One of the most frustrating experiences moms go through on a regular basis is “The Shopping Trip.” Whether it’s the weekly grocery shopping or hunting for holiday gifts, shopping with kids can be extremely challenging.
Mandy of Mandyland, one of my favorite bloggers, has been there many times with her babies, toddlers and then preschoolers. She graciously offered to share the humorous tricks that help her survive shopping with kids:
#1: Don’t think of shopping as recreational. Think of it as exercise.
Wear your yoga pants and sneakers. Stretch before you unload the kids out of the car. Be prepared to run, speed-walk, jump, twist, grab and lunge.
#2: Prepare bribes.
I understand that you may not agree with bribery as a way to encourage good behavior. But while shopping, it’s not a matter of if but when. Decide what it’s going to be. A piece of candy? Not unless you don’t mind a sticky cart handle. A balloon? Great. Just be aware that what goes up, will go to the rafters and your one-year-old won’t understand that Mommy doesn’t have a 30-foot jump reach.
#3: Phone a friend.
This strategy works well for me. When the “I wants” get started, I simply dial my mom. I hand the phone over to my oldest – who’s plopped in the back of the cart – and let Nana babysit for a half hour. Do be aware that this can result in long-distance spoiling. “Nana said I can have a toy and you have to listen to her because she’s your mommy.”
#4: Give them food.
Before kids, I was one of those horrible women that tsked under her breath when I saw a mom grabbing a bag of Goldfish and ripping it open for her kids. Karma bit me in the rear. Now, not only do I grab the snack crackers, I pop open juice boxes. Caution: I’m not entirely sure how legal this is, so try to keep your tab under $20.
#5: Leave feminine hygiene products at home.
If you have a child small enough to ride in the cart, you’ll end up giving her your purse. If you give her your purse, she will empty its contents on the floor. If she empties the contents, she’ll drop your tampons in front of the butcher counter. It’s a “Mouse and Cookie” thing.
#6: Don’t let your toddler leave the cart.
Your toddler will always want to get out of the cart and test out her new walking legs by chasing her brother. Whatever you do, do not – I repeat DO NOT – let her out of her restraints unless you’re an Olympic sprinter. Once her feet touch the floor, your little one will take off at a rate of speed usually attributed to cheetahs. And her brother will run after her. You’ll have to rely upon kind strangers to point you in the direction of your children.
#7: Be aware of “shopping drag.”
This is a highly dangerous condition that occurs when delays keep you in the store for more than an hour. At this point, you become susceptible to impulse buying directed by your children. That is how Zsu Zsu pets happen.
#8: Never try on clothes while shopping with your children.
Unless they are under three months and not independently mobile. Nothing is more fun than standing in your underwear while your two-year-old throws open the door and runs out of the dressing room. Nothing, that is, except your two-year-old crawling under the divider and having a discussion with the lady in the next stall. Awkward.
#9: Check for hidden items.
As you put your items on the conveyor belt, be sure to check under your child’s bum, in their pockets, in their overalls and behind their ears for snagged merchandise. Alarms will go off. Actually, they don’t usually. But then after you get out to the car, unload the cart and have the kids buckled you’ll find a pack of bobby pins you accidentally stole. Deciding to set a good example, you unload the kids and bring them inside only to have the alarms go off because there’s a necklace in your daughter’s onesie.
#10: Reward yourself.
When checking out, give yourself a pat on the back if you can keep your children with you, away from the debit keypad, and out from behind the neighboring register. And go ahead…add that chocolate bar. You deserve it. Why do you think they put the candy by the registers?
Mandy is great, right? For more of her funny take on motherhood, check out “7 New Year’s Resolutions Moms Make (and Then Break).” You’ll be laughing because..honesty.
All the holiday shopping and obligations have you too worn out to crack a smile? Head over to “5 Tips for Hassle-Free Holidays.” You’ll get practical tips on how to cut back on the things you don’t really care about so you can spend more time on the things that matter most. #lifegoals