Shopping+kids=disaster!

With our holiday fast approaching next weekend I have began the annual panic about what we still need to buy, to do and worst of all, to pack. I have spent the last few days desperately clicking on mail order websites, trying to buy for every eventuality, collecting and returning countless parcels and growing increasingly anxious about that fact that the days are flying by. So today, having waited in all morning for yet another parcel, I thought we would have a drive up to Matalan where I would be safe in the knowledge that it’s all under one roof, no busy roads to cross, no heaving shopping arcades to manoeuvre, no lifts to wait around for with these three little monkeys in tow.

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And two hours later, two hours of sheer hell later, I remembered exactly why I hate shopping these days. Gone are the days when a shopping expedition was something to look forward to, armed with a list and a choice of venues for lunch, and in its place is what can only be described as a living nightmare. The most stressful, embarrassing, infuriating kind of nightmare that results in tears, both the kids and mine!

Because it’s hard to remember the days when I could enjoy shopping by myself. When I could simply walk into a shop without the five minute pep talk beforehand, the laying down of the law, the promise of chocolate and ice cream if they would just let Mummy do what she has to do. When I could stand in a queue, waiting for the stupid woman on the customer service desk to get off the phone, without my kids throwing twenty two pairs of mens black sports socks into my trolley or pulling down a tower of DVDs. When I could keep up the pretence of being a, relatively sane, grown-up without one of the kids pointing out that my cardigan has a huge gaping hole in the pocket, that the shop smells of “stinky poo pants” or that the man next to me has a big fat tummy like Daddy Pig. When I could push the trolley like a normal human being without one, or three of the children, screaming blue murder because I had dared to touch the trolley and then, to avoid a scene, had to resort to an awkward ‘hip shuffle push’ in the pretence that I wasn’t actually touching the trolley at all and that my kids were, indeed, steering it themselves. Right into the heels of the man infront…

I can only dream of a time when I could try on clothes without the constant screech of, “Shut the curtain!” as the kids flashed my (mismatching) bra and knickers to every passing shopper, when I could leisurely decide which dress to buy without having to get changed at lightening speed while shouting, “Get your head out from under there!”, “Do not press that buzzer!” and, “The next person to touch that curtain is in big trouble!!”. When I could look at new underwear without the kids screaming, “Boobies!!” while they pulled 38DD bras onto their heads, thrust their arms through the straps and shrieked, “My boobies are bigger than yours!” to every passing stranger. When I could wander down the aisles without the kids swinging from the rails, grabbing at clothes, launching themselves on the floor and screaming, “Can I have this?” on repeat, with an uncanny ability of homing in on every pink, sparkly, tacky looking item of clothing, jewellery and hair accessory.

It’s impossible to remember a time when I could make eye contact with a perfect stranger in a shop without them feeling the need to tell me, “I feel for you love!” ,”We’ve all been there,” “It does get easier!” as they give me a sympathetic smile, a pat on the arm and a frosty glare at the kids. When I could bend down to try on some shoes without one of the kids whacking me on the back of the head with a heavy duty, pink, glittery sunglasses case, so hard that I was tempted to whip out my phone and Google symptoms of concussion right there and then. When I could turn my back, just for a moment, and not have to worry that the children would scarper, in three different directions, pelting it down the aisles until I finally found them destroying the display beds, tucking themselves in under the covers and telling me, “We were tired, we just needed a nap!”. And my first thought had not been to berate them, or to snatch them down with shame, instead I had merely thought how inviting the bed looked, how lovely it would be to climb in beside them, lay my head down on the pillow and grab even just a moments sleep!!

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Remember the days when a shopping trip didn’t result in you contemplating whether Matalan sells tequila, when the smirk of the cashier as she tells you, “That’s why I stopped at one!” makes you want to resort to physical violence, when you slam place your children into their car seats and thank the Lord that they are finally contained. When you could simply get into your car without launching into a twenty minute lecture on how to behave in public, bringing out the big guns of, “Just you wait ’til Daddy gets home!”, desperately trying to  ignore the chorus of, “But I wanted that unicorn handbag!!!”. Remember a time when a shopping trip didn’t result in pathetic, self indulgent tears on the drive home, eating two Snickers bars back to back, turning the radio up full whack to drown out the howls of, “But I want to be a good girl now!!” and wondering why you even bother leaving the house some days?

No, me neither.

