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On Having my Hands Full...

My kids are my life- literally.
I don't do a lot of socializing at this stage in the game... I play farmer or ponies instead.
When I run my errands (30 minutes away) I take my little people with me (unless my lovely parents watch them).
I make my grocery list and get all my groceries in one haul.  Living a short distance from town means that I have to be organized and get my errands done in one big trip.  That also means a great deal of patience on my part, and obedience on my kids' part.  


I enjoy the times when I get to make solo trips to town.  It is much easier.
With that being said, there are moments when I am alone that I wish I had the chaos of my crew.  
I love having my kids with me.  I get to work on their character and the Lord works on mine.  

I think people are accustom to seeing families with one or two kids.  That is the norm and is the perfect family size for some.  We have been blessed with three kids (I would take more... ahem- hubby!).  


During our busy mornings of errands, I have Guinnyth strapped to me in the wrap, Liam in the cart seat, and Ella hanging on the front of the cart.  The cart is usually piled high with things that I have been checking off our list as we stroll from aisle to aisle.  The funny thing is that at *almost* every turn, I hear, "Wow!  You sure have your hands full!"

Some don't mean anything by the comment.  They just aren't used to seeing a mom with her three small children shopping, I guess.  Some though, definitely have a derogatory slant to their tone.  I have never once sat, looking at my life, and wished one moment away.  I have never wished that I could go get a real job and leave my kids for someone else to care for.  


I have had several mothers ask how I respond to that question.  
I usually smile and say, "It is a good full."  
I have waited a long time to have my hands this full. 

My hands are full of blessings.  Those blessings increase my patience by the day.  
Those blessings require me to stretch.  I have to offer kindness and gentleness when my sinful nature would rather snap and fuss.  


I would love to start a movement.  A movement where moms don't feel exasperated by their kids, but see struggles as a growth opportunity.  Where the person at the store doesn't look at a mother with "her hands full" and feels sorry for her, rather blesses her and encourages her.  Motherhood is tough- no doubt about it, but it shouldn't be a burden.  Motherhood should grow the mother and train the mother the same way the mother is to train and grow her child.  

There are sometimes growing pains, but afterwards we can reach to heights we couldn't reach before.  
Here's to being encouraged in this journey and to "having our hands full!!"

xxLiz

What do you say when you hear this comment?  I would love to know!

19 comments:

  1. I don't have kids (YET) but I do baby sit, and when I used to take all three of the kids I watched to the park I would get told I have my hands full quite often. I would just say, yup, its pretty fun (awesome, some other nice positive adjective) :)

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    1. you will be well practiced when the time comes for you! ;)

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  2. ......yes, and my HEART is even fuller than I ever thought possible!!!

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  3. I am with you! A new movement is necessary - one in which Moms grab hold of hte beauty of being a Mom - our hands and hearts full of sticky ooey gooey sweetness of babies, tweens, teens - embracing all of it!

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    1. haha.... all the ooey-gooey sweetness, for sure!!!

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  4. I've noticed that people practically never say that when I'm actually feeling harried and over-worked. Oh, no. They save "you've got your hands full" for those (frequent) moments when I am enjoying the company of my children. I don't think they feel sorry for me. I don't look like a person who should be pitied (as far as I know). Rather, it's almost like they can't stand to see me looking so peaceful and comfortable with all those little people around me.

    Conversely, when people who know me see me without my children, they say things like "taking a break, huh?" or "how nice to be all alone!" and I'm like "Dude, I am so bored right now." Not that I don't appreciate getting in and out of places a little bit quicker without the babies, but it's not a break. It's just a different kind of work! I guess I'm just as stuck in my reality as they are in theirs. I can't imagine wanting to be away from my kids on a daily basis. They can't imagine wanting to be with them. Good thing I'm the one with all the kids, huh? ;-)

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    1. i am so glad you love being a mommy, just like me! i completely understand feeling "bored" without my little rug-rats!

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  5. Amen to you, dear one! This comment is coming from a childless woman who loves children, taught in the elementary public schools for years and retired as a children's librarian. I just never had children of my own. Just the way it is! I am most happily married to a fine man. We married late and I cannot have children.

    But I thank you for saying the many things you have said here for you are the mother that I would have wanted to be. You give me hope that children are being raised with integrity and dignity. You are a blessing to me. I would want to be behind you at the grocery store so I could smile with your children, laugh with and at them for their cute and silly ways, talk with them and you as we wait our turns. I would count my day made by being able to listen to you share the love of the Lord through your ways with your children, whether you are loving on them, disciplining them, teaching them. From what you said here, it sounds to me that God is directing your paths and walking each step of the way with you and your husband. Praise God for parents such as you.

