It doesn’t matter how much makeup I put on or how perfectly I style my hair. I take it for granted that I will be a sweaty hot mess by the time I’m done with my grocery shopping. I keep meaning to take before and after selfies for a laugh but by the time I get all my groceries loaded and my fussing kids in their carseats I have become one track minded. “Must get home… must get kids to bed… must put feet up.” <–Insert dramatic zombie voice.
Our weekly trip to Walmart is a love hate thing for me. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something and figuring out different ways to make the experience fun for the littles but I am by no means a gourmet cook. Heck, the first year of our marriage I wouldn’t even handle raw meat without using a thick pair of gloves! That being said, instead of boring you with my lustrous shopping lists, I will be sharing some tips on how to have a pleasant shopping excursion with the littles in tow.
- Timing is key. If there is one thing I have learned, it is NEVER go to the store during nap time or when your child is hungry. I try to go right after the boys wake for the day or from a nap. We eat a quick meal and out the door we go. That random piece of grey hair I found the other day? Yeah. That was from taking my kids shopping during nap time a few weeks ago. BAD IDEA.
- Baby (or Toddler) Wearing! I love to wear my kids at the grocery store. It is extremely effective in keeping my 11 month old calm and happy. Plus…I’m not gonna lie…I enjoy the looks of awe as I sling Owen onto my back and wrap him up in my Mei Tai. Probably not as awe inspiring as the above Meme but still, I feel like Supermom strutting around with my cape…er…baby on my back. While I enjoy the whole Supermom thing usually I opt for my favorite baby carrier which is a Little Peeper Keeper ring sling. Wearing Owen on the front is more convenient because if he gets fussy I can always offer the breast. And actually, now that I think about it, breastfeeding hands free while shopping actually adds to the whole Supermom factor. Score! 😉 Occasionally I will put Owen in the cart and wear Adam, my two year old, but I only do this if he is tired and as we already established I don’t want anymore grey hairs so if he’s tired–we stay home.
- Snack! Snacks! Snacks! So while you want to feed the littles a meal prior to shopping, you want to make sure it’s a light one so they have plenty of room in their tummies for snacks! Snacks are definitely my favorite way to pacify because, well, toddler snacks are so darn tasty (Hey! don’t judge me! Mama’s have to eat too and sharing is good!)! If I have time to plan ahead I usually toss a couple of sippie cups and baggies full of treats into the diaper bag. If not, the first thing on the grocery list is cheese sticks of which I open and distribute to all… three of us. 😀
- Nothing like a good old fashioned belt. No! Not to spank with! To tie with. One of my favorite methods of containing the littles is by making a mini grocery cart theater. Who wouldn’t want to go shopping with Mama when it means a trip to the movies?? And not the dollar theater. Baby, I’m talking the kind with reclining chairs!!
It is hard to tell in the picture, but I have the Kindle in a GoGo Pillow which enables me to hang it on the front of the cart. Across from that I put down a pillow for them to sit on and one to lean back on. Once they are comfy I thread a soft belt through the slats, around their waists, and then latch it on the outside of the cart, behind them. I also have a bluetooth mini speaker that I put behind the pillow so that they can hear their movie. Usually by the time I have marked everything off my list I am tempted to find a deserted isle and jump in there with them! ;-P
Well there you have it! Some grocery shopping survival tips from one Mom to another! What are some things that you do to contain your littles? Do tell!!!