Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hands Full

"My goodness you sure have your hands full!"

"Are those ALL yours?"

"Don't you know what causes that?!"

"Don't you and your husband have some other hobby or watch television every once in awhile?"

"Wow, I'm sure glad I'm not you, I'd go crazy every single day!"

These are just a few of the comments I hear when I take my children out on various errands. Honestly I've been hearing them since I had my second child(Anna) because her and my oldest are only 12 months apart, and apparently having lots of children close in age means people forget that things like pointing, staring, and making rude comments are in fact rude things to do. Judging by some of the things people say, it would also appear that many people believe my children can't hear them.

But of course they can hear them. They also understand, on some level, what's going on. But more importantly, I'm realizing, is that they're waiting to see how I'll react to all these comments.

And do you want to know the truth? Generally, I smile and just keep walking. I've never been one for confrontation and drawing unnecessary attention to myself, and it just seemed easier to smile, nod, and ignore. But really is that the message I want to be sending to my children, or even the strangers making these comments?  Despite the comments, clearly I know what caused "all" these children. I don't want my kids to think that I think they're a burden, and I certainly don't want complete strangers at the grocery store to think I feel that way about my own children(no matter how frazzled I might be looking at the time!)

I was challenged recently by how I'm handling these types of confrontations by an article I read over at desiring god. The author has 6 kids under the age of 7, and at one point had five kids under the age of five. Here's the quote; "When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it."
The next time someone comments on my family size, I think I'm going to say that.  Yes my hands are full- but  they're full of good things. This world wants to say children are expensive little burdens who steal our time and money, but God says children are blessings. If I don't start kindly speaking up for my own children, then I'm just as wrong as the people making the comments.

Linking up with June &

Growing Home


  1. Love it!! You're right. It is so much easier just to smile and keep walking. i will have to find me a "go to" saying as well!!

  2. Ahhh, I usually get really irritated by the "hands full" comments - though mostly directed toward how full they are "going to be" because no one can seem to tell me anything encouraging about being a Mom of three kids 4 and under, they can only seem to tell me how crazy things will be. As if they aren't already crazy. That being said, this was something I needed to read. From here on, I think I'll do the same when I get a less-than-encouraging "hands full" comment and say YES, full of good things! :)

    Thanks for always being a haven of realistic, Gospel-minded encouragement!

  3. I needed to hear this today! My husband and I just found out we are expecting our fourth child....that will be 4 kids within 4 1/2 years by the time the baby is born. We are elated but haven't told anyone just yet. We plan on telling our parents within the next few days but aren't looking forward to my mom's reaction {even though she is a believer}. She worries for me because she thinks it's a lot of work {she would know as she had 4 herself}. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS get the comment, "your hands must be full"!!! Can anyone think of something more creative? Seriously! But I love the suggested answer you give...I'm using it starting today- as I know someone will say that!!! Blessings!

  4. Speaking from the vantage point of a 50 year old mother to 4...I tell my grown girls who had my grandchildren close together, that these are the "busy years" to cherish. All too soon they are grown. When you unselfishly devote your time to these precious gems you look back with joy and contentment that you did a job well done. The benefits are eternal. What the self-interest of the world deems as "little burdens" is what the Creator "made in His own image" and gave to us for a short while! Truly it is the nay-sayers who have missed out! Great post Jessica, beautiful family!

  5. With 6 children, I hear "you've got your hands full" that all the time. And my response is "And my heart too" which I say with JOY.
    It's such a good opportunity to minister to others when they see we appreciate the gifts of children.


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