Tips on g̶o̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o surviving the grocery store with your kids…
Going to the grocery store before you had kids was awesome, magical, and yes peaceful. Strolling through the aisles, list in one hand, coffee in the other, bopping your head to the music playing over the loud speakers…ah yes, we all remember those days! But just like a lot of other things, this changes when you become a mother. Whether you’re just starting out with a newborn in a carrier, or you’re lugging around multiple kiddos, the grocery store can be a bit of a challenge at times. I had one of those challenging moments a few weeks ago…
My son was tired, hungry, and wanted to be anywhere but sitting in the shopping cart. We had barely gotten through the door, when I offered him a sample of the chocolate muffins the nice lady had on a tray. Apparently my child HATES chocolate muffins!
He threw his head back kicking and screaming as loud as he could, “No! No, bites! NOOOOOWAH!” I stood there petrified like a deer in headlights. I thought about running for the door, but all I really wanted to do was melt into the floor. I was now THAT mother in the grocery store. I tried calming him down, all the while people are stopping and starring at me and my red faced child.
Finally, an older gentlemen walked up and said, “The muffins taste that bad, huh?” laughed and walked away. That man was an angel to this embarrassed, helpless feeling mama. Thank goodness for people who are kind and have a sense of humor. I quickly got what was on my list, and made a b-line for the door.
On the drive home, I replayed the scenario over in my head, and vowed to never take him to the store again. Because that’s totally doable, right? I mean, it’s not like my family really needs food or anything… Yeah, chances are even though I went to the store today, I’m going to have to back tomorrow because my kid now loves those chocolate muffins he once hated, and that’s all he wants to eat. Smh, Toddlers.
So, the next time you start feeling anxious about taking your little darlings to the store, check out these tips on how to survive those trips, and come out with your sanity (mostly) intact!
Feed the Beasts- Going to the store hungry is never a good thing, regardless of age. If your child is hungry, chances are they will be cranky. Or if they are old enough, ask you for everything under the sun. Oh, your kid only likes goldfish and pretzels for snack? Take them to the store and suddenly they want sushi, beef jerky, and dried apricots. Bring in your own snacks to keep them occupied.
Wear that Baby Mama- When my babies were little, they loved to be close to mama. I could get WAY more accomplished at the grocery store if I was wearing my baby that day, than I could if I just left them in the carrier car seat. Plus, you get lots of extra whiffs of that new baby smell aka mommycrack. Seriously, someone should make that into a candle flavor.
Bring Entertainment- Have a stash of “special” toys they can only play with at the grocery store. It will keep them occupied, and they might even look forward to the shopping trips! iPhone, iPad, whatever will keep them busy!
Use the Fun Carts- Yes, it takes the strength of 20 men to push those things up and down the aisles, but the kids LOVE them. Besides, that’s what Stroller Strides is for, strength for motherhood to do things like push gigantic shopping carts. ;) Some stores also have the ones that your kids can push themselves. Yes, you might get a few dirty looks from other shoppers, and your ankles may get a few bumps, but your kid will be happy. Plus, you get extra shopping cart room! A win-win!
Bribery Will Get You Everywhere- This is a tactic I sometimes use with my older kids. I let them pick out one special item, and if they are good for me at the store, they get to keep it. If not, back on the shelf it goes! My kids will do anything for donuts ☺
Turn it into a Game- I spy with my little eye, a coffee shop to make mommy smile! Have them look for things all over the store. Pick out a color, and ask them to find an item that matches. Bonus points if it’s on the list!
Mommy’s Little Helper- Give them a “job” to do while you’re in the store. Holding the list, putting items into the cart, picking out the fruits and veggies, whatever will work for your kiddo. Kids love to be mommy’s helper! It makes them feel important, and gives them something to do.
Grab a Free Sample… or Two- Kids love the free samples, I love free samples, is there anyone who doesn’t? This is why Costco is so fun! Just make sure you grab extra, because you know someone is gonna “accidently” throw it on the floor and cry for more. Trust me, mama!
Avoid the Store All Together- Amazon and Instacart will deliver your groceries to you from stores like Target, Costco, and Whole Foods. It isn’t available in all areas, but for those lucky few, this may be the way to go!
Breathe- Chances are those people starring at you in the grocery store have been in your position before. People understand, kids have tantrums, it happens to all of us. We are in this motherhood thing together, solidarity sister! So when you’re feeling extra anxious, just remember to breathe mama. This too shall pass.