    Would it be that other mothers and fathers would slow down and realize the beauty of their children that they are missing by being attached to their social media machines when a child is calling "Mama" again and again with no response, denying the child the much-needed hug that one such as I can see just by standing near, yelling instead of disciplining for the need at that moment...and the list goes on!

    Praising God for you. May His many blessings rain upon you and reign in your lives. ~ linda

    Psalm 127
    Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
    It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors For He gives to His beloved [even in his] sleep.

    Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.

    How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

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    1. thank you so much for your encouraging words, life story, and beautiful scriptures. you made my night! :) i will refer back to your comment in the future when i am needing encouragement! thank you!

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  6. Honestly, I think sometimes we're oversensitive to things. I only have 2 kids, but when they were younger and I was shopping with a newborn and a barely 2-year-old, I got that comment with only the 2 of them. I look at it as a mom recognizing that you're doing something at least potentially difficult. So often I read posts about how thankless this job of motherhood is. About how hard it is and how no one notices or cares what we do. I think the "you sure have you're hands full" comment is usually just people trying to relate, trying to let you know that yes, someone notices the work you're doing. Someone notices that your "job" is more than watching soap operas or whatever the stigma is these days. I think typically people aren't trying to be offensive. They are trying to empathize.

    If I did get it with a derogatory tone, I would just respond with something positive, "Yes, but I wouldn't have it any other way :)"

    Great post though. I definitely agree that we need to appreciate our children more in this society as a whole :) Thanks for linking up at Thriving THursday!

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    1. Crystal, thank you so much for your perspective on this subject! I completely agree that some of those who make that comment are being encouraging (especially the older generation- so sweet), but there are certainly those who make the comment to me in an "I feel sorry for you" kind of way. I love being a mommy and I don't feel the least bit "sorry" for being so busy with my kids.

      I always try to be kind and an encouragement to anyone who I speak to about being a mother. I know this journey is a difficult one, but it is a blessed one and I intended for this post to portray that to my readers. I want to encourage other moms to embrace the "crazy" and the "full hands" and love every minute of it!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Amen! And your children are adorable blessings as well. Thanks so much for sharing this encouraging post with the Thrive @ Home link-up!

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  8. As a mom of four, with the youngest two being twins, we've heard this comment often (usually right after the obligatory "are they twins??" question). I always take it as an opportunity to say,"Yes, we sure are blessed!" Most people agree. I think a lot of people enjoy seeing a big family out and about enjoying each other. And if some have the attitude of "better you than me" then I'm quick to let them know that having twins (although not something I would have chosen for myself) is one of the biggest unwanted blessings I've ever experiences. In fact, I just wrote about it last week. Haha. Yes, our hands are full - full of every good gift from the Father. :)

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    1. I will have to check out your post! I do think it is nice to see larger families out and about- with smiles on! Thank you for stopping by!

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  9. I get that comment ALL the time! Especially when I have my niece with me (which is often). People look at the 3 girls, then the boy and assume we "kept" trying till we got what we wanted (so not the case)!

    I think sometimes they are saying it as a "I feel ya" comment. Acknowledging that they have been there. But more times than not it is meant in a snide way. Children now a days are looked upon as a chore, or a hassle. I think you used the right word when you said exasparating. Which they are honestly but isn't that a good thing? I wouldn't trade my exasparating life for anything!

    And, I am with you on they (ahem, husband) part. I would have another, but he says 4 (with my niece) is enough :)

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    1. haha... Maybe we should join forces and convince our hubbies together! jk
      Motherhood is trying, but it has offered me the most growth out of everything I have experienced in my (short) life. Come back soon!

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  10. Yes! I hear that all the time! And I'm never sure how to respond, but I like the way you handle it. I have three kids too, and I wouldn't change a thing, even on the really tough days. :)

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  11. You have started a movement! Just by sharing your sweet smile and sweet words with those you meet.
    My season of having little ones is over, but I do remember well the hard work and energy it takes to tote them all with me through the grocery store. It always made my day to hear positive comments, and so I do try to encourage young mamas with a kind word when I get the opportunity. You know, when they drop their keys while fumbling for their wallet with the little one screaming to be fed and the toddler yelling "MOMMY!" I tell her she's doing a good job, she's a good mom.

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