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102 Comments

    • July 12, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      I wish you had of been, another pair of hands would have come in useful!! xx

  1. Les
    July 12, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    Absolutely fantastic! Crying with laughter 😂

    • July 12, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you, glad to be of entertainment, at least one of us is laughing!!! xx

  2. July 12, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    I find it hard enough with just one in tow….if I brought both I’d end up hiding under a rail of dresses crying. You are one brave lady! I can just picture you now, hackles rising by the second. Great post!

    • July 12, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Haha I think I’m crazy not brave!! I never learn my lesson, every time I come home from another disastrous shopping trip I say never again!! This time, really – never again!! Thanks for reading! xxx

      • July 12, 2016 / 8:09 pm

        I literally buy everything online…except groceries because my fav section is the reduced price aisle!

        • July 14, 2016 / 4:40 pm

          Oh groceries are ALWAYS on line here, my kids run wild in the supermarket, screaming the place down for chocolate biscuits!! xx

      • July 12, 2016 / 9:05 pm

        Next time you find yourself thinking, “It wasn’t that bad, I can do it again,” remind yourself to re-read this blog first!

        • July 14, 2016 / 4:39 pm

          Haha yes!!! I never learn my lesson!! xx

  3. July 12, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    I read and commented because I follow you but I’ve just spotted you’re on the #bigpinklink as well!

  4. July 12, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I feel your frustration! Shopping can be a difficult experience, most of the time I wish I could be the only person in the store so I could move freely. With children, it sounds 100 times worse. But at the end of the day, online shopping is your saviour.

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      I’m sure this is why they invented on-line shopping, to save the sanity of parents across the world! xx

  5. July 12, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I feel your frustration! Shopping can be a difficult experience, most of the time I wish I could be the only person in the store so I could move freely. With children, it sounds 100 times worse. But at the end of the day, online shopping is your saviour #dreamteam

  6. July 12, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    I LOVE this, and you!!! Oh man I already pretty much exclusively online shop and this has reaffirmed my decision to stick to that, especially if/when we have more kids!! This has had me chuckling away, you described it so perfectly. Hope you’re sorted for your holiday now lovely and that you have a fab time! #dreamteam

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      Definitely don’t make the mistakes that I’ve made, although with biscuits and booze I reckon shopping would be way less stressful!! Nowhere near sorted but 9 days to go, I can do this!!! xx

  7. July 12, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    I feel your pain. Every second of it. Shopping is now the LAST thing you want to do (however badly you need a new jumper, or however tempting the sales are!)… fab post. Have a great holiday!
    #FartGlitter

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:37 pm

      Exactly! I used to be the first in the store for the sales, these days I’d rather pay full price on line than have to battle it out for the sale rail with these kids in tow! xx

  8. mackenzieglanville
    July 13, 2016 / 8:48 am

    I know how frustrating that is, but oh my gosh I couldn’t help but giggle (sorry), but the bra’s and the mine are bigger than yours is so cute when I picture your exceptionally gorgeous children doing that! I had my 3 in the change room with me the other weekend and we were so squished and yes the curtain was still opening and shutting thanks to my 6 year old, but we have to laugh as well as sometimes cry and yes a drink could be handy too. It is easier once they are at school but beware of the weekend shop it still isn’t pretty at ages 12, 9 and 6. Thanks for sharing #mg, HEY come to Melbourne and we will shop kid free and have a ball!

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      That sounds wonderful, a child free shopping expedition…even better in the sunshine!! One day Mac….! xx

  9. July 13, 2016 / 10:06 am

    And that’s why I prefer online shopping nowadays. Shopping with T is a bit like how you described shopping with your little ones. Worse, she’ll add additional stuff in our basket! And once we’ve chosen her stuff, she’ll start whinging and want to either go home or have a bit to eat. Sigh.

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      Yes!! My kids constantly just throw stuff in, random things too that we get to the check out and I wonder how the hell it got there! They also have a habit of helping themselves to just about anything, I’m sure they have kleptomania!! xx

  10. July 13, 2016 / 10:28 am

    Oh gosh I really hate shopping since having my son at 18 months he loves to grab everything and have had issues of him crying when u won’t let him have something. I can only guess its going to get worse though, I definitely prefer to shop online anyway.

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:35 pm

      Me too, shopping whilst wearing my pyjamas? Perfect!! xx

  11. July 13, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    I’m sorry, I did laugh! They look so cute. My daughter said a lady was really fat the other day. Luckily she didn’t hear! I try to avoid shopping with her if I can, lol. They are so gorgeous, making me broody!

