Today’s the day, you’re sitting in your car looking into the mirror on that little face behind you. In the back of your mind, the upcoming task of getting out of the car is looming. I remember this feeling so many times with my first, and as soon as I somewhat got the hang of our routine, I felt it again with my second. After my husband’s paternity leave was up I realized one day that we needed to go get groceries. “How am I supposed to do this with two kids” I kept saying to myself. So after a bit of coffee, I devised a plan which I will share with you. Here are my top five tips surviving shopping with
First of all, take a deep breath and have some self-compassion. You are capable of doing this I promise. Life isn’t perfect, it’s messy, and adding children into the mix takes it up a notch. Shopping for groceries and getting out of the house with littles is tough enough without you being hard on yourself. You might perceive that those moms are staring, you’re sucking at this, or all hell is about to break loose. However, I ask please give yourself a bit of grace and know you can do this! Plus, if someone is staring at you while your child is having a meltdown, they might be like me and remembering the last time their OWN child did that same exact thing. There is no place for shame in parenting. Do you see that window over there? Throw all that shame out because doesn’t exist for you anymore. I vividly remember nursing my infant in the store during a meltdown. So much self-compassion was needed then because not only was I exhausted, I was self-conscious with a screaming infant attached to me.
My second tip for making shopping easier is to babywear. When you have one or more children, and need to go out shopping, especially at the grocery, store this can be a lifesaver. I can have Alexandria attached to me and put Sebastian in the shopping cart while remaining hands free. Also safety-wise keeping both kids close to me while shopping is a bonus. It just wasn’t conventional for me to have my huge double stroller and a shopping cart with the kids alone. Babywearing also helps to make space your shopping cart versus taking up that space with a car seat. Sometimes my daughter will even fall asleep in the carrier which is a win-win. This was a godsend for me doing anything with my children. My son has toddler classes that he goes to a couple times a week, and I will literally wear my infant to be able to run around with him. My carrier of choice is the Ergobaby carrier, my model actually has a little pocket where I can put my keys, phone, and wallet for easy access. This is another option for a carrier as well.
This brings us to number three learn to work with the nap schedule of your child. Even with your first child by the second or third month, you will have a pretty good grasp on when they nap. Those first two weeks with an infant were rough but they will even out “somewhat”. My tip is to make sure you aren’t going to the store near nap time, especially right before they usually nap. It’s a recipe for disaster, so unless you’re feeling super brave I would not suggest shopping during nap time. I notice when my children are well fed and rested they are more agreeable.
We are almost through the list at tip number four. SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS on deck! Whichever mode of feeding you use for your child at any age make sure that they are not hungry when you’re in the store. You know how “they” say don’t shop when you’re hungry because you’ll spend more money? Don’t shop when your children are hungry, because they will make the state of their belly known the entire time you’re in the store. Since I breastfeed my daughter I will usually feed her ahead of time, and for my son I will throw a snack in my purse. My two year old will snack on apple pouches, bananas, blueberries, crackers, and I’ve even gone as far as to carry a little Tupperware of rice with me for him to snack on.
My final tip is to make a list when you’re heading to the grocery store. I will usually canvas my kitchen ahead of time and make a list of things that I needs or might need soon. Doing so helps me limit unnecessary purchases (doubles) or having to gather my kids up again for another trip because we forgot something. In my planner review on YouTube I showed where I can meal plan for the week. With two children I try to plan most of our meals so I don’t have to wonder what we will eat that day. Also a fun tip, most grocery stores have apps and you can see prices, coupons, and where items are located in the store. Before trips, I will see what I need, load up my coupons, and make a grocery list. Not only does making a list keep you on track so you can get in and out the store; making a list keeps you within your budget as well.
These five tips aren’t the end-all for shopping with the littles but I hope these small suggestions help you in your next venture out. Feel free to drop a comment of what works for you and head over to my youtube and check my video out if you’re more visual. Until next time my friends may your wine be stronger than your kids.