Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You have your hands full

Yesterday, as we entered our car after swimming lessons, my daughter Gianna (age 5) said,

"Mom, what does, 'you have your hands full,' mean?"

Me: as I struggled to buckle in an unhappy 16 month old, "it means they think we have a lot of kids."

Gianna: "Oh, well then MaryAlice really has her hands full!"


AWOL Mommy said...


Jen said...

lol. I wish I had a penny for everytime I've heard - You have your hands full! (we have a 3 yr. old, a 20 month old & an 8 month old)

Anne said...

As the mother of five, I've heard every kind and unkind comment in the book about my family size. My favorite response to the question posed at the grocery store "Are those all yours?" is "no, they are my neighbors kids, I just really like shopping with children so I bring them all with me!"

Check out my story about "Feeding the Family" for more family size comments. God Bless You All!

Juris Mater said...

This is hilarious, we can all empathize : ) Somehow (don't look at me) Bella has been programmed to cock her head and smile a bright, slightly-mischievous smile and respond "Yes we sure do, in a good way" when we get the hands-full comments. It cracks me up every time and saves me emotional energy. I highly recommend delegating the response to your oldest/most charming child.

One of you wise women said when we were posting on this before that very few people mean harm when they make these comments, often they're just curious and feel like saying something, and moms for some reason are vulnerable moving targets for all kinds of comments. That was really helpful and right on--thanks, that really has changed my outlook on these comments.

Kat said...

Gianna's response is very funny :)

Usually I respond with, "Yup, they sure do keep me busy, but I love it!"

JM, it's so true, people rarely mean to be disparaging when they make these remarks. Actually, they're right half the time, we do have our hands full! Many times they've been there themselves, or they're just in awe of how we moms can juggle all of our kids and still keep a cheerful, positive attitude. Maybe they're trying to pay us a compliment :) Or maybe they are just curious and want to get into a conversation about life with young kids...I've certainly heard some rude comments, but usually I just feel sorry for the person making those comments and say a little prayer for them.

Right Said Red said...

It's funny, but I've never taken these comments as intended to be mean or offend, I usually just smile and nod and say something like, yes, and we are very blessed. What cracks me up is that now that I'm visibly pregnant with another child, and my older ones are 5, 3, 1, I can't go ANYWHERE without at least one person saying, "you have your hands full." I realize now that I am not imagining this, as even Gianna has picked up on the frequency of this comment.

JM, great idea to have Gianna respond to this comment. Bella's response is so cute.

Right Said Red said...


Thanks for the comment. I read your post, and I love the reply, "I don't have any children, I'm just very hungry." LOL.

Mrs. Awesome said...

I'm guilty of making these comments sometimes too, but it's always b/c I have a lot of respect for moms of big families. I hope and pray to be there one day myself!

I think it can be difficult to find families with similar values, even among Catholic circles. Sometimes my asking or commenting is an attempt to strike up a conversation and possibly make a new friend.

Right Said Red, I think your response is perfect. It gently reminds the person commenting that children are always a blessing!