This article originally appeared on 07.28.17
Parents — especially those with multiple kids — know the phrase: “Oof, you must have your hands full!”
It’s a common refrain from strangers who see us out and about.
Sometimes it even comes along with an “I feel sorry for you,” if you’re really lucky.
While it’s a mostly harmless comment meant to show admiration, it struck a nerve with one mom when a stranger in Walmart dished it out to her while she shopped with her three kids.
Courtney Lester took to Facebook to share how she wishes she had responded to the man who told her he felt “sorry” for her.
After all, dealing with those raucous kids (who were riding quietly in the cart) must be such a burden!
For starters, Lester wrote, never comment on the size of someone’s family — more than likely, you don’t know the whole story.
“What you can’t tell is that I lost 2 babies before being blessed with my last 2,” she wrote. “So if you want to feel sorry for me, there’s the only reason why you should.”
With as many as 20% of pregnancies ending in miscarriage, it’s best to never assume.
But the even bigger takeaway from Lester: Raising kids is hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s a burden.
In fact, quite the opposite. Doctors initially told Lester she likely wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again after having her first child, so she knows a thing or two about being appreciative of all the little moments, the ups and downs, the long days, and the laughs and the tears along the way.
“Some days, I can’t wait for bedtime. My children keep me on my toes and one of them always needs something, but I have never viewed them as an inconvenience or a reason for someone to ‘feel sorry’ for me. Even on days when they won’t listen, have meltdowns, and when it seems like nothing I do is good enough, I have never felt sorry for myself and I don’t expect others to either. If having 3 kids automatically makes my hands full, so be it… But please, never feel sorry for me because my heart is more full than my hands could ever be.“
Judging by the overwhelming response to her post, which has gone viral with over 22,000 Likes on Facebook, she’s not the only parent around who wouldn’t trade her little rascals for anything.
Even a judgment-free stroll through Walmart.