The Importance of Being a Flexible Mom

Being a flexible mom is important in order to find a balance between order, contingencies, discipline, and daily enjoyment.
The Importance of Being a Flexible Mom
Elena Sanz Martín

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 24 March, 2023

Having a child is a big responsibility. That’s why, in order to offer their little ones the best conditions in which to grow up, mothers try to be informed about the different parenting guidelines and styles. They read, consult with experts, and try to improve every day. However, being too demanding can lead them to not enjoy their motherhood. This is why we want to remind you of the importance of being a flexible mom.

There’s no doubt that childhood is a crucial stage in the development of personality. What a child experiences and learns during their early years will largely determine how they’ll think, feel, and act in the future. Because of this, we understand that you want to get it right. However, it’s important to remember that parenting isn’t like programming a robot: We’re people who take care of other people, so we can’t forget this human component.

So, if you feel that you’re constantly under pressure in your work as a mother, if you think that what you do is never enough, or if rigidity interferes in your relationship with your children, we invite you to keep reading.

Why do you need to be a flexible mom?

It’s great that mothers are informed and committed to their work in education. It’s wonderful that they want to provide their children with order and structure and that they strive to apply the most appropriate parenting guidelines. However, being flexible is a must. So here’s why.

A mother shaking her finger at her young daughter.
Achieving the order you desire in a home with children is virtually impossible. Keeping this in mind and being flexible in your demands will help you to keep your home from becoming a continuous battlefield.

Life with children changes

If you’re a person with a tendency to perfectionism and order, having children can be an extra challenge for you. From the time they arrive in this world, you’ll inevitably find that routines change, schedules are modified, and perfect organization isn’t possible.

A baby is very demanding and this means that adults have to adjust to their varying schedules of sleep, hunger, and need for contact. It’ll also be impossible to always have an organized and spotless house. This will also happen as the infant grows up, as children are spontaneous, energetic, and somewhat chaotic.

Emotions need space

It’s essential to remember that when it comes to educating, children’s emotions occupy a predominant place. They must be listened to, tended to, and managed by adults, which requires space and time. Strict plans won’t keep tantrums and anger from arising in our children. In those moments, prioritize staying calm, validating the child, and helping them to regulate himself again, even if this means altering or delaying what you had planned.

Likewise, children don’t feel the same every day. There will be times when they’re tired, sleepy, hungry, lazy, or unmotivated. Therefore, their willingness to obey or cooperate won’t always be the same. Therefore, it’s important to be sensitive to their sensations and needs and to know how to adapt at all times. A home can’t function like a military barracks.

Each age requires adjustments

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that parenting practices should be adapted to each stage of the child’s life. Perhaps, with young children, offering clear rules and being very directive works, but adolescents demand more independence and autonomy, so they may rebel against direct impositions.

Likewise, there are stages in which it’s especially necessary for children to feel listened to and to perceive that they have some decision-making capacity. For example, between the ages of 2 and 4, tantrums tend to appear to the degree that they’re not allowed to exercise some control over their own lives. Something as simple as giving them a choice between two t-shirts or two fruits can prevent a tantrum from breaking out.

A mother having a pillow fight with her daughters.
Remember that the best gift you can give your children is a happy, relaxed mother who takes care of herself so she can take care of them.

You deserve to enjoy yourself, too

Finally, flexibility shouldn’t only apply to your children, but also to yourself. Many mothers are excessively self-demanding. Therefore, they blame themselves for every little mistake they make or don’t allow themselves to tend to their own needs and emotions in order to sacrifice for their children.

So, practice self-compassion, take time for yourself, and understand that you’re also learning to be a mother and don’t need to be perfect. Talking to yourself with love and indulgence will improve your mood and allow you to face parenting with better disposition and motivation.

It can be challenging to be a flexible mom, but it brings great rewards

We know that it’s not easy to let our guard down, to allow ourselves to err, or to step out of those molds and guidelines that, many times, more than suggestions, seem like impositions. However, remember to follow your instinct, take each day in stride, and allow yourself to enjoy your motherhood.

Being flexible will make the dynamics in your home lighter and more harmonious, thus reducing the weight of that emotional backpack that many mothers carry. This doesn’t imply erasing limits, avoiding rules, or being a permissive mother, but finding a balance between order, unforeseen events, discipline, and daily enjoyment. Undoubtedly, being a flexible mom will be a very beneficial change for the whole family.

It might interest you...
It’s Good for Your Kids to See You as an Imperfect Mother
You are Mom
Read it in You are Mom
It’s Good for Your Kids to See You as an Imperfect Mother

Mistakes and negative emotions are human and valid. Therefore, showing yourself as an imperfect mother will help your kids understand that.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Butcher, P. R., Kalverboer, A. F., Minderaa, R. B., Doormaal, E. F., et al. (1993). Rigidity, sensitivity and quality of attachment: The role of maternal rigidity in the early socio-emotional development of premature infants. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 88(375, Suppl), 38.
  • Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Kunnen, S. E., & van Geert, P. L. C. (2009). Here we go again: A dynamic systems perspective on emotional rigidity across parent–adolescent conflicts. Developmental Psychology, 45(5), 1364–1375

The contents of You Are Mom is for educational and informational purposes only. At no time do they replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. If in doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.