Mamas we had a day today. And I think one of the things that made it so hard was that I went to the grocery store. Actually, I went to two... with both of my kids... am I insane? Nope, I just really needed groceries. But as always seems to be the case, I end up absolutely hating myself, the cashier, my kids, the cart, and the whole world by the time I get my receipt.
So my question to my other mamas out there: why does the grocery store bring out the worst in me?
I have some thoughts. But bear with me if I'm overly negative, because the pain and hatred I feel toward the world is still very fresh.
Taking it Personally
Okay, this is my biggest offense, and I think it is what makes me the worst version of myself every time. I take my kids behavior in grocery stores personally--as if they hate me and so they are acting like psychopaths simply to ruin my life. I need to cut that out, mamas. My littles did not plan to make me stressed at the store, and in fact, sitting in a shopping cart next to their sibling for any extended period of time is NOT their first choice of activity. That doesn't necessarily excuse them for being maniacs while we shop, but I need to remember that they aren't behaving that way toward me.... they are just little. And that's the way they are.
Stressing Every Sound
The judgmental stares, the side eyes, and the sighs of people trying to get around your cart are only a few of the things that make going to the grocery store pretty unbearable with kids. I mean, as if I don't know that my kids are causing an almighty uproar in the cereal aisle?! I need to let it go. I need to remember that what they hear and see and think is such a small part of our world, and that they can think whatever they want, but I shouldn't let what they think about--my kids are undisciplined, I am a bad mom, and that I should of course have my kids buckled for their safety--affect how I treat my kids. Plus, it makes me the most annoying person ever and constantly whispering SHHHHHHH whenever my kids make a single peep, and that isn't fair, and shouldn't be expected, and frankly gives me a headache that all the caffeine in the world cannot cure.
I'm pretty sure every mama has dealt with this at one time or another, but it is, without a doubt, one of the worst things we can do to ourselves when it comes to leaving the house in general. It is also... inevitable. Our littles are unpredictable, and it's a little tough to gauge whether they'll be acting out because they didn't sleep enough, slept too much, haven't eaten, need a drink of water, want a piece of candy, need a hug, want to play, or all of the freaking above, mama. It's borderline impossible to leave the house with everything you'll need to make sure you have an enjoyable outing with your kids, but having the basics covered like snacks and drinks, and doing your best to not hit your fave store around nap time, or right when high schoolers get out for the day (ew), or when the nearby old folks home has their daily drop off (ugh) will pretty much make your grocery shopping experience that much better for everyone.
I know it's not really the grocery store's fault that I have such a hard time (although how hard would it be to get a few more people on registers, my gosh!), and that I always leave as a monster-like version of myself. I know it's due more to the perfect storm of boring aisles, the need for stillness from my kids, along with the judgmental stares and not being able to get out of the store as quick as humanly possible.
But I also know that being a mama is tough, and that taking my kids into a place where they're not allowed to touch everything, walk wherever they want, talk as loudly as they'd like, all while being strapped to a plastic deathtrap of a shopping cart makes for unpleasant circumstances. So for this mama, I've decided that it is just too much for me to expect things of them and of myself that are just not going to come together for a good time.