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!
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?
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!
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?"
(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?"
"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.
I guess because talking about how lazy you are would sound, um, slothful.
"You see, I couldn't possibly spend more time volunteering at the hospital, baking cupcakes for the next bake sale, having a dinner party or curing Cancer, because I'm already so very busy."
I believe it is a preemptive strike against being asked to do things or judged by others who are also busy.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why this means so much to you! Btwn this question & your other one.....wow, this subject really bugs you.
Relax, be happy, be secure in your own choices, & let others have that privilege too! When you hear someone using "the busy phrase", you have 2 choices: you can allow it to spoil that point in time.....or you can choose to laugh at life's little idiosyncrasies & move on with a smile on your face. Peace!
Your picky. People should be able to talk about what they want to talk about you know? I mean you just did right? Lol
i agree people who "say" how busy they are all the time just like to feel important. like oooh i am soo busy, blah blah blah. in my opinion, EVERYONE is busy with their own stuff. i hate at work there are certain people who are ALWAYS 5-10 minutes late for meetings. and ALWAYS say "oh my schedule is packed...such a busy day" .. UM we are all busy here! ok there was my little vent, lol - yes i agree it's annoying.
PS - Denise P's answer is so funny
It sounds to me like other peoples busy lifestyles are making you feel inadequate. Idle hands are the devils workshop.
I can tell you without a doubt that I can't stand having too much time on my hands. And yet, even though staying busy is my choice, the things I do are NEEDED by my family, friends, pets, clients, God, not necessarily in any particular order. Just because I choose how hard to work or how much I want to be here for others doesn't mean I don't get tired and overwhelmed from time to time. Talking about my day is what I do with others that tend to mention their life just as much.
I don't understand why it bothers you unless it's making you feel guilty about something. Is someone in your life accusing you of being lazy? I know that I could knock myself out all day long and my husband NEVER thinks I do enough. I hope that's not your problem.
I will say this too... For us all to be here for others, sometimes we need to rest, relax, and take a break from the tedious. The key is to figure out how to balance it all.
Well, I'd like to say that I'm a pretty balanced person, and I can handle a lot of things on my plate at once. Some days I'm busy, sometimes I'm not. But, when I talk to my family or friends about how busy I am, it's usually for a couple reasons. First, to keep a conversation going, because usually the other person can relate or respond. Second, because the person I'm talking to is genuinely interested in my life and wants to know what I'm up to, so I relay all the things I've been doing lately. But, when I talk about being busy, I generally don't talk about it being a negative thing...I'm glad I have things to do! Otherwise I'd be bored out of my mind and I WOULD complain about that. :)
I like this quote: "It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted." - Mary O'Connor
And I think that being busy with good things that make your life better and help others is great! But being busy becasue you overscheduled yourself or your kids and you have no time for the best parts of life is not great. You have to be able to take time for a walk in the woods or a trip to the park or to read a good book or else what is the point of life?
I met an extraordinary woman once, she went to my church and was very involved in all the church activities that went on, she had 6 children and volunteered in their classrooms, she loved to garden and sew. She was BUSY but when you stopped by her house or talked to her at church she never seemed too busy for you, she looked you right in the eye and asked you about yourself. She would talk about her own life if asked, but she would not complain endlessly about her life or tell you how swamped she was. She just had a totally positive attitude and an ability to focus on the person she was talkking to rather than herself and her own concerns. I really admired that and I try to be like her, with little success I admitt!
Because I am far busier than you are and I have to justify my existence! ;)
You have so many responses, I'm not sure anyone will even read mine!
I don't think that I verbalise how busy I am but unfortunately, I think about it quite often and I sort of get a "martyr" attitude about it. That clealy my life is much busier than others - when in fact it's not at all. I only have one child and my husband and I both work full time. Really, that's not earth shattering stuff. But often times I feel like I run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Late for practically everything, no quality time spent with anyone, etc.
