42 answers

Why Do People Always Talk About How Busy They Are?

I posted another question that got some people upset and underlying my frustration with my neighbor is my general feeling of being tired of hearing from most people how busy they are. There definitely are exceptions - parents of handicapped children, job loss, single parenthood etc - but most people or moms I meet basically have good lives and made the choice to have multiple children or something. Yet I hear all the time how busy they are. For instance, one mom has her kids scheduled like crazy and in a school that's a long drive bc it's "better" so she's always saying how " crazy" it is. Part of me feels like it's bragging, part of me wonders if it's an insecurity, trying to prove how important they are or something like that. I don't care if someone has an easy lifestyle or is going going going all the time. It's their choice. All of this has made me determined to NOT say how busy I am. By some people's standards I do a lot. Other people might find me lazy. Whatever. Shouldnt we all reach an age that we're comfortable with who we are? I'm not talking about idle chit chat either. I can see saying it once in awhile and I do have friends that don't have much choice. I don't mind that either. But with so many, it seems to be their mantra yet many of their activities are optional. I'm not saying people aren't busy but why talk about it in a complaining or dramatic way all the time unless they really do have no choice? I read a blog by a mother complaining about no time for herself or something. She had 4 or 5 kids and I forget how many pets. What did she expect? We got a dog. I knew it'd take my spare time. He does but I knew that. So it'd be silly of me to keep talking about it in a negative way, no? For those of you who say how busy you are often, why do you do it?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Nikki - I really don't understand your reply at all. I don't care how busy everyone else is. That's my whole point. I keep having to hear about it though from certain people. THEY bring it up all the time. Your reply reads like I bring it up and then get upset if they're busier than me or something... Not sure how I'm competing either. In what area?

Jane - I find your response irritating and pointless. Why not just move on?

Heidi - the woman you describe sounds amazing and I too strive to be like that, as well not always successfully but I do think having that goal is helpful. I've come across women like her and I like and admire them so much that I guess it highlights the constant complainers I also encounter a lot. I have some friends who have been complaining for years and it's getting tiring as I start to think - then make a change in how much you do!

For people who said how they don't understand why this bothers me so much, don't we all have pet peeves? And not sure I have so much free time versus I manage my time pretty well. I work full-time, have 2 young kids, keep my house nice, my husband typically doesn't help much, I volunteer at school, we have a big dog that's my responsibility and my kids do some activities too. Perhaps this bothers me bc I feel obligated to interact with a lot of women I typically would avoid but kind of have to bc they're the mothers of my girls' friends. I do not want to make it difficult on my kids to have friends bc I don't want to hang out with the mothers. As well, I know some women have made snide comments because I have a nanny and that does bother me. One woman who always acts the martyr bc she stays home said behind my back that she doens't care if her child messes up my house bc I have a nanny to clean it up. Our nanny leaves the minute I get home so believe me, I do a lot of cleaning up after playdates and all weekend. And yes, we have a nanny but we also don't have any family around to help like the women making these comments do. The mother my other post was about often comments on us having a nanny. These types of comments plus them bringing up (not me asking) does make how busy they are my business in a way. So in some cases I feel judged and judge back I guess. In other cases, forgive me but some activities do seem optional - ie: going to one of 2 vacation homes on weekends which of course necessitates packing and a long drive. Finally, I know it can be a conversation starter and I said that in my original post. Sometimes is fine etc but I'm talking about the constant talk about it and very importantly, in a negative way. I don't mind someone listing things they've done recently since maybe we'll have something in common but I don't care for it when it's in a constant, complaining way. If people don't complain to me, sure it's not my business and I'd prefer it that way. I'm glad I"m not the only one this bothers though.

Featured Answers

I can't help but wonder if you are not busy enough because all this talk of busy people is bothering you this much! LOL Go find something to do!

15 moms found this helpful

i dunno. sometimes it's just conversation.
why do people always talk about the weather? can't the other person see that it's hot/sunny/freezing/windy?
khairete
S.

10 moms found this helpful

Why do you get to be the judge of who is really busy or not, and who are you to say that their activities are optional?
Regardless of why people say that they are busy, can't you have some grace on people? If you did, mabey it wouldn't bother you so much.

9 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I can't help but wonder if you are not busy enough because all this talk of busy people is bothering you this much! LOL Go find something to do!

15 moms found this helpful

Just because someone chooses to be busy does not mean at times it does not feel like too much. I am not sure why this concerns you so much?

12 moms found this helpful

i dunno. sometimes it's just conversation.
why do people always talk about the weather? can't the other person see that it's hot/sunny/freezing/windy?
khairete
S.

10 moms found this helpful

I answer this as a person who is pretty darn comfortable with who I am.

I am busy. I keep a house, a garden, a preschool, a son and a husband. Oh, and a cat. All my choice. I sometimes tell people I am busy because if I didn't, I there could be misunderstandings. Like old friends who don't get as much of my attention because our schedules don't mesh right now. Or people who want more of me than I have. Family members who might expect more than I have to offer. I am sometimes overwhelmed with the overlap of everyone's needs in my life, and I think it's okay for me to vent from time to time. Sometimes I have to decline invitations, and this is a good reason: sorry, I'm busy. (and then, believe it or not, people sometimes want an explanation of 'what" I am busy with.)

I am trying to keep a lot of balls in the air and that requires balance. I'm not the kind of mom who will enroll her kid in lots of summer camps which start and end at certain times, but I will be very engaged with keeping my son learning and busy himself this summer. That said, I work with kids; a lot of parents don't have the temperament to 'do' with their children all of the time or don't have the background, so they do hustle them off to activities. And yes, there's a lot of Parent Taxi that goes with that. I've chosen a life that takes longer (take the bus, or walk, everywhere) to some, but am relatively happy with it.

9 moms found this helpful

Why do you get to be the judge of who is really busy or not, and who are you to say that their activities are optional?
Regardless of why people say that they are busy, can't you have some grace on people? If you did, mabey it wouldn't bother you so much.

9 moms found this helpful

I think you're reading way too much into this and obsessing a bit. It's just something people say, like talking about the weather:

(running into the person you were supposed to call back three weeks ago at the grocery store)
"How have you been?"
"Oh good - crazy busy with [insert totally elective activities here] but you know how that is - how about you?"

OR

(standing awkwardly on the sidelines of the soccer field, or at the bake sale table, or on the bus of a school field trip)
"So...nice day eh?"
""Yep...
"So, are you as busy with your kids as I seem to feel these days? Don't you just feel like you have no time for yourself with [again, insert to-do list here]?"

I think it's just one of those universal things that most people assume others can identify with. Sure there are the one-uppers who always have to be the busiest, most-stressed out, most important martyr in the room but other than those types, it's just a conversation starter.

8 moms found this helpful

Really?

Maybe it's because they're busy, end of story. I've never heard anyone use the term "busy" & thought they were insecure or negative, nor did I get the impression they thought they were better than everyone else. I think you're looking for meaning & intent when there simply is none.

Maybe if you were more busy, you wouldn't be so worried about why everyone else is so busy.

8 moms found this helpful

I guess because talking about how lazy you are would sound, um, slothful.

7 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.