Monday, October 3, 2011


A couple of interactions this past week made me think about patience, and whether I have more or less than the average:

Last week at a Math Salon event for homeschooled kids, I was playing a game of Blokus with Hypatia and another kid, another homeschool mom. Hypatia was the youngest kid trying to play the game, and I was trying to coach her through some strategy, which led the other mother to tell me that I had more patience than she did.

And then we had a birthday party for a friend from Hypatia's preschool, and of course almost all the conversation was about how Kindergarten is going. As I talked about homeschooling, many parents commented that they wouldn't have the patience for that.

So ... does homeschooling require more patience? Am I more patient with my kids than the average? (Not if you ask them!).

I don't feel like an especially patient mother or teacher, but YES, it does require patience at times to work with kids:

Using my "broken record voice" to say "get in the car, get in the car, get in the car", "buckle your belt, buckle your belt, buckle your belt".

Slowing my steps to the pace of a toddler.

Waiting while my son looks for his shoes and socks, lost for the millionth time.

And many, many more times.

What is patience? For me, it feels like putting myself into a mind-set that it's not about me. Just remembering that it's not all about me, about my needs, my pace, my preferences, helps me chill and wait for others. It's also the same when I am listening to someone talk about themselves - it's not about me. Instead of constantly thinking about how that relates to me, I remember that it's not about me, it's their story, their point of view, their time to talk.

What does patience feel like to you?

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