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AIBU to hate when people ask where I find the time?

(211 Posts)
LilaJude Sat 16-Feb-19 10:18:56

Does anyone else find it infuriating when people say ‘I don’t know where you find the time!’ when you do something a bit extra or fancy?

For example, I hosted a dinner party and made a floral centrepiece - nothing fancy, just a rectangle of oasis foam with foliage and supermarket flowers, but it looked pretty. One of my guests (the new DP of DH’s best friend) announced ‘oh my goodness, where do you find the time for something like that!’

Similarly, I often bring cakes in to my office for people to share, and one of my colleagues will always say she wishes she had the time to do the same but she’s just soooo busy.

I am probably being oversensitive, but this irks me a bit. You don’t ‘find’ time for things like this, you make it! It’s not that I have hours in the day they don’t have. I know it’s probably not the intention, but to me it devalues the effort put in to do something nice by suggesting it’s only because you have so much more leisure time than anyone else.

I know people who have much more reason to be busy than me (e.g. they have kids where I don’t) but who still make time to do extra things that I don’t (like my manager, who with her kids hand made little valentines for all 49 children in her kids’ classes), and I’d never imply it’s because they have more free time than me. I recognise that it’s about what’s important to you, and what you’re willing to prioritise.

Does this annoy anyone else or AIBU?

formerbabe Sat 16-Feb-19 10:19:53

Get a grip.

whatsnewchoochoo Sat 16-Feb-19 10:22:04

I think you're interpreting it wrongly - they mean it as a compliment I think

formerbabe Sat 16-Feb-19 10:22:12

Honestly, reading posts on here makes me feel terrified to have any form of social interaction. Every single comment seems to be offensive or upset someone. Just don't speak seems to be the safest option.

LilaJude Sat 16-Feb-19 10:23:27

Honestly, reading posts on here makes me feel terrified to have any form of social interaction.

😂 this is like the men who respond to the #metoo movement by saying they’re not allowed to even talk to women now

CherryPavlova Sat 16-Feb-19 10:24:07

Why would you choose to be offended? It’s a passing comment to try and be nice.

LilaJude Sat 16-Feb-19 10:24:15

I think you're interpreting it wrongly - they mean it as a compliment I think

I think this is probably true of the dinner guest but colleague definitely says it with a sneer.

woollyheart Sat 16-Feb-19 10:25:33

I agree. They are making it sound like you have nothing better to do.

But they probably wished they prioritised things differently sometimes.

I get this a lot because I make things. Yes, they can take a lot of time. If I am looking at Mumsnet all the time I will be busy and won't have time to make anything. If I drag myself away, I can make and do lots of things.

IncrediblySadToo Sat 16-Feb-19 10:25:51

formerbabe. I was thinking the same.

OP you’re being ridiculous. It’s a compliment, take it as such. Work out what the chip in your shoulder is actually all about.

StopMakingAFoolOutofMe Sat 16-Feb-19 10:26:01

Can you not see that if you don't have children, the likelihood is that you will have more time to do things?

LilaJude Sat 16-Feb-19 10:27:18

I agree. They are making it sound like you have nothing better to do.

Absolutely, that’s definitely the implication from a lot of people. I don’t think it’s intended to be ‘nice’ a lot of the time - it’s intended as a subtle put down.

SoyDora Sat 16-Feb-19 10:28:41

Yeah you’re right, everyone has the same number of hours in the day, people just choose to spend them differently. I have 3 DC under 6 including a newborn so don’t have time for much ‘extra’ at the moment, but it’s not difficult to realise that other people have different lives/routines/priorities.
I imagine a lot of people saying they don’t know how you find the time watch a couple of hours of TV in the evening, or something similar.

formerbabe Sat 16-Feb-19 10:29:52

this is like the men who respond to the #metoo movement by saying they’re not allowed to even talk to women now

It's really not.
'How do you find the time?' is such an innocuous comment. It wouldn't occur to me that it would be offensive.

