Monday, September 10, 2007

I Think I Shocked the Children

My daughter found her dirty clothes from this morning, washed and waiting for her to put them away. Her response,

"I just returned these to laundry and now I got them back!"

"Mom, I put these in the laundry this morning and now they're clean!"

Complete surprise in her voice and lots of giggling, too.

On a farm, the laundry often takes a back seat to more pressing matters, such as, the goat is in the chicken tractor or the dogs have no water. I have been trying a new schedule of work at the house this past week where I actually spend a full uninterrupted hour every day doing housework, regardless of what the four-leggeds are up to. You would think that would be pretty easy and I had been doing it all along, but again the goat in the chicken tractor thing...

I have done a load or two of laundry every day since last Tuesday and when the kids come home from school, it is sorted into piles on my bed for them to put away. I am almost caught up on the laundry as of today. There are still some major dirty items, like bathroom rugs that require "special" handling, but I can get to them tomorrow.

My children now have responsibility and privilege lists on the refrigerator they can reference when their homework is complete or non-existent. This is supposed to save me from trying to remember what they have to do and then arguing about whether it needs to be done or not. One of their responsibilities is to put away their clean clothes. My daughter actually finished her homework with only 10 minutes of complaining today and went to her responsibility list and saw she had to get her clothes put away. She didn't have to be reminded because I was in the middle of a reminder session with her brother.

The comment was completely unexpected and I did not at first even know what she was talking about. It seems that my system is working well. I am on a mission to spend less time doing things I don't care about and more time doing things I love, using tips from Zen Habits.

One very helpful thing I learned was to make changes in your habits slowly. Try 1 new thing a week and don't try to do something new until you have that one new habit down. That advice really helps when you are trying to keep things simple on the farm. And it helps get the laundry done, too.
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