So, to answer your question, I guess I (and maybe others) are looking for acknowledgement that I am doing a good job keeping it all together. Or maybe it's just venting. Or maybe it's me reciting a list of all the things I have to do so I don't forget. :)
P., I, too, get annoyed by this. It applies to specific people in my life who go out of their way to get in touch with me - only to spend most of the conversation telling me how busy they are. With these folks, I normally don't engage and I rarely ever reach out to contact them. I don't find the "busy talk" an enviable quality in a person - but sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.
I'm too busy to be worried about how busy or not busy anyone else is. JUST KIDDING! I mean really, who cares? I spend a lot of time on my computer on my couch, I'm happy, my kids are happy and my hubby is happy. I think its funny how many SAHM's post on here about never having enough time to get all the housework done, etc, but they are the ones who are on here constantly, so I guess it's all relevant. And really, who cares? :o)
Why do I often say how busy I am? I had a child young, 20 years old. I remain the only one of my friends (8 years later) to have a child. I put my child's life first and my life second. Add in that I'm a single mom and he has special needs and his dad is away in the military. So far, no reason to be busy. We have 1-2 appointments a week that I choose to do outside of school time, normally in the evening. I work night shift 3 nights a week (12 hour shifts) so I miss as little of his awake time as possible. In the fall, winter and early spring he plays hockey, which is 3 days a week. A sacrafice yes, but it's the only sport he has tried and liked so I'll make the sacrafice. There's 8 evenings right there and there's only 7 in a week. When my friends ask if I am free, I typically get to say no. I dont have a second person to run my son. He goes to grandparents when I work and they would prefer to have him on nights that he doesn't have anything going on. When they ask why, I explain. I don't like to think about how busy I am. I view my free time as when he is at school, or my hour commute to work. I love my home, and great school district and close to family. I LOVE my job. By the time I get home I'm mentally prepared to deal with my son and by the time I get to work I'm mentally prepared to deal with those challenges. It's a stressful yet rewarding job. My days off are for cleaning, gardening, grocery shopping and volunteering at his school. I also manage to fit in the gym 1-3 days a week when I'm not exhausted. I love every aspect of my life, but some days just thinking about it is exhausting and overwhelming. So when someone ask why I can't date, or why I cant go out, I explain how busy I am, and yes, I do feel I say it often but rarely in a negitive manner.
I think it is just venting.
Even if it is saying it to the lady in a check-out line.
Some people are also just more expressive.
My Husband, has a Mom that does NOT NOT NOT, express herself nor if she is sick/not well/busy/about to faint.
She is just so, not expressive. She converses, but its not about anything personal.
Then, some people are just very expressive. Especially some cultures.
It is, however, either 'complaining' or just expressing... venting.
But I think, some people just want attention or justification for it... or as my Husband says- they just act like a 'victim' all the time.
i do think it's a status thing, "i'm so important that i have to be doing something every second of the day or the entire world will fall apart" kind of thing. chaos is counterproductive, imo. call me a hippie, but i think less is always more. i have ONE child, ONE cat, ONE dog. being able to handle twice that or three times that or ten times that, doesn't make me twice, or three times, or ten times more validated. i do what i do well, and i am fulfilled. IF more falls into my lap, i will deal with that too. but i don't deal with chaos, i don't deal with back-to-back-to-back appointments and events, well. i'm not good at it. i don't enjoy it, and i don't see the need for it. i prefer PEACE lol. (and yes, it is 99% people's CHOICES that lead to that kind of chaos. so they don't get to complain about it. they also don't get to brag about it. i could have had 4 kids, or started at 18, or married someone who works 80 hours a week, or adopted five dogs, too.)
I use the "busy" excuse when 1) I really AM busy or 2) if I am avoiding someone. If someone is constantly saying they are busy, but it is clear that they are not, they may be embarrassed by their lack of purpose, they may be depressed, or they may be avoiding you. Or maybe it's something else, who knows.
When I was younger I used to be pretty judgemental against women who took a lot more time taking care of themselves than their kids. Now that my kids are older I regret NOT taking care of myself more. Do you think this may be part of your feelings of frustration? Just a thought.
amen, sister! I find this extremely annoying also :)
amen, sister! I find this extremely annoying also :)
I just assume people are telling the truth.
