Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Choose. — Opportunity Costs of Being a Mom

on November 15, 2013

Have you ever heard of the economic term, opportunity cost?

I think it sounds like it might be a much harder concept than it actually is. Something from that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad college economics class.

Opportunity Cost.

Simply put, it is …  the next best thing.

It is the thing we didn’t choose.

Opportunity costs become clear when we have narrowed our choices down to two things and we can pick only one of them.

The opportunity cost is the thing that is still on the table.

It is the value of the thing that we didn’t choose.

It is the thing that came in second place behind our first choice.

As Tired Working Mommas,  (and as Tired Working Daddys), we make a lot of choices during each day.

And each of those choices has an opportunity cost.

We choose where to go. We choose what to do. We choose what to eat and who to call.

We choose how we spend our time and our energy.

And the things that don’t make the list, the next best things, are the price we pay, what we give up, for what we do.

Today, I chose a grey skirt over my favorite blue jeans.

Then I chose to go support a friend at a doctor’s appointment for an hour today instead of having a lunch hour … and ate a salad at my desk while I answered emails.

This evening, I took the kiddos to work at the Food Pantry instead of enjoying a casual Friday evening on the couch.

And now, I’m cuddling with a cute five year old, watching “A Bee Movie” instead of…

…actually, this is perfect. I don’t have a ‘next best thing’ for this.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: We all know that grown up decisions are hard. Our time is limited. Our energy is limited. Our resources are limited. So, how do you decide? Where will you spend your time and energy? Start being intentional about your choices and your ‘next best things’. Is the reward of this thing, better than the cost of not doing or having that thing?


5 responses to “Choose. — Opportunity Costs of Being a Mom

  1. geanieroake says:

    How do we decide when their are so many good choices and positive ways we can spend our time. We have to listen to our heart. Sitting with the kiddo and watching a movie can be infinitely more important than something more “productive”.

  2. Do what matters more.

    The following paragraph was based on post by the Leadership Freak. I have edited the post on leadership and substituted a few key words to make it applicable to parenting. I thought the parallel was compelling.

    People-pleasing isn’t parenting. Never sacrifice values, ethics, passion, or your talent. Don’t lose yourself to please others. But, parents matter when they do what matters and, ultimately, our family determines what matters.

  3. I read a post yesterday that spike along the same lines. The post like yours made it very simple to chose. When faced with these decisions chose the one that you can’t get back. Such as that time with your kiddo on the couch. Recently my 2 yr old has been sick and I was feeling guilty about having to take off a few days work to stay home with her. After reading these two posts, that was the right decision and I love being able to spend that time with her helping her feel better. I know that even today I can remember that feeling when I was a little girl and didn’t feel well, my mom had that special healing touch. Thanks for the great posts mommyVerbs!

  4. Robbie says:

    Very interesting question. I do what NEEDS to be done as far as meeting basic needs & then I do what matters and what is important and fun.

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Great way to prioritize your list! Thanks for sharing! There are so many things to is hard to keep up sometimes and still leave in the room for some fun! And sometimes, there NEEDS to be fun, too! 🙂

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