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to loathe the phrase "You have too much time on your hands."?

(105 Posts)
CherryBlossom321 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:21:20

I've been on the receiving end of this insult a few times recently and I find it really rude.

I have the same 24 hours of time on my hands as everybody else. If I happen to manage it well, enjoy being creative, and prioritize what is best for my family and myself, it doesn't mean I somehow managed to pluck more hours out of thin air than anybody else. I'm organised, not privileged with extra time.

Like many other parents, I have 2 energetic children (1 not yet at school), run the household (all house work, budget, anything organisational) due to DH's long hours and erratic shifts (he's great when he's home), and volunteer for several organisations. And yet, if I share with people anything I've enjoyed on the creative or self care front, I'm told I "have too much time on my hands".

My feeling is that it's a statement designed to shame and ridicule people but I cannot fathom the motive. It's on a similar level to the old classic, "I'm not being funny/racist/mean but..." and proceed to be just that. Just without the disclaimer. It's usually excused with "I'm only teasing/ winky face/ I didn't mean anything by it." Erm, well, perhaps say what you mean and mean what you say then.

Does anyone else have experience of this and how do you respond? In reply to the most recent, I just said, "I was probably working on that whilst you were doing your [insert crafting hobby]."


Osolea Fri 08-Jan-16 18:28:37

I'd respond with 'yeah, it's great being a SAHM, can't wait till dc2 starts school, then I'll have even more craft/pamper time'.

Crumpet1 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:32:14

Yeah that winds me up too.
I find it similar to when you sing along to an advert and someone says you watch too much tv. No, the advert just happens to be catchy.

Definitely designed to shame you.

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 08-Jan-16 18:32:53

It's a turn of phrase to inform someone that what they're engaged in is as interesting as watching paint dry. It has nothing to do with how organised you are or what you prioritise. YABU

Chippednailvarnish Fri 08-Jan-16 18:34:12

Blimey, you sound touchy.

woollytights Fri 08-Jan-16 18:34:30

Agree with hedgehogs. Also I do exactly the same as you whilst working full time, so actually, I do have less time than you do to get it all done.

mamapants Fri 08-Jan-16 18:41:18

Would agree its to express that you can't fathom why someone would engage their time doing that particular thing as it seems unnecessary. I.e. I iron everyone's underwear, really you must have too much time on your hands

CherryBlossom321 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:41:18

I wonder why people don't just say that then hedgehog? Still very rude, but more honest.

Asskicker Fri 08-Jan-16 18:42:17

I get this but because I go to the gym.

I always get 'it's ok for you, you have time'

I get up at 5.30 to go and be back for the kids getting up. Get us already, do the school run and then work all day.

While I accept a lot of people don't want to do that, most could. Or go at night. Obviously some people physically can't.

But the people who say it to me could.

I get 'you clearly have too much free time of you can get to the gym five days a week'

FaFoutis Fri 08-Jan-16 18:42:30

Give us some examples of your creativity and self care and we could decide whether YABU more accurately.

snowfallisbeautiful Fri 08-Jan-16 18:42:49

It's really rude and I have a friend who says it about people (and me) all the time. She's very busy and does work whilst I don't but I think it's incredibly patronising.

I read rather than watch tv and when I mention what I'm reading she always says 'oh I haven't got time to read' what she really means is that she'd prefer to watch telly. So she has got time she just chooses to spend it doing something else.

It is very rude as I think it puts down what the other person is doing as less important than what they're doing.

snowfallisbeautiful Fri 08-Jan-16 18:44:45

Asskicker that's amazing getting up so early to go to the gym! They probably feel like they ought to be doing some exercise but can't be bothered and so get at you another way. You are just far more disciplined and motivated than they are which probably annoys them.

CherryBlossom321 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:48:26

AssKicker, you've hit the nail on the head there.

FaFoutis, most recently, it was going to the gym, home baking, and doing my budget on an excel spreadsheet.

snowfall, I think that is why I feel it's unjust - it's as though people think the activities I enjoy are less worthwhile. But surely that will be different for everyone, just like we don't all like the same food.

Ellybellyboo Fri 08-Jan-16 18:48:59

I hate that phrase too.

I've recently knitted my kids some big afghan blankets and a few people told me I had too much time on my hands (and another who told me I should get a hobby hmm). I enjoy sewing and crochet as well.

I have the same 24 hours in my day as they do, I work full time, etc, etc, etc, I just enjoy crafty stuff, it is my hobby, just because it's not running, or photography, or whatever their hobby is, doesn't mean it's less 'worthy'.

I'm not very good at just sitting without having something to fiddle with so knit/sew/crochet while I'm watching TV

StealthPolarBear Fri 08-Jan-16 18:50:08

Yes it is rude. I'd say it about eg ironing pants but that's because I thibk that it worse that doing nothing. Otherwise theres plenty of stuff I would never do (mainly crafty stuff) but I'd never be so rude as to say something like that. And as an mner I'm hardly one to talk smile

Asskicker Fri 08-Jan-16 18:50:36

It's a turn of phrase to inform someone that what they're engaged in is as interesting as watching paint dry

Why would you need to inform someone you don't like their hobbie. I never mention I go to the gym until someone mentions it to me.

FaFoutis Fri 08-Jan-16 18:57:12

Sound like reasonable activities to me Cherry.

BeanGirls Fri 08-Jan-16 19:33:46

'You've got too much time on your hands' I'd say that to someone sarcastically. I'd say it if they were doing something I found particularly boring that I wouldn't waste my time doing tbh.

snowfallisbeautiful Fri 08-Jan-16 19:35:42

Beangirls don't you think that it might sound incredibly rude though?

NewLife4Me Fri 08-Jan-16 19:36:33

I'd tell them it's brilliant being master of your own time and not have the most precious resource dictated to you.

museumum Fri 08-Jan-16 19:43:48

"You have two much time on your hands" is what you say to people who iron socks, or cut their grass with scissors. It's not the same as "I don't know where you find the time" which seems to be how you're hearing it.

Noodledoodledoo Fri 08-Jan-16 19:52:10

I get it all the time, but am then the 'go to girl' when people want me to use my skills/hobbys/volunteering to help them out. Drives me mad.

I don't understand why people have to belittle things others prioritise which they don't, but then make out what they do is more superior!

Fratelli Fri 08-Jan-16 19:57:51

I think you're taking it the wrong way. I've only every come across this phrase in a jokey way. It sounds like you might be looking for praise from them or something imo.

Asskicker Fri 08-Jan-16 19:57:52

But why bean?

Why would you point out someone else's hobby is boring to you?

I know people with all sorts of hobbies, that I would never want to do. I am not rude about it though.

Evabeaversprotege Fri 08-Jan-16 20:01:45

You don't have as much as this guy...

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