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      It’s so embarrassing isn’t it? Nearly as embarrassing at the time my eldest sang Who ate all the pies to a large fella in the car garage, mortified!!!! xx

  12. July 13, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    It’s like I’m there in the whirlwind of wild enthusiasm! Every time we go shopping I feel like I want to keep Marianna restrained with baby reigns until she’s at least 12. 🙂

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      Haha yes 12 is a good age. My eldest is 12 and we have amazing shopping trips together, leisurely lunches and he even encourages me to buy things for myself. Perfect! xx

  13. July 13, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Lol! Shopping with kids? Forget it. Nothing ever gets done when my kids are around and that’s at home! Shopping just wouldnt happen. I love your enthusiasm though. 😊

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      My enthusiasm is dead and buried! Next week I am going to go shopping child free, my nerves cant take another attempt! xx

  14. July 13, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I’m sure you didn’t have fun, but now it sounds really hilarious. 😀 Since my boy turned 1 or so, online shopping has become my best friend. Groceries – yes; clothes, books, anything else – no, thank you. It’s a disaster indeed. 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      The only issue with on-line shopping is all of the returns! Standing in the post office queue for half an hour is stressful in itself!! I’m always torn between my sanity and just keeping all of the stuff for when they grow into it! xx

  15. reimerandruby
    July 13, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Funny but so true… You’re not alone, shopping is truly a disaster with kids around, hehehe. Well done for trying though!

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:32 pm

      I have well and truly learned my lesson, no more shopping with the kids in tow!! xx

  16. July 13, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    You’re a brave woman- I salute you! I don’t even attempt shopping with my wife and only one toddler. We take turns or enlist babysitters. It’s probably not at all comforting but this was a hilarious read x

    #fartglitter

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:32 pm

      Haha well at least I amused one of us!! Next time I’ll be taking the tequila along in my handbag! xx

  17. July 13, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    Yes my shopping days with my child is over….I cannot even take him swimming without him trying to peer underneath the cubicles #bestandworst

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:31 pm

      Oh gosh swimming is even more stressful isn’t it? I’m here thinking the holiday will be a well earned break and yet we have the horror of the changing rooms after swimming to look forward to each day, aghhh!! xx

  18. tuesdayschildblog13
    July 13, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    Your post made me chuckle! My daughter is only 4 months and shopping is already a nightmare – I have all of the above to come! #fartglitter

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:31 pm

      Haha yes, god help you!! Remember, on line shopping is the way forward! xx

  19. July 13, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Oh I feel for you and feel a bit bad for chuckling along! Fab pics as always of your gorgeous trio…I can only imagine this is all to come for us, although E has recently become a fan of pulling all the shopping off the conveyor belt as we’re waiting to pay which is a bit inconvenient! Thanks for linking up to the #dreamteam lovely to have you xx

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Haha yes the conveyor belt is a source of amusement isn’t it? The food shop was scrapped a lonnnnng time ago, now it’s all about Tesco delivery as I just couldn’t face another melt down over wanting a packet of biscuits!! xx

  20. July 13, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Oh I can actually feel your pain! For me, one of the worst things is – even when I (rarely) go shopping alone, I can’t shake the feeling of needing to get everything done really quickly before it all goes pear shaped! Apparently we will look back on the days fondly…

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:29 pm

      Definitely, and the quicker you go the more it spirals out of control! I’m going to take my eldest to the Trafford centre next week for some stress free shopping, cant wait! xx

  21. moneysavermumvermum
    July 13, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    You are either brave or insane trying to take 3 kids shopping! Well done for trying. I think you deserve a “me” day on your own, in town, shopping and lunch. Bliss!

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Insane, definitely insane!!! xx

  22. July 13, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Eeek! I think you definitely deserve a holiday after that!

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Haha me too, although we still have nothing to wear on it!!! xx

  23. July 13, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    This is why I love internet shopping, couple of clicks and I’m done. Have a great holiday x

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Definitely although WAY too easy to spend, spend, spend!!! xx

  24. July 14, 2016 / 7:50 am

    Shopping with my kids always ends in tantrums and tears. That is why I do majority of my shopping online for my sanity.

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:27 pm

      Haha yep, I’ve finally learned my lesson! xx

  25. July 14, 2016 / 8:33 am

    I never go shopping for this very reason – it is just impossible!

