one mother’s polychronic tendency

Posted on February 17, 2010. Filed under: cross cultural, time, women | Tags: , , , , , |

Men Shopping              Women Shopping

I recently read about “women’s general polychronic tendency when shopping for groceries and clothing” and was relieved to learn that there is actually a cultural term for what some call wandering aimlessly.

Polychronic People are multitrack and circular.

I’m not wandering aimlessly. I’m multi-track and circular. “Yes, I came to the store to buy bread, but this chicken would be great for next week’s barbecue (I could freeze it) and Carla needs a bottled drink for her field trip tomorrow and more hair conditioner, and ooh! look! Whole Milk Stony Field French Vanilla is on sale– I could stuff Calvin with some calories off of that….”

Being a mother requires polychronic tendencies. If moms did things in a sequential, linear manner, like monochronic people do, very little would get accomplished.

Moms and Polychronic People:

  • Do many things at once. Time for different tasks can overlap,  as long as all tasks get done.
  • Are relationship oriented: Interruptions (think kids) are normal, expected and often welcome.
  • Meet time commitments depending on circumstances and relationship.
    What mom hasn’t had her plans change instantly because the baby suddenly fell asleep?
  • Change plans often and easily when circumstances change.
    Either that, or go crazy.


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