It’s all relative

Talking to another mum the other day, I could feel myself getting a little hot under the collar as she complained about how busy her day was. Her version of being run off her feet was having to “dash home to let the cleaner in” then “make a coffee for the builder” and then “do the school run”. I struggled to see how this constituted a busy and stressful day if I am honest.


The day after this, I had another mum telling me about her “ridiculously busy day”, which constituted going to a midwife appointment, doing the food shop and taking her daughter to a ballet class.

Now, as much as I nod and say the right things in these situations, inside I really struggle with comments like this. To me, neither of these would constitute a remotely busy day, and these ‘types’ of days are so far removed from what I am used to. The bit I also struggle with is the need for these people to tell me about these issues, with no question of “how about you?”, but I always try to say the ‘right thing’. Occasionally I am a tad sarcastic in my response, but generally speaking I try to control that.


What has occurred to me is that perhaps I shouldn’t get so cross about this because it is all relative. I genuinely think that these people think they are really busy and have a real sense of feeling overwhelmed. Just because that bears no resemblance to my normality, doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling in that moment.

If your days aren’t filled with much at all, with no urgency, with few tasks or responsibilities, then suddenly having two or three things to do in one day must be overwhelming. The difference is, it just takes more to overwhelm me I guess. Also, I don’t regard busy as a bad thing, as busy normally also means productive.


Vicki at Honest Mum recently described busy mums as “mother hustlers” and I couldn’t agree more. I guess, the mums I’ve met recently are yet to learn the art of hustling!

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8 comments on 'It’s all relative'

  • I actually prefer being busy. I get bored if I have nothing much to do. If I find myself getting overwhelmed at everything I have to do, I write it all down and it suddenly seems do-able. I agree that everyone’s idea of being busy is different. I consider myself busy when I’m off work and I have 8 hours of blog related tasks to do online, where other people would say sitting online isn’t busy. #effitfriday

  • My in-laws are terrible for this – they’ve always had ‘such a busy week’, but when you ask what they’ve been up to, it turns out they went to the gym a couple of times and met a friend for coffee one day (they’re retired). That’s the whole week’s activities there!! I have to admit I don’t think I’ve ever considered that once things start to wind down activity wise when you retire, maybe that does seem busy!

  • I find the days that I don’t have much to do I feel “busy” with one task. My problem at the moment is if I have a couple of appointments to get to, due to the nature of Dubai, I can be in the car for three hours cumulatively which really does take it out of you. Especially with whiny kids in the back. Or trying to keep a 3 year old awake!

  • So true and I often think that about comments like this as I think wow they don’t really know what busy is at all but then some just don’t pile as much things into one day as me because I love being busy and like you said to them two or three things can overwhelm the average person if they aren’t used to it. lol We will just call ourselves very very productive not busy. hahaha Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

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