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:27 pm

      Yep, I’ve spent the last few days on-line shopping instead!! xx

  26. July 14, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    I’m laughing but I know I have all of this to come!

    #stayclassymama

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:20 pm

      Haha yep, something to look forward to! xx

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      To be fair, two days later, I can finally see the funny side!! xx

  27. July 14, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Wry smile at the trolley story.

    *cancels shopping trip, orders online*

    #mg

  28. thimumslife
    July 14, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Oh god, yes!! I was with you alllll the way!!! We’ve actually had one of those very shopping trips this week!! Our tesco has a car trolley (front part rideable car, back end actual trolley.) The children go mental for it, and every time we go to the supermarket, it’s always available, just goading me. They absolutely cannot share the car. Whoever isn’t in it will whinge and whinge, until they’re swapped over, then the other takes over the whinging. So this time, we arrived, the sodding car trolley was right outside, and they immediately wanted to get in. I tried forcing them into a normal trolley, but the eldest very calmly said that he would be happy to only have a very short go, and wouldn’t cry about the swap. I was tricked into thinking we’d actually turned a corner (I know, how stupid.) The whinging, screaming and moaning on repeat, all the way around, drove me to the brink of insanity. They pointed at every sugary thing in the entire place, and shrieked like they were being tortured when I said no. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The message I sent my husband when we got out was ‘I’m never taking those f*****s to the supermarket ever again.’ It’s just sheer hell isnt it?! And I dream of the day I can go shopping on my own!! I would ordinarily have laughed at this post a lot, but the memories of that trip are too raw for me!!
    #bigpinklink

    • July 14, 2016 / 8:07 pm

      Hahah sorry this made me laugh, and also feel really glad that it’s not just me!!!! Every time I send my husband a message ranting about it and every time he replies and says, “Why do you never learn??”, These kids are clever though aren’t they? They lull us into a false sense of security and then BAM!! Whining, whinging melt downs!!! Thanks for commenting!! xx

  29. July 14, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    haha brilliant! How the hell you do this with 3? I have 1 and sometimes I want to murder her! Sometimes she is an angel and we have a giggle but she normally cons me out of something. Love the bed photo. So funny. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst

    • July 14, 2016 / 8:28 pm

      Haha I have no idea why I would even attempt it!! At least when I take all four Lewis can help with one of them! Never again!!! Xx

  30. July 14, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Oh I can so relate to this, I do all my shopping online these days as I can not face going shopping alone with my two toddlers. Hope you have a nice holiday xx

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      Thank you, looking forward to it! xx

  31. July 14, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    They get easier as they get older but not by much, LOL! My 9 year old is great for the most part but when his teenage brother is out with us he likes to annoy his brother and that’s when things get interesting…it usually requires a glass of wine by the time I get home, Haha! We mamas know the struggle is real. #momsterlink

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      My twelve year old makes the best shopper! We have a fab time together when it’s just the two of us and no-one to wind him up. It’s when there’s more than one, always ends in tears! xx

      • July 15, 2016 / 7:50 pm

        Haha! Yeah somehow when it’s more than one kid with us shopping things get hairy, lol!

  32. mummyfever
    July 14, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    OMG Laura you just described my life right there. I too HATE shopping these days and have actually lost my sh*t this week under similar circumstances. i feel your pain ! Thanks for making me feel i’m not the only one on #sharewithme this week

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      Glad it’s not just me too!! Kids hey? xx

  33. July 15, 2016 / 5:27 am

    I laughed and cried with you all the way through this. It is sooooo true! Last week I went to the shops whilst both kids were in school and just wandered without any of the above..rare but bliss! too many mental breakdowns trying to shop with them, thinking its hilarious to hide behind stands whilst i go nuts thinking theyve been taken – oh yeah great times x

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Haha yes! All of this!! My nerves can’t take it, and with just seven days until the holiday I’m going to have to palm them all off next week for the day so I can get all the shopping done without losing the plot entirely!!! xx

  34. July 15, 2016 / 6:52 am

    I find shopping + husband can be a disaster in itself (he always picks the naughty foods whilst I go for the healthy & dinner bits haha) I can’t imagine what it’s like with kids. I guess I’ve got that to look forward to… in the distant future 😉

    Alina from The Fairytale Pretty Picture

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Oh that sounds like my kids! Throwing in cookies and sweets and crisps and then having a meltdown when I refuse to put it through the conveyor belt!! xx

  35. July 15, 2016 / 9:34 am

    It’s as if you described our latest trip to get the Mrs. a bathing suit – a joy all by itself, let alone with the littles in tow. #stayclassymama

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:33 pm

      Haha now swimwear shopping is a whole new level of drama! That too results in me crying!!! xx

