There are two phrases I hear most often now that I run errands with three kids in tow, and for some reason, they just rub me the wrong way. I’m not sure if it’s because these comments are typically delivered by complete strangers at the most inconvenient times. Such as, in the midsts of a meltdown from not one, but all three of my children…at the same time. Or the fact that my freshly postpartum hormones leave me exceptionally sensitive and defensive.
Whatever the reason, “you have your hands full” sounds so negative to me these days. When I hear it, it sounds more like “your hands are so full, and you’re not able to hold it all together.” Even though I’m well aware I’m being overly sensitive, and not all the comments are intended to be hurtful, some do deliver these comments with looks of pity for this tired mama.
The truth is, I don’t have it all together. I’m new to this three kid thing, and I’m stumbling a LOT. They aren’t wrong when they insinuate that my hands are often way too full for me to hold it all together. This fact leaves me feeling venerable and exposed. I have a hard time being comfortable with people seeing me lose control, much less having them point it out. But, I don’t know one mom that has it all together all the time. And actually, when I see another mom with their hands as full as mine feel sometimes, it makes me feel more normal.
“Wow, you’re busy,” is another common phase ringing in my head these days. Why do I let these comments become a knock to my self-esteem, and serve as my grade as a mother? I am well aware that I’m being overly sensitive, and I know I need to remind myself that busy doesn’t mean I’m failing. Hands full doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. In fact, I feel the complete opposite.
My hands ARE full. I AM so busy. But, busy and hands full doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I feel completely blessed to have my hands this full. Are things crazy at my house right now? Absolutely! But, I wished, hoped and prayed hard for this chaos to enter my home. Full hands truly does mean a full heart. They go hand and hand. My heart is so full, love is spilling out, no, exploding out from every possible space.
These strangers aren’t wrong though. Things are pretty crazy while we adjust to the new normal of our family of 5. Sometimes we just have to laugh at how full our hands are right now. With three boys under the age of 6, there really isn’t a dull moment. It’s all pretty comical when we stop to think about it, and it’s making for some pretty good stories after the fact. Things can be complete chaos, and then these silly little monkeys will totally redeem themselves by doing something so darn cute and lovable. Along with the chaos, they bring so much fun, love and laughter to our lives. I don’t think it’s possible to have a full heart without having your hands full at times too. Full Hands Full Heart.
My hands are full…
I’m constantly multitasking, and there’s almost always someone crying. My children become mind numbingly slow and stubbornly independent when I’m in a hurry. I’ve recently said things like, “please stop licking the wall, no you may not pee outside at a restaurant, and please leave your pants on.” All in the same day. Muddy feet typically run through a freshly mopped kitchen. My kids thought a miniature wheelbarrow full of mulch in the living room was an excellent idea. My two-year-old ate a FLY. Yes, you heard me correctly. He actually picked up a dead fly and stuck it in his mouth! Why on Earth he thought that was a good idea, I’ll never know. But there I was, nursing a newborn while chasing around a laughing toddler eating a FLY. This moment made me juggling meltdowns in Target look like a cake walk.
My heart is full too…
The squeals and giggles coming from my boys’ shared bedroom melt my heart, and make all the hard days more than worth it. My tone-deaf two-year-old singing lullabies at the top of his lungs makes my tired heart smile. My son said, “this is my favorite day EVER!” on the day his baby brother was born. I hear “Mommy” 1000 times a day, but just when I think I can’t hear it another time, 1001 is followed by “Mommy, I love you.” I beam with pride watching my son stick up for his little brother. The best feeling in the world is having my three boys in my lap for a bedtime story. There are moments that I look back in the rear view mirror catching my boys holding hands, and it makes my heart SO full.
So yes, my hands are full. Very full. I’m juggling. I’m scattered and distracted. I’m in survival mode. Some moments are exhausting and then next, my heart hurts I’m so happy. I’m so lucky to be this “busy.” I wouldn’t trade a moment of the chaos. May we all be blessed to have our lives so “full.”