My husband does the whole "I don't believe them" thing, and it boggles my mind. In the first place; why on earth care if a stranger/acquaintance meets "his" standards of busy? In the second; Who is my husband that said person "owes" the "whole truth" to? In the third; Why has he placed himself as this weirdly judgey arbiter of other people's lives?
He wastes a lot of time trying to "prove" something about someone else. 9 times out of 10 I can sit there with him and knock holes in theories. He's said things like "How much time can it take to go to the doctor?" Well, today for my son and myself; 5 hours IN the hospital, and an hour's worth of commute. We had to get chest films and bloodwork and be seen by 2 specialists. Do I OWE that information to someone asking me what I'm 'doing that day?'. Nope. It's private. I might say we're too busy that day, we're going to be at the doctor's. If I were an acquaintance talking to HIM, he'd automatically 'disbelieve me'. After all, how long can seeing the doctor take? Half an hour? Or to a closer friend (or someone in the same boat) I might launch into a funny story about the doctor, or I might be apologizing to them for not seeing them as much as I WISH to, because we've been too busy. Fortunately, my friends take me at my word.
Basically, I just don't judge other people's lives that I have no 'right' to that information. Anything that they choose to share with me is just a fraction of their lives... whether it's a brief highlight, or down and dirty details... it's all a 'gift'. No one I don't live with owes me any kind of explanation. An explanation - even one word of one - is always above and beyond what I'm entitled to.
Conversing with people is hard sometimes, and talking about what you're doing during the day is an easy topic of conversation. If you don't like that topic, you could always change it, couldn't you?
I'm totaly with you on this! I think mostly the ones who mention it ALL of the time, are the insecure people who like to feel important.
My SIL is like this and she always says in her spacey airheaded voice, "I'm sooooo busy all of the time"! One time she even told me she didn't have time to even stop at stop lights she was soooooo busy. Normally, if a normal person said this then I would think she didn't mean it literally, but she is not normal and really DID mean it literally. "I'm just sooooooooooo busy...."!
I totally get what your saying. I have a friend that looks positivly sick sometimes and is always tell me how tired to the bone she is because she is SO SO busy. She is required to do OT at work, has her kids in multiple activities, even acts as a "team mom" on some of them.
It drives me crazy! My friend is worn smooth out and she complains all the time.... AND she cant come play with me! LOL
I do understand how some people seem to be negative about it - as though they're martyrs. But not everyone who is busy does that.
So when someone tells me how busy they are, I usually say, "I know! It's nuts, isn't it?"
Or if I know the person is busy because of something major - such as a sick child or parent they have to care for - then I will often offer to help with whatever I can - watch their kids, pick up groceries, take a dinner - to give them a little breather.
But, if it's one of my friends that I know very well, and she is giving me the "martyr routine" yet once again, I will just say, "Yes, well....we all have our own priorities." And then she stops, and looks at me, and I can see she wants to have a response, but knows that she really doesn't. Because she knows that she does not HAVE to go out to lunch with her friend, or get a manicure, but chooses to make that a priority over getting her house cleaned up, (which she is always complaining about being messy).
We all have the same amount of hours in a day. We all choose how to use them. I respect everyone's right to prioritize the way they see fit.
But I do understand how it can be frustrating to hear someone constantly complain about it.
Have a good day, and don't waste too much of it reading Mamapedia! : )
I'd love to respond...but I am TOO BUSY!!! (JOKE...kidding)
I have a very full plate...I honestly do not have time to tell people how full...but I manage to make time for ALL things that are important to me...or especially my kids! I will move the sun for them...honest...I knew when I had lots of kids, I would sacrifice...little did I know what the challenges would be!
But...other folks have their own challenges...and even though I have challenges...by and large...I would 'pick' mine over the challenges of others...
"Busy" is relative I guess...and I like 'MY' busy TY...
Too busy to say more!! lol
I wish I could respond to this, but I'm too busy :) kidding!
