Anyone who has ever wrangled a toddler into a shopping cart knows that taking children shopping can feel like a daunting task. As a mom of four kids under 10, I’ve had to figure out how to get everyone in and out with as many smiles as we can muster. So you want to go shopping but you’re worried it will be a disaster? Here are my top tips for taking kids shopping with you.
Make a list.
The best defense is a good offense, right?. When I’m embarking on a mission with all my littles in tow, I start by making a list. I use a little hierarchy of importance: must do, need to do, and would be nice but can wait. This helps to alleviate a bit of pressure to do all the things in one shot. It also keeps you laser-focused and gets you one step closer to getting a win! Mom needs a win once in a while. Wait, did I spell wine wrong?
Make as few stops as possible.
I can’t overstate this enough. Dragging in and out to 3+ stores is going to be tough unless you’re at a mall. If I have to get a few groceries but also need some household goods, I pick that store where I can get everything in one stop. And in my experience, two stores with four kids usually goes well. Anything beyond that is about as sketchy as the discarded snack bag under your van seat.
Plan your mode of transportation.
I don’t mean what car you’re going to drive. I’m talking about how you’re going to keep everyone safe and close to you while in the store. Have a baby? Strap that little in a baby carrier. Have toddlers? Get the behemoth cart you can barely steer that seats two kiddos. Older kiddos? They can walk and keep a hand on the cart. Keeping them all within arm’s reach keeps them safe and you sane. We all watch the news. Nobody wants to be on the news, so keep your littles close by having a plan before you get out of the car or minivan (if you’re hip like me).
Be prepared to abort.
So, one of the things that being a mom requires you to do is to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, am I right? If your situation takes a turn to negative town and you or your child is on the verge of a meltdown, it’s okay to abort the mission and try again later. I know sometimes things really can’t wait (like when you realize you’re fresh out of feminine hygiene products and Aunt Flo shows up), and in those times you’ll just have to dig deep and do what you have to do, which may mean carrying a child like a sack of potatoes out the door. Stuff happens, eh?
Offer rewards as needed.
Listen, mommas. It is okay to offer a little encouragement for good behavior now and then. That doesn’t make you a bad mom. If you’re offering a treat or reward every time you leave the house, your children will learn to expect that. However, for those times when things seem a little dicey but you have to get some shopping done, go ahead and dangle the Icee or whatever small token will afford you some peace while you make this shopping debacle happen.
You can do it!
I hope my mom hack has given you some easy strategies to get out there and shop again. I know it’s not as carefree and easy-breezy as it used to be, but there’s no reason your littles can’t learn to love Target runs just like their momma!
Have more tips? Comment Below!