Thursday, February 1

Hands Full

** UPDATE** My husband just read my post and told me that this man wasn't being mean, but instead making conversation. Well, that wasn't my point. MY point was WHO SAYS THAT???** Now for the original post:

The kids and I went grocery shopping today at the beloved Walmart. I would rather go to United (the local really nice grocery store), but Walmart has better deals and it really is hard to pass that up feeding a family of 6!!! So off we went and we rocked it out!!! My kids were like champs in there. We even got a birthday present for a party on Saturday. So we were set. We start to check out with the moodiest check-out lady in the building. Who am I to judge after yesterday though, right? I am loading the groceries BACK in my basket after she rings them up(the most dreaded part for me, besides unloading the whole load at home) and I notice an older man and lady behind us staring and whispering. I kind of felt a little awkward, but I was trying not to care OR look at them. While I was writing my check, the man says, "You sure do have your hands full." Hmm. What does that mean? Why do complete strangers feel compelled to say that to me? Why when my kids are acting WONDERFULLY, does someone have to ruin it with that comment??? AND how am I suppose to respond to that? I usually just say, "I sure do", but I just think it is an odd thing to say to someone. Am I the only one that thinks that comment is bizarre? How come noone says that to the moms that REALLY DO have there hands full? AKA: Out of control children?
Anyone else feel like I do or get asked that question?? Anyone?......Anyone?......Bueller?.......Anyone?

42 Comments:

  • I find that people automatically make assumptions and quite often people will come up to me and say "Your boys are SO GOOD!" like it's a shock to them or something.

    Heavenly days, they're good because we treat them like we want to be treated, it's not rocket science.

    Don't let them get to you!!

    By Blogger sari, at 9:20 PM  

  • OLD FARTS!
    They are just jealous that you get to surround yourself with little angels and they have to go home and be miserable together....

    ha, can you tell I am mad at those people for saying that to you... blah!

    By Blogger Lindsay, at 9:28 PM  

  • BETTER FULL THAN EMPTY! ; )

    By Blogger Adventures In Babywearing, at 9:46 PM  

  • O.K. I'm guilty! I said that to a couple just last Thursday. However, they had 8 children and are currently homeless, if that makes any difference. But I didn't (and I don't think most people do) mean it in a negative way. It's just something you say after you've raised any # of children and know how tough it can be at times - physically, emotionally, and financially. But I won't say that to anyone again and you don't hold it against someone who says it to you. Deal?

    By Blogger cindy, at 9:50 PM  

  • I'll update my comment that YES I know people say that just to start conversation, but it IS annoying and if I do make the comment back "Better full than empty!" am I being rude, or just contributing to the conversation? ; ) I am totally agreeing with you, Nicole!!

    By Blogger Adventures In Babywearing, at 10:14 PM  

  • I do think people say it just to make conversation and yes it is annoying.

    By Blogger momto3blessings, at 10:18 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Anna, at 10:19 PM  

  • Ok, I put "I don't think he was being rude EITHER" Don't ask me why. I think I'm the only one that felt that way. haha

    By Blogger Anna, at 10:20 PM  

  • *SIGH* I'm such a dork. That deleted comment was ME. I had like 12 mispelled words..and the words that I managed to spell RIGHT...didn't make sense. Then, I couldn't delete my 2nd comment...so now I really look like an idiot! So...here's what my FIRST comment said. UGH

    I don't think he was being rude honestly. I have said that to people before, and their kids weren't behaving badly...they just had alot of them! I think anytime you see a mom...by herself (especially at wal-mart of all places LOL)...with FOUR kids...she just looks like she has her hands full! Now...he could have TOTALLY been being rude..I didn't see his face or hear his tone when he said it. I just have to admit I have said that more than once! I sure hope I didn't leave whoever it was feeling like you felt about that! OOPS!

    I am glad you had a good trip to Wal-mart. When I leave there my brain is toast, and I am seriously crabby. haha! Don't you feel good when your house is full of food? I don't know why, but I always love the way that feels!

