffled those priorities. I engaged in playdough pie making and blueberry muffin baking, managed to sneak in 20 minutes of exercise while allowing the girl to watch Sesame Street, managed to pay bills while also playing shop owner and selling goodies to my princess-y customer before helping her build a house in which to keep said goodies.

I also just read an excellent post about the wonders of Erma Bombeck and the ability to laugh at mamahood. Erma did it so well. If you haven't read her, you should (sorry... shouldn't should so let's say could)! Either way, I've rambled on and now I've got to go... prioritizing helping the princess go potty, a few hours at the office and just getting through the day.


  1. Ahhh, isn't it lovely when a day comes together? A give and take day and all is well. With a family, I consider it the best it can get. We get something accomplished that we WANT to, we give the kids what they WANT (our time) and at the end of the day, no guilt. Sounds like it was good one!

    PS- Very funny thoughts on pet services.

  2. Kristin2/09/2007

    I can truly relate especially to those whose houses are truly in order (like my retired MIL). I wonder if it would be in order if I were retired? HMMMM... But we move on through the day and in the end when the child says "I love you Momma." you know your priorities are in the right order.
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Hi folks!

    There are more of us scoopers out there than people realize. We just had our annual convention in Vegas last month.

    I've been dooing the dirty work for 5 years now, it's a great gig, working outside all day with dogs. And it does pay well. $50 to $70 an hour, I kid ya not.

    Jeff Morgan
    The Grand Poobah, Denver, CO
    877 POOP-GUY

  4. I could sure use an "environmental engineer" myself - my beasts are pooping machines!

    As for your poll, I truly think that, on most days, I tend to prioritize hubby first, though I may not always talk like I do. I have a sneaking suspicion I need to read less over at "that forum" (you know which one I mean, I'm sure) - they're starting to have an effect on me, LOL!

  5. Anonymous2/12/2007

    PRIOR: things that took place in the past.
    ITIZE: rhymes with exercize. Exorcise

    PRIORITIZE: get rid of things in the past through a religious ritual.

    1.Tie your priority list to a bunch of helium balloon, and give it a good send off with a few meaningful, heartfelt words, ending in "So Long, suckers!"

    2. Burn it. Burn everything. Want a new house? Or just a clean one? Burn it. This is an ancient, time honored ritual which can, if you play your cards right, reap lots of money.

    3. Pretend a mental illness, and call it mental health. You are "afraid" of dirt, cleaning, organizing, etc...

    4. Hire a personal organizer. I have a good one for you: her name is Tamara and she'll be here in about an hour. That was the serious one, folks!