Friday Fun: My Hands Are Full

7:00:00 AM

Fair warning: This post is not my usual vein. I am not sharing a craft or a recipe or a frugal tip. I’m not even sharing a cute story about my kids. I’m sharing how I feel as a parent of several small children when approached by someone who has no idea what that means.

I would be a rich woman if I had a dollar for every time I heard from a complete stranger, “Wow, you have your hands full.”

This usually occurs in places like Target, with two snotty toddlers and a, well, sassy four year old surrounding me. And honestly, my kids are usually well behaved when the comment occurs, and usually I am not alone—my husband is somewhere close by.

I think most people who have several small children hear this comment. Parents of multiples like me hear this all the time.  And I’ll tell you right now, when you use the “you have your hands full” comment, we hear it as a euphemism for, “Oh my gosh, what were you thinking, having so many kids!”

But I (usually) don’t make a smart comment back at the random stranger.

(The people who know me in real life just started laughing in disbelief.)

This is usually how the conversation goes:

Random Stranger: “Wow, you have your hands full!”

Me: (In a bright, cheerful voice)” I sure do!”

Now, if they really want to continue the conversation, it either turns to how old the kids are or something like that, or it goes along the lines of the following:

Random Stranger: “How do you do it?”

Me: “You just do. When you have one child, you stumble through the first sleepless nights, but eventually you fall into a rhythm and take everything a day at a time. When you have more than one child, you do the same thing. The only thing different is that instead of man-to-man defense, you have to employ zone defense.” (I use this ‘defense’ analogy especially if the person commenting is a man.)

You see, if I seem a little overwhelmed at times…I am. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. My hands are full…but so is my heart. My girls are sometimes a burden, but always a blessing that I do not deserve.  

So when you have the overwhelming urge to say, “Wow, you have your hands full,” to a mother, maybe you should revise that comment.

Maybe you should say, “Wow, you have your heart full, don’t you.”

You Might Also Like


  1. I get that a lot DUH I have my hands full. Thanks for noticing.