According to the Internet, I’m supposed to be super offended when a stranger sees me and my children in public and says, “you sure have your hands full!” From my experience, I feel quite the opposite. I usually respond with a simple, “yes, it’s true!”, but I genuinely and gratefully want to smile say: “THANK YOU for noticing!”
When I am out and about with my three cute monkeys (who are usually pretty good in public!), more than anything I feel ignored. As I’m grabbing things off the grocery store shelves, crossing them off my list as quickly as I can, repeatedly telling the kids “no we can’t have that” while pushing the ridiculously oversized cart with the car attached to the front, all while my stomach is growling and my head wanting nothing more than a rest, people usually walk by quickly with their eyes wandering in any direction but mine. So when someone stops to look at us and acknowledge my efforts, even if they seem wide-eyed and rude, I am grateful. I know their intentions are good.
And I have nothing to be ashamed of — I am proud of my kids and confident in my ability to take them out in public, no matter their behavior. The sweet things would much rather be playing at home or at the park, but sometimes they have to endure the dreaded grocery store, oil change, or mall. So I gear up and try my best to make it positive for everyone.
The most welcomed comments come unexpectedly: “look at those curls!” “Gosh, they are so cute!” “Enjoy them.” I smile and say thank you, then turn a corner wiping my eyes because they noticed. They noticed my kids and acknowledged them… and me. This is the best work, but it is hard work. My hands are full, and yes my heart is full, but I’ll take all the weird comments, grandma smiles, and stranger-holding-the-door support I can get.
p.s. In these photos, you might notice a reflection of my handsome husband photographer as well as a less-than-happy baby! Penny woke up from a car nap and was NOT feeling these pictures. We’ll still keep her.