Dear Stranger, Yes, My Hands Are Full…
This is for the ones who say “you have your hands full” in a way that sounds like I have an incurable disease.
It’s for the ones who asked if I know how birth control works. It’s for the ones who ask how old I am, like I sold myself short somehow. It’s for the ones who want to know if I’m “done” even though they don’t know my first name.
This is for the ones who say “better you than me” when they see me with my little troop at the grocery store, struggling to fit three grocery bags in one hand while I wrangle four kids with the other hand. It’s for the ones who cannot understand why anyone would want to do this to themselves.
If you think my hands are full…
You see, my hands are full, but so is my heart.
These days are long, yes, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Even when you see me in the thick of it. Even when one of my kids is throwing a fit and another one is asking for a snack, and yet another is convinced that they must have this stuffed kitty or they will die. Even when my hands are truly “full”, I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t be anywhere else doing anything else.
You could offer me an all-expenses-paid ticket to any different life and even if it came with a white sandy beach and unlimited fruity cocktails, I wouldn’t take it. I wouldn’t give it a single thought.
I know it sounds crazy, but love is crazy, I guess.
Stranger, don’t feel sorry for me.
Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to have quiet for 48 hours in a row, but I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands if they weren’t “full.” Never would I ever trade my “normal” for anyone else’s.
So don’t feel sorry for me for one second.
I am blessed. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams to be this girl in this life.
I am grateful. I am grateful for the good days and the bad days and everything in between. I’m even grateful for the days when the tantrums and power struggles and sibling scuffles make me want to scream and run down the street.
What you don’t know…
What you don’t know is that I see the world in their eyes. You don’t know that when I tuck them in at night and they share what’s weighing on their little hearts, I feel like the wealthiest person on the planet. You don’t know that when a little hand touches my face with an “I love you,” every difficult moment comes into focus.
I’d choose all of this a million times again.
And you don’t know that when you see my four, there should have been six. I lost two babies before they took their first breath, before I held them in my arms. I have friends who have had to wait two years or ten years just to start their families. I have a friend who lost a child when that child was in the prime of his boyhood. I know those for whom motherhood is a dream not yet realized.
Related: House Full, Hands Full, Heart Full Graphic Tee†
Full hands, full heart.
So please, don’t for one second feel sorry for me and my “full” hands.
Yes, this job is hard, but most things that matter are.
The cost doesn’t match the reward…not even close.
I am living my best life. Even here, even in this grocery store, even with my hands full of groceries and chaos. Full hands, full heart.
But if you do happen to have an extra hand, I wouldn’t say no to a little help with these grocery bags.
For more responses like “If you think my hands are full…” check out The 5 Best Comebacks to “You Have Your Hands Full”.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
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I love this post. I can very much relate to it. Well for me, my hands are full but I believe I still can do more.
You hit the nail on the head! As a Mom of 11/2 year old twins with baby #3 due in a few weeks, my response to to the critics noting how full my hands are is always my heart is even more full. Large families aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. I love mine & that’s all that matters. ????
A trip to return with a white sand beach is irresistable.You must be realy into what you do
Oh yes, having kids is very exhausting. No days off, 24/7. You always have an audience whatever you do, wherever you go – yes, even in the bathroom! Haha! But I won’t change anything. Spending time with my children while they are young is a fulfilling experience for me. And I believe that they will bring with them all the memories we will make.
Oh, I LOVE this one!! I too have four kids and SO MANY times, well-meaning people have said, “Wow, you have your hands full, don’t you?” Now my kids are nearly grown so I don’t have to wrangle them anymore, but my hands are full in a different way! I’m starting a blog about family relationships, so I’m loving all of your articles.
This is an AMAZING post! As a Mom to 12 year old triplet girls and an 8 year old girl, you can understand the looks and questions…. you are a little more gracious in your response than I am… I have been called ummm lets go with witty (sarcastic). LOL Its hard, its rough and often its thankless, but like you I would never in a million years trade it for ANYTHING. We all have different callings in life and I am so thankful my calling is to be a MOM!