Monday, May 7, 2012

What Does Flexibility Look Like?

In the discussion about routines vs. schedules, most work-at-home and stay-at-home moms agree that flexibility is key. No matter what sort of plan you set for your day, make sure it is flexible since life with kids is a little less than 100% predictable. I wholeheartedly agree! However, what exactly does that mean?

Sometimes, I may set aside household chores to read aloud to a child. That's flexibility. Other times, I may leave dishes in the sink and sit on the couch with a book. That, at least for me, borders on laziness.

A toddler throws a tantrum during a math lesson with my 4th grader, so I send her to practice piano while I deal with the disciplinary action. That's flexibility. Or I may skip math altogether and go to the park. That, at least on some days, teaches my child that fun comes before work when it should be the other way around.

A friend calls me with a genuine need so I postpone school and chores for the day to come to her aid. That's flexibility. However, chatting for an hour on the phone about nothing when I should be doing laundry results in no clean clothes for my family. That's not good, no matter how you look at it!

Just because I have the freedom to make my own schedule and set my own rules as a mom not employed outside the home does not mean that I should just let every day "happen". That's not flexibility at all. It's a good recipe for chaos!

When I "change up" the routine for whatever reason, I try to answer these questions in my mind:

  1.  Am I making a conscious decision as to what is best for our family or am I just reacting to a perceived "emergency"?
  2.  Am I making this change in order to make people in my life a priority or will this change affect my family or my children's training negatively?
  3. In the light of eternity, what is more important: this change or sticking to the original plan?
Does that sound a little too analytical? Whether not you run through my checklist before heading out to the park, I hope you realize that every choice we make as mothers (working or stay-at-home) affects our families profoundly for eternity. This is just the dress rehearsal for the biggest production of our lives. Eternal life that is.

No comments:

Post a Comment