    By Blogger Anna, at 10:26 PM  

  • If they want to make conversation, they should just say... Your kids are darling or something. Better a compliment then an assumption... as if having 4 kids is way over the top!

    I understand your point of view... people need to keep their mouths shut unless they want to help someone who really DOES have their hands full. Actions speaks louder than words.

    By Blogger Gina - Liam's Mom, at 10:43 PM  

  • I think a lot of older people miss having there kids at home, and comments like these are just a way to connect to a time that has passed for them. Most people that have said that to me have said it with just a touch of I wish that were me in there voice. Of course, they could have just been total jerks and in that case who cares what they think. You have beautiful kids enjoy you uneventfull Wal-mart trip. I mean thats nothing to sneeze at.

    By Blogger holly, at 10:58 PM  

  • I think our "hands" probably do look "full". And unless you have more than 1 or 2 kids, you don't know that it doesn't matter how many more you have. If you have 3 or 6, it doesn't make any difference at that point. Having 3 boys I just get all the "Wow, your out numbered" comments!

    By Blogger Robin, at 11:03 PM  

  • I think the tone of "you sure have your hands full" could be taken so many ways. I have 4 kids and have heard that comment a lot. My daughter is also in a wheelchair and on oxygen so it's obvious that I'm a busy mom. I usually try to take it as a compliment of sorts - it's kind of nice that someone notices that I have a lot of responsibilities but I also hope their remark means I'm doing a good job. If not... too bad.

    I LOVE adventures in babywearing's answer: BETTER FULL THAN EMPTY! I'm going to have to remember that one.

    It's still Thursday at my house so when you say that your kids were perfect angels at Walmart - my answer MUST be that I don't believe you. It CAN'T be possible.

    I'll believe you tomorrow. ;)

    By Blogger Nancy, at 11:52 PM  

  • I don't believe you...

    JUUSSSSSS KIDDDIN ....(it is still Thursday)


    Uh... I agree w/ Holly...
    I think it's the older folks trying to make simple conversation ... they get so lonely ...

    Or....he could have had the hots for ya and wanted you to talk to him.

    I don't know... that kind of stuff never bothers me ... I talk to everyone in arms reach ~ shoot, I might even be someone who would have said the same thing!!!

    By Blogger Terri, at 12:49 AM  

  • Well I have 3 and I babysit my niece all the time so that makes 4...and yes I get that comment ALL the time. Depending on my mood is normally how I take it. I do however feel a little on display when I have kids hanging on every part of the cart and a couple in it as well..hehe.

    By Blogger marykathryn, at 2:17 AM  

  • I get that too. I just shrug, smile pleasantly and say "WE like them." That way, if it's just some old dude trying to make conversation, I've said something pleasant back at him, and if it's someone who's critisizing the number of kids I have, I've sent a message to him (and my kids) that we LOVE having children.

    By Blogger Beck, at 6:40 AM  

  • 'cause you have a bunch of kids? I sayu that to our friends because well, they have 5 kids....

    But then again, some people are just stupid and unthinking...

    By Blogger carmachu, at 7:20 AM  

  • I don't take that as a bad comment at all. I have gotten that many times myself and I only have 2 kids and they are always well behaved in the stores (with the exception of a few rare times, and even then they are just crying...). People don't say it to be mean sweets. And even if that is how it sounds, it's just because they don't know what else to say or they may be remembering the days that THEY used to have like that. I get that a lot too. "Oh I remember those days". To me it's sweet, like they can relate and understand what I'm going thru.

    I'm sorry it annoys you though.

    By Blogger DraMa, at 7:46 AM  

  • I think "better full than empty" says it all! That should be your standard come back from now on!!! Some people may be rude when they say your hands are full, but most are probably just admiring what a beautiful family you have and that is their way of making conversation.

    By Blogger Lori, at 7:49 AM  

  • I like adventures in babywearing comment!

    Have to be honest, that I've said that before but I think it was before I had a baby.

    By Blogger Lisa, at 7:49 AM  

  • ps... you mean to tell me that Walmart isn't your favorite store?

    Where I live its my only option!

