Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm going to become The Little Red Hen

This is one of those "good reads" that carry two messages in one. For me anyway...
When I read the title, I immediately thought of the Little Red Hen of "I'll Do It Myself" fame.
Which is what my children really do need right now.
I'm delegating (which I firmly believe is a good thing and which I won't be stopping), but in my pursuit to get 38 hours of living squeezed into 24 hours, with a clean house on the side, I'm pushing too much, too hard, too fast, and it's not (my goal of) working together happily and learning to do the job well and enjoy a job well done. It's more of a scolding Mama asking again "Haven't you done that yet?"
I need to not assign to a day more work than I can get done. And then still delegate it, but this way, I can work with my child, perfect the technique with them, chat over the heart-things that are easier to say when your hands and eyes are otherwise employed, and quit nagging. And if it doesn't get done to my satisfaction, I can "do it myself", a la Little Red Hen. Either because I want to, or because they won't.
And this opens up a training ground for training the way that now better fits my goals, priorities, visions and ideals: if a child won't do a job assigned, then it still gets done (by me or another child, because we now have time), and the refuser gets a related consequence. This instead of a battle of the wills wherein I say "you will" and they say "I won't" and we both get upset.
I'm realizing, as I refocus on my priorities and goals that (A) a lot of them have changed, and (B) I'm packing too much into each day, so that instead of enjoying our time together, we are scrambling, trying desperately to somehow get near the bottom of the to-do list.
Both of these things call for a Time Out For a Rework.
I'm taking the next month (or so) to rework my priority and goal lists, for myself and for my family. A lot of the grind that we're feeling lately is from running on a routine that was created to reach goals and ideals that aren't where we're going anymore, to become someone I don't want to be anymore.
Another thing that I need to prioritize are all the "Good Ideas" that I want to carry out: I have a LOT of things I want to do, things I want our family to do, things I want to learn, things I want to teach the children, changes I want to make... and I'm trying to check them all off this week.
Not happening.
For a while, that was very discouraging to me. I felt like if I can't do it this week, then I can't do it at all. I didn't want to let go of all that!
Then I read this:
and this:
(yes, I know, I'm being awfully "link-y" today. It's good stuff!)
and I'm beginning to realize that I don't have to do it all this week, or this month, or even this year! I've got my life to do this with.
Now, yes, I know, we aren't promised tomorrow, and we don't know what might be around the corner in our lives.
I'm not procrastinating and counting on tomorrow to "get around to it", and I'm not banking on being able to do all that I want to do. But if I'm going to pursue any of it, I need to slow down and pick what I'm going to pursue first, because grabbing for it all isn't working and all I'm accomplishing is making our days frantic, and giving my children a no-fun Mama that is too driven by all she's trying to accomplish to have FUN with them.
Which is one of my goals.
So the pursuit of too many goals is killing the accomplishment of any goal.
Enter the second (to me), more-visible-on-the-surface and actually more intended message of the post I linked to at the beginning.
My children are getting the crumbs.
No more.
Now, I've been quite long-winded, so I'll pipe down now and head outside to push a baby on the swing before our lunch-time picnic under the oaks, then head down to the barn to look again at our adorable new baby chicks and ducklings.


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