Why We’ve Made Too Big of a Deal over the Phrase “Looks Like You Have Your Hands Full”

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Why we've made too big of a deal out of the phrase looks like you've got your hands full! TOP GRAPHIC

Today at Target I strode up to the dressing room with a four week old baby strapped to my body, a two-year-old strapped in the cart whining, and a four-year-old running in and out of clothing racks and seemingly not comprehending the immediacy with which I was directing her (repeatedly) to come over by me.

A sweet Target employee took extra care to help me back to my room, with all my garments (making an exception to the minimum allowed) and my kid-carrying cart in tow.

She smiled as she cleared the way for me and said, “let’s get you the big dressing room, looks like you have your ha– (faltering, awkward pause), …a full load there.”

She had begun to observe that I had my hands full, but she had stopped short. I instantly imagined what was going on in her mind.

Read the rest today at TheHumbledHomemaker.com.


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  1. Kristin says:

    This is such a refreshing post! I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around why that phrase is offensive unless said in a demeaning tone like, “Why do you have so many kids?” I think that has to only be the case 1% of the time though. Moms everywhere are making their way to social media fame by expressing over and over and over again how hard motherhood is yet when others acknowledge it they are offended. Crazy! So thank you for this post! Very much appreciated!

  2. Denise says:

    Why do people take things so deeply when they’re knee deep in raising kids? I’ve been there with 2 kids 17 months apart, and they’re 18 and 19 now. They live at home and are going to college from having been homeschooled. I am still busy with them, just in different ways. And I might add, the teen years and transitioning into adulthood make the sleepless nights seem almost desirable. 😉 No one means anything by saying you have your hands full. If you see someone with their hands full, all it means is the person wants to help. I’ve heard “you have your hands full, let me open the door for you.” ALWAYS from well meaning people. Read the tone in peoples’ voices also. I would almost guarantee it’s not meant in a negative way. We need to assume innocence until proven guilty. I have had many a well meaning person help me when I had the kids in a double stroller and tried to get through a too-small door, etc and if I was focused on the negative meaning that I had given that phrase, I would have missed out on the blessing before me, that a kind person wanted to help. I now work 2 full time jobs at home and am helping financially with both kids in college. Hands full? Most definitely, and proud of everything I can do to help, be it cooking, cleaning, or organizing as well as working. Hope that puts a positive spin on it for some of you. 🙂 Don’t miss out on the blessings!

  3. Alicia says:

    I love this. I randomly came across this blog through Humbled Homemaker, but I feel like we should be friends or something. I too navigated the aisles of Target yesterday with a 4 year old girl, a 2 year old boy and a 7 week old girl. I could relate to every word you said 🙂

    • No way! That is so crazy!! We should be friends! 🙂 We practically have the same life. How’s it going with three? Are you getting any sleep yet? My new one, Emily, just switched to only getting up once a night, which is amazing, but I have yet to feel “caught up” in the sleep department. Naps just have not happened for me this time around, and it’s definitely worn me down.

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