    By Blogger Lisa, at 7:51 AM  

  • I didn't take the comment so much mean as I did just strange. I guess I didn't write out the post as well as I could've. It DID annoy me, but I didn't think he was being mean or rude necessarily. I just find it SO odd that THAT is how you would start a conversation OR try and make a connection with the younger generation. What he said is NOT a compliment. IT's just not. I guess I just can't imagine saying those words to someone, but that is just me. I am ALL about starting conversations with people, just not like that. So if you see me in Walmart, please know how to start a conversation or just don't!! J/k

    By Blogger Nicole, at 9:05 AM  

  • It is a strange comment, but people can be strange. Maybe they meant you blessed woman, you have such wonderful children and God has blessed you, your hands are sure full of joy and abundance. - Okay that was the Amplified version. Nadine

    By Blogger Just Being Me, at 9:59 AM  

  • I get that alot too!! I prob have said that a time or two! :-) I do yuse it to start a conversation with someone that I don't know. I usually go on to chat to the mother about how cute their child is or something like that. If you get a chance email me wiljen109@aol.com I have a question for you. thanks jen

    By Blogger Jenmomof4, at 10:32 AM  

  • I get it, too. I think all moms do, at some point or another. But I do agree that the older generation is mostly reminiscing about being that busy and "full" of family.

    By Blogger Tracey, at 11:02 AM  

  • Okay, first of all, how did I miss this post yesterday? I thought I was on the ball, but life keeps shattering my image of myself...*crying*

    So back to the post, I have definitely heard that comment a time or two in my lifetime of 5 boys. Maybe we should think up a clever comment back like "What kids? I have kids?" Alright, so that's not that clever, but ya know what I mean. Anyhooooo....you were a WalMart Party girl too? We should go out on the town sometime...hehehe I know how to self check Nicole!!! hehehe

    By Blogger Trina, at 11:08 AM  

  • I think that I may have said that to women before, but I didn't mean it rudely. Being a mom of 2 children and knowing how full my hands feel sometimes, I have a hard time imagining how mother's of more do it! I think I would make that comment more out of admiration because how many mother's have their 4 children behaving well at WalMart? My guess would be not too many!

    By Blogger mom of 2, at 11:53 AM  

  • You know I would have taken offense to the comment too. When the baby is crying or Hannah is asking for everything is sight people look at me like I cannot handle the situation because I am young(er). I handle my children very well and I don;t need anyones comment to tell me differently. Can't wait to see their faces when we have another...LOL

    By Blogger Tasha, at 12:30 PM  

  • people make comments to me all the time. probably because i look like i'm 12 and have 3 kids under 6. and emily could pass for 4.

    i really don't even have the right answer. i guess "i sure do!" is a good one...

    By Blogger Ali, at 12:54 PM  

  • I am with your husband...I think he was making conversation with you. Maybe they have 4 kids and know exactly what you are going though. You never know.

    I have a different temperment with older people than I do with younger people especially when they are sticking their nose in my business. Hehehe. Do you ever have people who don't have kids say stuff like that? THAT bothers me!

    Thanks for coming back to visit. I am so glad that you like my blog and pictures. I am being persuaded by my better half to take the plunge and do something with my photography. We will see....it could be quite exciting!

    Have a great weekend....

    By Blogger Anna, at 1:46 PM  

  • I totally get that all the time too!! and then oh my 4 girls...not trying for the boy still?? ugh.. I don't know if it comes with having 4 kids or what...but I feel that way when I see moms with 5 or more kids!

    By Blogger Lala's world, at 2:32 PM  

  • I find that "older" people are in awe of younger parents. I think when they see us out and about getting our things done with 1 or even 4 kids that they think that must be soooo hard. Elderly people have said that to me with just one toddler. I can see, though, where they might think he is a handful. He sure would be to them! I just tend to smile and say yeah, but he sure is fun!

    I don't think you need to analize older peoples comments. They just say what they want to say when they want to say it. I bet he meant nothing but a "WOW!"

    By Blogger Allison, at 3:15 PM  

  • I haven't experience the comments but have gotten The Look on more than one occasion.

