Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 22 - Shopping with kids!

My oldest is going to love this picture...

When I decided to write on this topic of going from insanity to sanity, I spent several days in September making a list of all the things that overwhelm, stress, and almost drive me to the point of insanity.  It honestly wasn’t very hard to come up with a list of 31 topics.  One day after shopping at far too many stores in a too little amount of time, I knew that shopping with children would be a perfect topic.

Going grocery shopping with kids is not one of those top 10 things that moms enjoy doing.  We could all share horror stories of shopping trips in the past.  The momentous ones for us include watching pee flow like a waterfall down one of the giant Kroger buggies after a potty trainer couldn’t hold it any longer, or the time that a preschooler was helping mommy hold a bag of rice at Whole Foods and thought the little hole in it should be a little bigger.  There are days of whining children and car buggies (which I firmly believe are invented by men without children) sound like fingernails on a chalkboard.  The list could go on…

Even though this is a not a task for the faint of heart, there have been many days that shopping with my girls has truly been a treat.  To see such joy on my littlest one's face when she gets to push a “little buggy” at Trader Joe's can only make me smile.  Cookies at Harris Teeter & Kroger are truly a blessing not only to my girls, but also to this weary mama.  There are good shopping moments too.

In my couponing days, I would attack up to four or five stores in an errand run, which does save on gas, but not on my sanity.  If we do visit more than two or three stores, I’ll “try” to plan in time for a treat as well, whether it’s a visit to the pet store, a trip to the park, and an ice cream cone close by.  This helps everyone endure, enjoy the shopping experience more.  

Advice that we all may know, but may not necessarily adhere to…

- Shop when moods are at their best.  Nap time is not the best time to do the bulk of shopping.  When this cannot be avoided, extra grace needs to be extended to the sleepy ones.

- Never shop on an empty stomach (moms and children).  We tend to buy more and be more irritable.  I love Whole Foods for this reason.  They have a kid’s wagon at the front of the store which contains organic raisins, fruit, and healthier lollipops.  This has helped me on many occasions to keep little mouths quiet.

- Have a list.  When I don’t take the time to write down what I need, I end up circling the store more than necessary and taking longer than planned.

- Try to involve your children.  All three of my girls love to put things in the shopping cart or pick out which bananas look the best.  This involves a little more patience, but can be beneficial in the long run.

I love to see what other moms do while out and about.  I’ve seen a mother have all her children holding the sides of the cart to keep everyone together.  Wow! was all I can say.  Another mom played red light, green light with her kids to keep them from going too far, but kept the shopping trip fun.  If anyone else has some ideas that have worked for them, please feel free to share.

My big helper


  1. It's amazing.....I've had children for five years now and yet I still hold onto that notion of the "10 Minute" shopping trip, where I am in and out of the grocery store, bags full of groceries, in a short time. That is never happening again! ( at least not with little ones). Maybe my fantasies about the good old shopping trips are similar to those who hold on to their high school jeans, hoping to fit into them once again. For now, I have learned to keep my sanity (bc I do coupon and spend a lot of time), I give myself extra time, I pack the boys snacks, we usually take a trip to the lobster tank, holiday decorations, or gross meat-boys you know-, and we do cookies toward the end of trip. This way, they are more motivated to behave and forget all about the candy at the checkouts.

    1. Too true, Megan! I love your idea of cookies at the end. So smart!