One of the posters mentioned they say it for the sake of conversation and then everyone starts talking about why they're so busy... It is usually nonsense and they are no busier than anyone else! Don't see what they're saying for face value... It probably makes them feel good about themselves and what they're doing...job security.
Thanks for asking this question, I've been wondering myself. It seems to be today's mantra. I don't remember my mother ever not being busy. I don't remember her EVER saying "I'm so busy" she is still very busy, in a good way! What bothers me (though you didn't mention it) is the people who use it as an excuse. Lately I've heard "No, we cant spend time one on one with our daughter whose having big social problems in Kindergarten because we have three children and important jobs" "I dont really try to help her (another kindergartner with issues) I'm just trying to get through the day, I have 4 children and I'm a Doctor." "I brought my kindergartner 55 minutes late to a 60 minute ballgame because I am too busy to get the schedule correct" I see families who dont notice when their sons are rude to the coach they're nice people ad I think they would say something if they noticed! I see families who dont notice their six yr old never says please or than you just orders them around. I think Leslie M. is right they're saying "don't expect anything from me, don't judge me, dont judge my parenting and don't ask me for anything." I dont think I'm any busier than my mom was, I work more hours outside of the home but i get a lot more help from my husband and do less for the church and community than she did. Maybe that's it ... maybe they had bad role models mothers who did nothing or mothers who always complained how busy they were! My coworkers and I have also become determined never to say how busy we are,
That bothers me too. I work, have a kid with one on the way, pets and yet I still have time to do what I want or need to do. My SIL aggrevates me. She is a SAHM has 2 kids one aged 5 and the other will be one year on the 6th, she takes her daughter to preschool 2 hours a day and gymnastics once a week, no pets and yet when I ask her something it's "I don't have time" Like we got my daughter a hamster. She asked me how do I have time for that? It's a hamster... you feed it and once every week or 2 weeks clean the cage. What is there not to have time for??? I don't get it. She just doesn't know how to manage her time that is the problem. What is her excuse going to be when her daughter starts school in Sept and all she has is her son during the day? She used to say that before they even had kids. She quit her job 11 months to the day after they got married and 4 years later had her first child. And yet... "I DON'T HAVE TIME"
That is their choice on how many kids they have and what activities they do. If they can't handle it then why do they do it? I don't get it. If you need time for yourself then ask the husband/BF to stay with the kids for a couple of hours, or hire a babysitter and do what you want. It's not that difficult. I am with you all the way.
Well, I am busy most of the time, but I don't talk about it much.
Some people just enjoy complaining - they wouldn't be happy if they had nothing to complain about.
And I don't feel like I need to sympathize because how they live their lives, for the most part, is a direct consequence of their choices - it's self inflicted.
When some people won't stop till they get a response I just tell them "Wow! That's crazy! I'd never do that (be involved in 6 activities at once)." and it puts it back on them that they chose to live like this.
It's almost a tendency to tell tall tales.
Sometimes when my husband gets going he'll tell our son how he used to walk to school barefoot in the snow five miles uphill both ways.
(He never did, but he sure gets into embellishing the tale. The BS certainly gets deeper with every rendition if not the snow.)
I would say its mainly for conversation sake. Around my friends we usually do that especially when we are trying to plan things together. Some people like the attention or some like drama. I have a neighbor who is all about the drama and attention. She does things to try and get my husband to notice her. I don't talk with her that much. I do to be nice but I don't need my business spread around the neighborhood. Some just like complaining.
The people I don't feel sorry for are the ones who are married with kids and say they have no time for themselves. Theres no excuse for that. Both people helped make the kids so both can watch the kids from time to time by themselves. You choose how to live your life.
Wow, P... You sound annoyed at the way other people talk about their lives. I'm sure it can be annoying to hear people talk about feeling a certain way sometimes, but, I'm sure there are many valid, simple reasons why people choose to talk about the things they choose to talk about.
Some people are overwhelmed-
Some people didn't realize how "crazy" life would be when they signed up for it (life with kids and the obligations that follow)
Some people probably see their busy lifestyle as a form of status.
Some people also use the "busy" button to deter other people from asking for their time.