    • July 18, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Yes, we have now resorted to a bag of bribes, if only I had taken it with us that day! xx

  36. July 16, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Oh I am crying with laughter and sheer relief that it’s not just me! All of the time. Especially the argument over the shopping trolley. It makes me want to scream “It’s a shopping trolley, I don’t get it! What’s the big deal!” #FridayFrolics

    • July 18, 2016 / 6:52 pm

      Haha I know right? What the hell is the deal with the shopping trolley?! I just spent a child free hour in the supermarket, it felt like the equivalent of a spa weekend! xx

  37. July 16, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    This is so true. I braved the shopping centre the other day with my youngest and ran out of snacks. BIG Mistake! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • July 18, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Haha same happened today! Only took the youngest and immediately realised I didn’t have enough bribes! Had to resort to a sausage roll at 10am, crumbs everywhere! xx

  38. July 16, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    LOL! Oh I love that pic at the end, hilarious! I feel for you!!! I have 3 kids but only one of them is currently old enough to run rings around me in shops…and I’m already at the end of my tether so HOW am i going to survive it when its all 3 of them?!!!
    My favourite is the really loud comments about other people…”Mummy why has that man got long silly hair?”…#Killmenow

    Great post lovely!! Keep calm and shop online!! #fridayfrolics x

    • July 18, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      Haha yes! These kids love to embarrass us don’t they? Sometimes you can just laugh it off but other times it is genuinely mortifying. We saw a man in a wheelchair the other week and Megan laughed hysterically while shouting, “He’s too big for a pram!”. I honestly wanted the ground to open and swallow me up. Kids hey? xx

  39. July 18, 2016 / 11:16 am

    This is just brilliant! I was totally there with you. I find it impossible to go shopping with just one let alone three. I totally know this wasn’t funny at the time but the way you’ve delivered it is just hilarious. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • July 18, 2016 / 6:43 pm

      Haha thank you, I can kind of see the funny side now! I went shopping today just with my youngest thinking it would be a doddle and realised that actually, one is just as bad!! Had to bribe him with a sausage roll!! xx

  40. July 18, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    Damn girl, I struggle with just the one. But even though I’ve read this, I still want three! I know it’s not meant to make me laugh, but picturing all of them at the store in the bed is lovely and hilarious. You’d never get that moment without them. Side note: they are cuties! I love how candid you are about them, thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    • July 20, 2016 / 7:51 pm

      Thank you. Three is actually a really lovely number, seeing them together makes it all worthwhile. I think the hardest thing for my three is the small age gaps, they are all so close in mentality that there isn’t really one thinking, oh no, we shouldn’t be doing this! They’re all just running around fuelling eachother!! It’s all good fun though, but still….no more shopping!! xx

  41. July 20, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    Ohhhhh I’m crying with laughter and horror and oh I understand, but I so DON’T understand this with your kids. You must think I’m insane for thinking I relate to this with only one child, you must think I’m a really useless parent as one would be a doddle for you. But seriously, this is a brilliant post…. I think you should have just climbed on the bed too 🙂

    Thanks for sharing on #TheBabyFormula x

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Haha no I know all too well that even one child is bad enough! I took Harry shopping on Monday thinking one would be a doddle and it was just as bad!! I soooo wish I had climbed on the bed and joined them, might have got some funny looks though!! xx

  42. July 20, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Reading this makes me thankful that I have two older boys in the house right now to watch the little trolls if I happen to need to run an errand or go to the store. I usually do major grocery shopping when my husband is off work but there is always something that I might need in between. Thanks for making me laugh and I can still relate for there have been times I had no choice but to drag them to the store with me. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:45 pm

      Ahh yes, in a couple of years time Lewis will be old enough to babysit and I shall enjoy leisurely strolls down the aisles of the supermarket and shopping trips with no children. Bliss!! xx

  43. July 21, 2016 / 12:47 am

    Completely with you – shopping trips with my two are getting worse & worse! I also hate trying to work out what I need to get before going away, & hate the packing even more!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      They do get worse the older they get as their minds become more devious and they can concoct more cunning plans to drive us INSANE!! xx

  44. July 21, 2016 / 6:23 am

    Brilliant…I feel your pain and just don’t go shopping anymore! I think we need to invent five point seat harnesses on trolleys at least then they can be restrained…can you imagine their reaction!!

    • July 21, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Haha yes!! I’m pretty sure that my kids would find a way to wrestle their way out of that too, they are incorrigible!! xx

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