Don’t get me wrong, I have had a handful of lovely experiences taking my children out shopping. However, for the majority of outings, I have gone out for retail therapy and come home needing another sort of therapy.
So, next time your little one decides to ‘let loose’ during a shopping excursion, please know, 95% of parents feel your pain.
There are numerous reasons why shopping with a little one is hard work, here’s my top five:
1) Shop Choice – You’re thinking you need a new top for that wedding next weekend, they NEED that Lego figure / Hello Kitty bag WAY MORE. You’re thinking a browse around a department store. They are planning a 90 mph get-away.
2) Boredom – Ok, so shopping isn’t many young child’s idea of fun but sometimes it’s necessary (the cereal stock is depleted and all there is for dinner is a carrot that’s seen better days).
3) Trying on Clothes is TRYING - If you need to try an item on whilst out shopping with your little ones, it can be extremely difficult. Besides trying to get undressed, extra bags and little people make an average cubicle cosy to say the least, claustrophobic to be more accurate. Also, (from personal experience), know that curtains between changing rooms are no barrier for tiny ones and the shocked lady in booth 3 is probably no exhibitionist.
4) Toilet Stops – If your child is in nappies you are probably already humping around a bag big enough to transport a family of cats, add to that any additional bags and soon you resemble a mule. Be prepared as well for the immediate and desperate need for the toilet, often just after you’ve got to the front of that really long till queue.
5) Unexpected Treats – You go out to get something for yourself because those nasty calorie fairies have paid you a visit and the only thing that currently fits you is your fluffy dressing gown. Despite this, you can guarantee that you end up in the children’s aisle, they come home with a snazzy new outfit, you decide to borrow a dress.
The list could go on. In my experience, it’s all about balance. Trade off some fun time for them with a quick nip to the shops. The promise of a trip to Dairyland could be all the leverage you need!