    I probably wouldn't be able to come up with a witty retort in time. I would have liked to have responded: "Yeah, we didn't go grocery shopping last week so we needed a few extra items this week" (i.e. having your hands full was directed at the groceries rather than your children ;) )

    By Blogger Lynanne, at 3:32 PM  

  • That is an odd comment. I'm not sure how I would have responded. I don't know why people feel compelled to make comments like that!

    By Blogger Nikkie, at 5:08 PM  

  • I have 3 boys and I do get that comment from time to time. It doesn't really bother me because, well, in my case it's true. I DO have my hands full! OY!

    The one I find a tad annoying is the "wow. three boys. Your husband must be proud." What's the point, he wouldn't be proud if we had three girls? How am I supposed to respond to that? "Yep, no penile deficiencies in our family!"

    By Blogger Elle*Bee, at 6:49 PM  

  • Maybe he was trying to have a conversation but Im with Gina. Why dont they just say. Wow you have beautiful behaved children.
    I once had an old man come up to me while I was shopping.And Said "If he was mine I would spank his Arse till it was red Raw". Talking about Mitchell, who may I add was 2 and a half. Crying over the fact I just jammed his finger in the trolly. I gave him the evil eye and said " Mind your own business". It took me ages to get over that.

    By Blogger Kim's Life, at 6:55 PM  

  • Oh yeah! usually older people say this, I think they get worn out looking at children, wondering how THEY raised kids in their day! Either way, I guess he was just striking up a conversation annoingly enough!

    By Blogger palmtreefanatic, at 6:57 PM  

  • I totally agree with Anna....I've said it before to people & I wasn't being rude. I would rather someone talk to me, than act like I didn't exist. Being from the South, we make conversation with anyone, at anytime, about anything. When I lived in Los Angeles, people thought I was a weirdo trying to talk to them. And they would give me the "go to you know where look."

    By Blogger ~CRYSTAL~, at 7:15 PM  

  • You should have said...no actually the other 5 kids are at home.....and smiled really big....LOL!...Brush it off you are so blessed to have 4 wonderful children.

    By Blogger Jen, at 7:40 PM  

  • Geesh, yeah I can see if your kids were running all over the place, but not if they were being good! I've never had that said to me since I only have 2 kids, and usually only one with me...not sure How i'd take that comment really.

    By Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma!, at 8:31 PM  

  • Oh yeah.. I hear that comment all the time, and never give it a 2nd thought and I'm sure i have used it a time or two also. I guess it would just depend on the tone of the person useing it. It could be a conversation starter and 9 times out of 10 I would think that is how it was used.. Though my little man can be a handful at times and when he is acting up and someone says that I just say.. oh yeah more like two. LOL.. but I tend to think most people don't mean anything by it at all. or they use it jokingly.
    I wouldn't take it personally or anything like that.
    NOW there has been a few time I have been out and about with all 4 of the kids, or talking with people who don't know me about children and when I mention we have 4 they have said something like, "4 kids really" in a snotty sort of way or some smart comment like "what didn't know what birthcontrol was" Those comments up set me to a point but i normally have some smart comment to say back to them LOL. but the hand full comment don't give it a 2nd thought.

    By Blogger KC, at 10:59 PM  

  • That's one of the many stupid things people say to mothers of multiples. I don't know if we've ever been in public where at least one person didn't make that comment.

    The best response back: Better full than empty.

    People these days can't cope with seeing someone with more than two children. I don't know why that is. Having three children under three just about gives people heart attacks. I've gotten to where I enjoy it and Ironman always says, "Yeah, and we'd like 2 or 3 more!" That finishes them off if they haven't already passed out.

    Most stupid question frequently asked of us...are they identical?

    At that point we have to point out one has brown hair and one has blonde...one has blue eyes and one has brown...one is shorter and has a tiny build...but despite that, they're identical. They're both girls. Sometimes it's just easier to say "Yes, they're identical (if identical means completely opposite).

    Hey! I just noticed someone else already gave you the line of better full than empty. I thought I was unique!

    By Blogger Flawed & Disorderly, at 9:37 PM  

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