For some people- they are what they do. They find their self identity in the activities and obligations they sign up for.
Some people have a hard time seperating the "dream" version of their life from reality, and for others it can be that they feel like they're drowning and they're hoping someone will offer to throw them a life vest- or lend a sympathetic ear.
Most times- when people "talk", about anything- they're simply looking to be heard.
A simple reflective statement of what they're saying usually suffices----
"Wow, Jan. Sounds like you're busy." and then redirect the coversation.
It's really simple.
With regard to the lady who comes over for playdates and leaves the hurricane mess of her child for you to contend with- 30 minutes before it's time for everyone to leave- simply announce to the children "It's clean up time!!! Who ever cleans up the quickest gets a sticker!!" If the mother balks at the game- tell her you want your children to grow up respectful of your house and other people's houses and would not want them thinking leaving a mess for someone else to clean is acceptable. You're pretty stand-up for letting that woman continue to attend playdates. She sounds like a treat.
I am so glad you said this! I used to have a really good relationship with my sister but ever since her husband went away to school and she CHOSE to not move herself and her 3 children... Things have gone downhill. She CONSTANTLY tells me how busy she is as a "single" mom. She says that she doesn't have for anything. Now that summer is here, she might actually have that problem, however, when your kids are in school all day (we're talking 7:30-4:30 because they ride the bus) and the 2 yr old is ALWAYS with one of her 2 grandma's....I have a tough time being sympathetic. She actually says "I'm so busy and you'll never understand because I have 3 kids and when they are older, they have so Many activities". She has made herself completely unrelatable! Because she's SO BUSY. Annoying...
Because people like to brag and make excuses...Unless you literally have no life...we can all say we're busy...Even single people without kids.
I think it's a sign of the times and the century we live in; people are generally more busy than even a generation ago. Everything is high-speed; cars, phones, internet, ipod, ipad, igoingcrazy! It's hard to keep up! Even if you have "chosen" to take the kids to 10 activities in a week, it's a lot harder these days than when our moms did it for us. So, I don't think people say it for any other reason except that THEY ARE BUSY and TIRED! People should slow down and smell the roses; we always hear that, right?!
It seems like some people are defending their right to complain a lot by attacking you and those are the types of people you and I probably don't want to be around! You certainly seem busy enough to me and it's easy to be busier if you really are envious which I doubt. Of course sometimes people have bad luck or a difficult life situation etc. I know someone with 2 autistic sons and while to her immense credit she rarely ever complains, I'd be perfectly fine hearing how busy she is and encourage her to unload on me. I agree there's a difference between kind of happy talk about what someone's been up to and there's a lot of it versus the dramatic "oh, it's just so crazy." I think it's ego driven/insecurity myself. I have some friends that I realize now have had this mantra as someone else put it for so many years now that in some way they must enjoy it. And it's not that they had unforseen events, bad luck, bad health etc. They're healthy, family is healthy, have money etc. So I also get tired of it and again, figure it's their way of feeling important. Maybe if it was pointed out to them, they'd stop and think about it. It's also different than not caring about friends. I hear it from women I don't know well at all. I also agree with the poster that said it may be poor role models. My mom was and still at the age of 80 is always working on something. She'd take maybe 1/2 hour or hour or so every evening to read and relax even after we were much older. Yet she never talked about "how busy" she was. She would see it as a sign of weakness plus she knew she was responsible for her own decisions. Again - different if someone has illnesses etc to deal with.
Sounds like you're competing with everybody. Why?
Why do you care so much who is busy and who isn't?
What really chaps my @ss is when an "acquaintance" complains constantly about how tired she is.
She is 33, lives at home with her mother and her perfectly typical 3 year old son who goes to his dad's 3 3 full days and nights per week and her mother does most of the child rearing... oh, and she is unemployed.
Seriously? How tired can she be? And she says it all the damn time. I guess she thinks that makes it appear as though she actually does something? But what she misses, is how completely annoying that is to a person who actually maintains a home, is (well, was - got hitched this weekend - lol) a single mother, and works outside of the home.
Different, but similar in an opposite kinda way.