I dont necessarily feel that taking 4 kids to the grocery store for a BIG shop is a FEAR of mine, but it’s definitely something I have avoided doing on my own since I went from having 2 kids to 3! Today, I took all 4 of my kids to the store alone to do a big shop and no one cried! Not even me!
With a baby strapped to my chest, my two middles in the cart and my oldest walking (and exploring) on foot, we conquered our shop! This may be a small feat for some of you, but I feel it’s worth a blog post because I feel so accomplished! Now I know I can do it and I’m not so nervous to do it again! When I used to think about taking all my kids shopping my palms would sweat and my heart would start pounding…I’m here to tell you, it’s possible!
Here are some things that helped me along the way:
- Take snacks-so helpful to distract!
- Take one stuffy/toy per kid-trust me, so helpful!
- Find a balance between going fast and take your time-plan ahead with a list, take your time so you know you aren’t missing anything, but go a bit quickly to keep the kids from complaining 🙂
- Acknowledge your kids and the conversation they’re having with each other, with you and also with strangers-with my son, you can’t be an introvert and take him shopping, he talks to EVERYONE! If they feel you’re talking to them and not just whizzing through the store in a panicked tizzy it keeps them calm and they last longer!
- Just smile at people around you if they give you an annoyed look because your kid is yelling about fruit snacks for several isles-or if they give you a little grin when they realize that, “yes, all these kids are mine!”
- If they want something and you aren’t going to get it, instead of just saying “no” and repeating yourself over and over and over because they keep asking, explain why-kids are pretty understanding if they know why the answer is no.
- if they fight with each other or bicker in the middle of the store with like 20 people around, rather than huff and puff and get frustrated with them, get involved in the conversation-help them understand and reason with each other-teaching them communication skills 🙂 I find my oldest daughter huffs out of frustration with her siblings because she sees me react that way when I get frustrated with them, so I’m trying to change my own behaviour and help her find a way to calmly handle situations. Plus, it shows them that even mommies and daddies are sometimes needing an attitude adjustment too 😉
- My best tip yet, donuts! Yes, I bribed my children with a donut if they behaved in the store. Hey, if I can teach them young to be respectful in a store and use donuts as leverage I’m ok with that!
There you have it! Not much more to say after all that, except, be gentle with yourself mama! You’re doing the best you can! I love sharing life and the things I’m learning as a mom with you all! Next time you feel like taking all your kids out is like climbing Everest, just know that you are so capable, and you’re stronger than you know! You are enough…