“You’ve Got Your Hands Full”

For some reason this phrase really gets me. Maybe it’s because I hear it all. the. time. Most recently I heard it when I took my crew to Costco on a Friday afternoon. These little people live for free samples, and I thought “it would be fun.” Let’s remind me never to do that again.  We started our adventure with the big kids walking but then M got smushed between the cart and the granola bites display. Tears. Everyone in the cart! Perfect. Their combined weight is about a hundred pounds plus the cart so that feels like…..a million. It was shaping up to be a great trip, and we hadn’t even made it down a whole aisle yet. 

So there we were navigating a VERY crowded grocery store at “rush hour” in the grocery cart equivalent of a suburban when that comment found its way to me again. A woman (who I’m sure is very nice) zipped past us and called over her shoulder “You’ve got your hands full!” In the words of 6 year old M: “uuuuuuuuuuug.” What’s the response to that?

Yes I do…and I love it.

Yes I do…and we barely made it out the door.

Yes I do…and they are wonderful.

Yes I do…and I’ve cried 3 times today.

Yes I do…and I’m really worried about one.

Yes I do…and I love having them all together.

Yes I do…and I pray every day for their safety.

Yes I do…and I hope I’m doing this right.

Yes I do…and I’m so tired.

Yes I do…and it’s all going by so fast.

Yes I do…and this is really hard.

Yes I do…and please MOVE!

This week in our book club we discussed speaking truths into one another. I was profoundly affected when shortly after our meeting a sweet friend did just that. I am still lifted up by the words that she shared with me. They gave me strength. They touched my heart.  They made me feel seen, heard, and understood. They moved me, and they made me feel like I could move mountains.

As I was leaving that “mountain” we will call Costco on a Friday afternoon, I noticed her. A fellow mama. She was pushing a double stroller AND pulling the cart. She was too far away for me to speak to her, but I thought to myself “she’s amazing.” You know what I imagine her response would have been had I been close enough to tell her?  “Thank you.” Because when truths are spoken, gratitude is the only response. When we lift up others (friends and strangers alike) with intentional comments and encouraging words, then we can change hearts and lives. We can make challenging moments easier, and we can give strength to those are struggling.

I do “have my hands full” and I know you do too. Keep the faith. Speak the truths.

You are doing a great job.

Find the joy,


Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at http://smallhandsbigsteps.com/contact/ for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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