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!