I am sure most of you see or hear someone say “I’m flexible” quite often when discussing schedules. Many times, what people mean by this is that they are not a stickler for routine. But is that true flexibility?
Page 110 of On Becoming Babywise says, “And remember, true flexibility is not a lack of routine, but a temporary alternation of what you usually do.” Clearly Ezzo and Bucknam have a different meaning for flexible than many of these moms.
I decided to look into the idea of true flexibility. I turned to my beloved Oxford American Dictionary and looked up Flexibility.
“Capable of bending easily without breaking.”
“Able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances and conditions.”
“Ready and able to change so as to adapt to different circumstances.”
From these definitions we can see that flexible does not mean a lack of a routine, but the ability to deviate from routine if and when needed. As Ezzo and Bucknam point out, your aren’t being flexible if there is no where for you to return to.
I actually find the first definition quite comical when I consider it in the context of a parent with a child–especially a newborn baby (the kind of funny where you either laugh or cry). Were you able to bend easily this past Christmas season? And if so, did you do so without coming to a breaking point? Was your child able to bend without coming to a breaking point?
If not, don’t worry. The day will come. They become more flexible as they get older. The younger they are, the harder disruptions are for them.
So how do you make flexibility easier?
First, plan it out! Have some sort of plan in your head for how to modify your typical routine in the best way to suit the circumstance. As you get more experience in being flexible, you will be able to come up with solutions on the fly much easier, but in the beginning, having some sort of “game plan” will help you immensely.
Second, practice! Stretch those muscles. The more experience you have, the more successfully you can be flexible. But remember to give yourself breaks. Don’t stretch so much that your muscles snap.
Third, (and this should probably be first), have a solid foundation. You can’t “be flexible” if you have no starting point. Flexibility is ‘changing, bending, adapting…” It isn’t flexibility if you have no starting point.
Fourth, as I said above, give yourself time to recover. January is one of those recovery months in the year. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and especially Christmas (followed closely by New Years), we need lots of flexibility. January is that month to get back on that solid foundation and let your sore muscles heal up.
I hope you are all able to get some recovery done now that things have calmed down with the holidays! See posts below if you need some help.
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