Sunday, February 14, 2010

Can we talk? Lesson on flexibility...

I always have a plan.  I don't like when things get in the way of my plan.  One of the things that I have been trying to work on lately is flexibility.  Being able to actually "go with the flow" without getting frustrated in order to be a better ME. 

Time is always a big one.  I like to be on time for just about everything, and am constantly trying to get things done according to the clock.  Since I have become a mother, I realize that my kids are two of my biggest challenges to this.  They work on a different time clock. One that doesn't often fit into my master plan. 
Here is an example.  My five year old daughter Emma Rose has found that her favorite time to share with me is at bedtime.   I am sure that this is the case in many homes as it is the perfect stall tactic.  It begins when she starts the upward climb into her loft bed.  "So, can we talk?" she asks hopefully.   I look up at her in her loft, glance at the clock, and take a breath.  I start to feel my pulse quicken at the fact that it is already later than I would have liked for her to be heading up to bed, but I am trying to be flexible, so I say...  "Ok, we can talk for about five minutes." "How about ten?"she asks.  "We'll see... just get up there! I am coming up and it is getting very late!"

"So, what do you want to talk about?" I ask after we have completed the straightening of the covers ritual.  "Well, today Gassin hit me on my finger and it hurt a lot and he didn't even say he was sorry!" and so it begins.  This is what I have been waiting for since I picked her up from school.   I have to really remind myself not to "wrap this up" quickly, just because it is late and I am super tired.  I take another breath and we talk back and forth and then before we know it, it really IS late and I am starting to get irritated that she is up so late and I make her promise me that she won't give me a hard time in the morning.  "I promise" she says as I kiss her forehead

I compliment myself on not getting too bent out of shape that it got to be so late.  After all, I am so lucky to have these moments in my life with my kids.  What could be more important?

So my new plan is to allow time for these "unexpected" sharing moments.  To plan to be more flexible.  Especially for the moments that are initiated by my kids. Why? Because I don't want to miss out on them just because I don't have the time

I am very curious as to how other parents deal with this.  How do other parents deal with  being flexible?


  1. I feel your pain! I am the same way especially with bedtime because sleep is so important to success in school and in life in general. PLUS once they go to bed, that my time with my husband, so I find the stall tactics frustrating at best. We instituted reading time which is 1/2 hour before "lights out" time. I tuck them in for reading time and as they are getting their books out, pillows arranged, glass of water set, all those questions start coming out. I go into Reading Time knowing that it won't be a 1/2 hour of reading but it gives the boys 1/2 hour of built in stall time. Some nights they actually read, some nights it's 1/2 hour of tickling and wrestling, some nights it's talking. The point is, the lights are out and the boys are calm and in bed by the time I think they should be.

    Of course, that's the only time I've been able to curb the urge to live by the clock. I am trying to tackle homework time now...I need to stop working on my stuff and focus totally on them for 2 hours. That's tough because I still have so much to do before I'm done for the day. Any suggestions would help me too!

  2. Suz, I have ALWAYS envied your flexibility and patience. It's a quality I strive for daily. Whenever I have come to visit, I have never felt more at home and relaxed. In fact, you are my example for how I want to be a Mom and I value you for that. :)

    I agree with you about taking the time to share the small moments with our kids, I have been trying to do the same as well.

    You are very inspiring and a great Mom. Pleas know that others around you feel the same way. I love you!

  3. Hey Suzie:

    One thing I have started thinking is that the process is just as important as the goal. I usually find my patience tested as I try to get to where ever E and I are going, be it walking home or going to the city. I just need to readjust my frame of mind ans ask myself. "What's the rush? The point is for him and me to have fun." So it winds up taking longer, but I wasn't stressed, Eliot was happy, and we made it to our goal anyway! xo

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  5. The most important between people is talking!