I’m going to take a second to call you out. You ready?
I don’t like when you stop me in the grocery store (or yesterday, the post office) and tell me I have my hands full. When I hear that phrase, I hear these implications behind it:
You have too many kids. You look like a hot mess. You look frazzled. You have bitten off more than you can chew. You have lost all control. You have too many kids. Your kids are crazy. You are crazy.
Maybe that wasn’t your intent, but all I hear is you looking down on me for my decision.
I can put on a happy face and sit around saying that it doesn’t bother me, I know my kids, this is what I want, I don’t care what people think, blah blah blah. But it’s not true. I do care what you think.
Deep down behind my smile and high-pitched happy voice, there is a mom who spends an hour getting ready to go to Target. I get dressed, do my hair and makeup. My kids are dressed in clothes with no stains, we take baths, fill their tummies, their faces are washed. I have cups, snacks, diapers, blankets. I contemplate the best possible arrangement and decide whether I should go with baby carrier a, b, or c, figure out which of the three strollers should go into the car depending on kid temperament, and whether or not the place has carts. And whether or not those carts are big enough.
And then you see me.
And take a second out of your day to tell me, a complete stranger, how much you disapprove. Give me a “wow. (eye roll) Are all of these yours? (disapproving glance) You’ve got your hands full!”
Make me feel like crap just for the fun of it.
I am trying my hardest to raise my kids in a loving and happy home. I feel like I’m somewhat succeeding. They are happy. There’s lots of love around here. We have the means to provide for them and any other future children (God willing). I know I’m happy. I am beyond blessed.
This is what I want. This is what I’ve always wanted.
Regardless of whether or not I have my hands full.
I don’t want your sympathy! (and I don’t need it!). I don’t want you to feel bad for us. I am not the first person in the world to get these comments. I only have three kids, for goodness sake. I don’t understand why that’s a big deal.
And I’ve heard much, much worse comments from friends and real life and in the conversation that prompted this post.
There are really nice people out there. For every jerk, there are a handful of nice people. But like anything, the bad comments stick out and make us forget the nice stuff and make us feel defeated.
On behalf of the moms out there, please stop telling my I have my hands full.
Cause deep down inside, it hurts.