(one's) only got one pair of hands

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(one's) only got one pair of hands

There is a limited amount of things one can do at once, so do not make unreasonable demands or have unrealistic expectations. You'll have to wait until I'm finished cooking dinner before I can come help you—I've only got one pair of hands! She's only got one pair of hands, so I don't know how she'll get that all done before the deadline.
See also: hand, of, one, pair

I've only got one pair of hands

1. There is only a finite amount of things I can pick up, carry, or do with my hands. A: "Don't forget to carry the groceries in from the car." B: "Why don't you come out and help? I'm bringing the kids inside, and I've only got one pair of hands."
2. I am too busy to take on any other work. The boss wants me to go over all the intern's work, on top of what I'm already trying to finish for Friday. I've only got one pair of hands!
See also: hand, of, one, pair

someone's only got one pair of hands

People say that someone's only got one pair of hands to mean that there is a limit to the number of things they can do at the same time and they should not be expected to do more than is reasonable. They've only got one pair of hands, and there's so much to do. Just wait a minute, will you — I've only got one pair of hands.
See also: hand, of, one, pair

I’ve only got one pair of ˈhands

(spoken) used to say that you are too busy to do anything else: Give me a chance! I’ve only got one pair of hands you know!
See also: hand, of, one, pair