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Friday, February 12, 2010

What to Say Instead…

Dear strangers… I do not know you. 
I have 3 children.  Yes, they are all mine.  No, the older 2 are not twins...yep, I do have all 3 with me at the grocery store.

  My key to the grocery store is a 2 seater cart and wearing my littlest one in Ergo Carrier.  

Regardless, I often have 3 children with me. 

And yes, I do have my hands full.
But you saying that doesn’t help much, now does it?
Unless you’re interested in taking one (preferably the middle one, please)
Not to mention, that when that statement is said,
I am usually not in the best “mommy” mood. 

I have heard that I should respond with
“why yes, my hands are full…but so is my heart”
Isn’t that sweet. 
But honestly, like I mentioned above, my heart usually isn’t feeling very full in that moment.  I usually am feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

Or perhaps you have caught me on a great day
where I am really enjoying my children…
then you have to go and point out how I have my hands full.

Thanks for ruining the nice moment…
because right after you say how full my hands are,
my kids are sure to do something to earn that remark.
Like…pull each other’s hair, knock over a shelf of fruit snacks, scream to eat a free sample, tell me they have to poo poo, scream again because I won’t buy the chocolate-marshmallow cereal.

So instead of telling me how full my hands are, here is a list of suggestions to say instead of  “my, don’t you have your hands full”

1—What a beautiful family you have!

2—What a fun field trip with mommy!

3—Can I help you with anything?

4—What good children you are being!

5— You’ll get through these early years!
(don’t add  “and I wouldn’t go back to that for a million dollars”)

6—I remember those days well!
(don’t add “and I thought I was going to die”)

7—You’re doing a great job

8—You are a great mom

-Do hold the door open for a mom with many kids

-Do offer to take my cart back to the store as you are walking in

-Do not stare if my children are having a tantrum
And please do not intervene… it often makes it worse, and we are often in a hurry trying to get back in time for lunch or nap…
hence the tantrum.

So, Dear strangers that I meet in public…
please do not tell me again how much I have my hands full.

Praise my efforts, encourage me, tell me you’ve been there and I am going to get through to other side eventually.
Pat me on the shoulder and tell me what a great mom I am
And maybe, just maybe…

It will help to make my heart as full as my hands are. 

Mama Llama


  1. So well said! It is funny how just a little support could such a long way and yet so few people give it. Perhaps t-shirts for your kids, printed with this saying would help "Point out that my mom has it rough right now and you take me home for the weekend."

    Might help...If not at least you might get a chuckle out of it.

  2. AMEN!! I have 21 month old twins and have these same thoughts several times a week!

  3. Here here! And I'll take one of those shirts in a 3T, sheri!


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