LilaJude Sat 16-Feb-19 10:29:55

Can you not see that if you don't have children, the likelihood is that you will have more time to do things?

Of course, but neither of the people in the examples I gave have children either. And I know people with children who do much more than me because they prioritise their time differently. But I would never imply that someone who does more than me manages this because they are less busy, or have nothing better to do, because I think it’s rude.

StopMakingAFoolOutofMe Sat 16-Feb-19 10:31:33

They didn't say that you were less busy, or that you had nothing better to do though confused

Whereareyouspot Sat 16-Feb-19 10:31:53

What formerbabe said

FickleFingers Sat 16-Feb-19 10:32:10

Okay then I'll bite, if you have no children to feed,bathe, dress, entertain, clean up behind etc etc can you not see that you will be significantly less busy than someone who does do all of those things?
It isn't a bad thing! I had no children once upon a time and guess what? I wasn't so busy.....
I think you are looking for something to take offense at tbh.

ChakiraChakra Sat 16-Feb-19 10:33:03

I know how you feel. I curse whoever it was probably a self development book who first told me you don't have the time, you make the time for what's important to you. It's stuck in my head ever since but apparently much of the world didn't get the memo wink

I think it's a defense of their own fragile ego thing, and definitely getting their defense in before a completely non existent attack is made. Deep down they know they could prioritise the time to arrange flowers over something else slobbing in front of the telly but that might mean they get found out for being bad at flower arranging, or the fact that they don't choose to spend the time doing that might prove they're lazier than you, and that wouldn't do, so they have to bluster that they haven't got the time in a thinly veiled attempt to protect their ego that nobody apart from themselves is actually attacking.

As for how to respond, depending on situation I either point out it's not about having the time it's what you prioritise it song, or just vaguely smile and nod and move the conversation on. Life's too short wink

woollyheart Sat 16-Feb-19 10:33:29

I don't know why people just can't compliment you on what you have done.

It's easy to say how lovely you think it is or ask where you learned to do it.

Or if you don't like it, just ignore it.

When I hear it, it often has snide 'haven't you got anything better to do' overtones.

woollyheart Sat 16-Feb-19 10:35:55

It is different when people say 'I wish I had time to do things like that'. Then I understand they really have no spare time. Of course, when I had young children and worked full time, I didn't do anything extra either.

ShirleyPhallus Sat 16-Feb-19 10:36:02

I’m not sure.... I have a colleague who does this and it’s all accompanied by this faux-innocent “oh little old me?” look and a bit of a feeling that if she has time to do stuff we all should. And should all fall over ourselves thanking her for the little treats she needlessly brings to work.

This doesn’t sound like you OP but sometimes with this colleague i think, get a life.

LilaJude Sat 16-Feb-19 10:36:26

woollyheart and ChakiraChakra yes, exactly! There is something defensive about it when there really isn’t any need.

I just smile and nod, but it’s getting harder with my colleague who says it every. single. time. I bring something in.

LaurieMarlow Sat 16-Feb-19 10:36:32

It’s an expression of insecurity. On some level they feel like you’re showing them up.

Anyone can make the time to do anything (or almost anything) if it’s important enough to them. It’s a question of priorities.

I’m just back to work after baby number two. I’m making the time to watch an episode of Suits a night dammit. That’s priority for me. grin

rose789 Sat 16-Feb-19 10:36:52

I say that as a compliment. Like yesterday my Sil made a beautiful birthday cake for my nieces birthday. My first response was that looks amazing where do you find the time. I think that acknowledges the time and effort that she has put in to something.
Maybe I’ve been offending people for years hmm

LL83 Sat 16-Feb-19 10:37:37

I think they mean "wow that's impressive you have baked a cake as well as all the normal life stuff we all have to do, well done"

No normal person sees a baked cake and thinks "they obviously have nothing else to do"

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