My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Some love for Valentine’s Day: Let’s banish this from our collective vocabularies
February 11, 2012, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Just making conversation, Parenting | Tags: , ,

Have you ever said, “Wow, looks like you have your hands full!” to a woman with children as she exiting a building? It might seem banal enough, but to her it might be interpreted as, “Dude, lady, those kids are running all over you! You look ragged, worn and beaten down.”

I have said this to other people. Mostly, pre-kids–one of a gajillion dumb things I thought or said out loud before I had kids of my own. I have had this said to me. Mostly on the way in or out of the gym, and it’s mostly older, grandpa-lookin’ guys who say it.

Clip art from

So, as we approach February 14th and the feeling of love fills the air–let’s do something nice for one another. Let’s banish the phrase, “Looks like you have your hands full.”

For the instances where you may see a parent struggling with her groceries, the door, her children who are whining for goldfish crackers and her car keys*, I offer these alternatives:

  • May I help you with something?
  • Looks like you’re doing a fabulous job with those little people!
  • My, you seem to handle all this child-rearing with grace!
  • You make it all look so easy.
  • Your children are absolutely precious.
  • What dolls! I especially love the one who is wearing oatmeal in her hair.
  • I’d love to be of assistance. Can I take your children to the park, put your groceries away for you and pour you a big goblet of wine?

Can you feel the love? Happy not-quite-Valentine’s Day, everyone!

*Note: this is basically me. I want to teach you what to say next time you see me. So, especially pay attention to that last one, okay?


4 Comments so far
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There should be a Wine-for-all-moms day.

Comment by becomingcliche

Mmmhmm. I know wine makes me a better momma. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Comment by jaymers

Hahaha! Great post! I really wish someone would tell me that they like the food in my child’s hair 🙂 My brother has 4 boys, and his favorite comments are, “are those all yours?” and “you know what causes pregnancy, right?” Observation for random commenters on parenthood: if you aren’t sure what to say, maybe don’t speak.

Comment by RFL

Are all those yours? Nice. If there’s one thing we can all agree upon, it’s that no one deserves to have their paternity questioned by random passers-by. Thanks for commenting!

Comment by jaymers

Your thoughts are always welcome

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