"You have your hands full." - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 08-11-2011, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear this pretty much every time I go out in public. I have a 16 month old, and she is rowdy. She talks a lot, she tries to stand up in the grocery cart, if I wear her she is always grabbing at things, she runs fast, ect.

Anyway, people say this to me all the time, and I wonder if an appropriate response will soon be something like , "Not as full as they will be." or something. Its typically said to me in a joking fashion and Im starting to show, so I wonder if people will continue to say it jokingly, or if it will become really annoying to me.


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#2 of 13 Old 08-11-2011, 12:22 PM
 
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People say this to me all the time--I have a super-active 2 yr old DS. It doesn't bother me because it's totally true! I just say I hope the one coming in Sept is more mellow or I'll be in real trouble.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-11-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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I read a wonderful response to that from a pregnant mama with three or four little ones. She smiled and said:"Not as full as my heart." I thought that was just lovely.

I got that same comment two days ago for the first time when I went to preregister at the hospital, and my 5 year old and 3 year old walked up to the counter with me. I just beamed and said:"No kidding!" because I felt proud. No idea where that pride came from, it might be because I have always wanted lots of kids. 


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#4 of 13 Old 08-11-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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I get it every day two. Right now I DO have my hands full with the kids I mind (10 & 14 months) and laugh or suggest they hold one wink1.gif

Used to mind 3 and didn't have my hands full, wild kids but I loved it. And I did often say " not as full as my heart" or just shrug and smile.

It's annoying. I won't lie.


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#5 of 13 Old 08-13-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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I also hear this a lot...pregnant with my fourth.  Even when my older kids are totally behaving and being super sweet. I kind of read this as "your nuts lady!"  I just try to smile and say "Yes! I do!" with some enthusiasm.  That usually stops the conversation. 


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#6 of 13 Old 08-14-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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I'm pregnant with my fourth and have a 3, 2 and 1 y/o. DH and I get that comment a lot. I usually smile, DH, if he has no child in hands (if his hands are empty) will look down at his hands and say, "Well, actually they aren't right now." 


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#7 of 13 Old 08-14-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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I usually respond to this with "better full than empty."  I find these kinds of comments somewhere between annoying and infuriating and tend to respond with more and more sarcasm the more I hear it. Yes, I am pregnant and have three children already. So? I don't recall getting a vote on anyone else's family size, so why should complete strangers feel they have a right or obligation to comment on MY family size?


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#8 of 13 Old 08-14-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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My first three children were born in 36 months. Even with a sleeping baby in the sling and the other two sitting perfectly behaved in the cart, I'd still get comments about my hands being full. They are now 5, 6, and 8 -- and those comments haven't stopped! 

 

Depending on what the person seemed to be implying (either "you're blessed" or "you're crazy"), I'd usually say either, "They are wonderful kids!" or "Well, I'd rather have them full than empty." The latter usually causes the rude commenter to turn on her heel, surprised that I actually ENJOY my children. :)

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#9 of 13 Old 08-14-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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I used to care, now I don't.  I just don't think too deeply about the hidden meaning . . .they are totally right.  I DO have my hands full.   I am hoping someday someone will follow that up with an offer to help . . .


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#10 of 13 Old 08-15-2011, 03:04 PM
 
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It could just be an empathetic/friendly comment too (some people like acknowledgement that life with kids can be challenging at times, and sometimes people think it helps to show that they noticed)

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#11 of 13 Old 08-15-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Forum crashing, but I get this comment at least 11billion times a day.  If I leave the house with kids, I can count on every 2nd or 3rd passerby saying exactly that.  While I find it slightly annoying, I do think most people don't mean it in a negative way.  A few do, but most are just expressing their startlement at so many little kids (I have a 3yo and twin 9mos).  It's mostly annoying because it's sooooo unoriginal and I hear it umptisquat bazillion times a week.  But that's not really the responsibility of the individual commenters.  I usually just say "yes I do" with a smile, and move on.  Seriously, I have three tiny kids, I do have my hands full.  And I don't find that the kids behavior influences the comments - my 3yo is generally fairly shy and calm (relatively - she's still a typical 3!), so she's rarely making a ruckus in public. 


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#12 of 13 Old 08-15-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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...


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#13 of 13 Old 08-15-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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I get this comment a lot, and have gotten it ever since around my third or fourth child. Not being a particularly witty person, I just reply with my honest point of view.  They say "My, you have your hands full!" and I say, "Yes! In the BEST way possible!" and give my biggest smile. Most people who say it do seem to be saying it in some sort of positive light (either obviously delighting in the children, or just jokingly) and they seem to like this answer. It IS funny to see the reactions of those who did NOT think it was so great.  Usually they just look slightly confused and are quiet.  My favorite reaction, however, came from a lady who was obviously VERY disapproving at first.  I was walking down the isle at Cosco with all six of my children when she came through behind us.  I saw her brain sort of register the children, then take a closer look, then look around and realize I was the only adult in the isle with them, and then she stopped, gasped and said in an aghast tone, "Are they ALL YOURS?"   I put on my big smile and looked proudly at them all and said, "oh yes!"  She then grimaced as if she were looking at a pail of slugs and said disgustedly, "Well, you certainly have your hands full!" And I smiled even more lovingly and enthusiastically and gave my customary response, "Oh yes! In the BEST way possible!!" She opened her mouth, then closed it, looked lost for a second and then said huffily, "Well, I (read that in italics) had four!" As if it was suddenly a competition and she was letting me know that she wasn't that far behind!!!!! After just a moment ago showing so much disgust for having a lot of children! I just kept smiling and said encouragingly something like, "well, see, you did it, too." But she was off already with an air that reminded me of someone saying, "so there" while very narrowly keeping their dignity.  :)

I do really like the "not as full as my heart" line, though, and I think I will use that sometimes in the future as well. :)

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