Despite being a mom for ten years, I still can’t kick my obsession with efficiency. I do things as quickly as I can, arranging things and schedules to get the most done with the least effort.

Kids don’t get that. They see the pile of shoes waiting for feet by the garage door and think, “I bet these will look really cool bouncing down the stairs!”

Then I come racing along, ready to drop kids into shoes and throw them into the van, and find all the shoes in a pile at the bottom of the stairs. And I grumble and complain the whole way down the stairs because their completely-appropriate childish experiments with gravity added a whole 2 minutes to my exit time.

Spouses don’t get it either. I use the same glass for water all day long, so I don’t have to wash a new glass for every new drink of water I take. I attempt to force the kids to use the same cup all day as well, though that means I spend my entire life hunting for the 2-year-old’s cup. But my spouse is a declutterer (which is a good thing). He sees cups laying around, swipes them, and plops them in the dishwasher. (Also a good thing.) But sometimes I get really peeved by that.

I have actually caught myself stomping down the hall after something like this and thinking “These people really screw up my systems. My life would be so much simpler without them.”

U. G. L. Y. I ain’t got an alibi. I’m ugly.

There’s nothing wrong with being efficient, being on time, not wasting time or energy or dish soap. But being willing to sacrifice relationships with my family for the sake of efficiency and my systems, is flat-out wrong. It’s selfishness, self-worship, self-centeredness.

My prayer these days is “God help me get my priorities right and keep them there!” I seem to err too far towards laziness/irresponsibility or too far towards inflexibility/task focus. I’d love any suggestions you have for finding the balance in the middle.