While at the grocery store with all 3 of my kids, I was told twice by strangers that I had my “hands full”. Of course they only said this when one of my kids was yelling or crying. These strangers might as well of told me I was a bad parent who has no control because that is how saying “hands full” comes across to a mom. I just smiled, nodded and tried to hold back any negative comeback I really wanted to say.
While checking my groceries out on that same grocery trip, all 3 of my kids were completely calm and content sitting in the cart. They were even smiling and playing with each other. There was another mom with 2 kids behind me in line. Her kids were crying, yelling and begging for candy. The mom looked so embarrassed. At the same time, an older woman finished checking out and walked over to me right in front of this other mom and said “Thank you for having well behaved children in public”.
I just about laughed out loud but instead I awkwardly said “thank you”. I was completely caught off guard and kept thinking maybe she should have followed me around the whole store when people were saying I had my “hands full” before she gave me that big of a compliment. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful compliment to receive but I felt so bad for this mom behind me. I was in her shoes about 15 minutes ago.
What I really wanted to say to that older woman was that she shouldn’t judge this other mom and make her feel bad for the 5 minutes she saw of her parenting. I would love to meet a mom who has never had one of their kids throw even a small fit in public. Yes, we all have our hands full with kids at times but not all the time. I’m sure this mom was in complete control earlier and her kids were well behaved.
Sometimes receiving those “hands full” comments can be depressing. We can try everything to be the best mom we can be, but sometimes kids are kids and don’t listen. All we can do is just accept the fact that sometimes our hands are going to be full. I could have come home from that shopping trip and told my husband that I hate grocery shopping because the kids make it hard and my hands are too full. Instead, I told him it was a good trip because the kids were great and well behaved. Honestly, they were great at times, and that is what I chose to remember.
Focus on the good parts of motherhood, don’t focus on the times where our hands are full. Those just bring us down. We are good moms and have great kids, even if our hands are full sometimes.