Grocery Shopping Chronicles

Sunday night is here. I have finished my 11th load of dishes, 4th load of laundry, and have settled in for some hot & steamy meal planning! Exciting, I know.

When it hits me that my kids are on Christmas Break. Which means tomorrow, Monday, the day that I have assigned as my grocery day forever more…will now be accompanied by 3 kids.

Now if you are a Mother of 3, 4, 5, 6, or hell 7 kids and can go grocery shopping and leave the store with your sanity & shit together,  I stand to applaud you Super Mom. I don’t know how you do it (I am guessing you also bought 4 bottles of wine during that same grocery trip and I am not judging, trust me) but again, bravo!

Prior to August, I took my son with me grocery shopping each Monday because he was not in school yet. Since he was a baby he & shopping trips do NOT go over well. I am talking from the time he was a newborn he would scream his lungs out for as long as I was in the store with EVERYONE staring, when he was a toddler mega tantrums happened the entire time. Super fun times…said no Mother ever.  Over the last 4 months I have loved grocery shopping in peace. No kids, just me and my headphones.

I am in a mild panic anticipating the grocery shopping hell that I will endure tomorrow due to our previous shopping experiences. I have 3 kids. A 13-year-old girl, 9-year-old girl (with hormones that are way beyond control), and a 6-year-old boy who has the patience of an elderly man. They all fight, the entire time. Even if I give them all something to focus on if they are good the whole time they get this, this or this. Mind you my 6-year-old is a wee bit big to sit in the grocery cart seat, but you better believe I put his butt up in there so there is one less child I have to make sure is safe and not getting into trouble.

Months ago I  came up with a method to grocery shopping & a list so I wasn’t circling the stores looking like a complete fool, now I have my organized list in hand ready to go. I shop at Aldi first in less than 35 mins flat. That also includes bagging my own groceries at my van.Next is Publix and that takes maybe 15 mins or so. With the kids in tow? You can add an hour on to Aldi and another 45 mins to Publix. Between potty breaks, breaking up fights, saying no a million times to junk food (and dealing with meltdowns from my son on that one), and then trying to remain the course for the millionth time without being distracted, I feel like I am on a Double Dare Challenge.

By the time we get to check out, my blood pressure is way up there, my hands are sweating, my purse keeps falling off my arm as I load the groceries onto the conveyor belt, so I keep getting mad at my purse because lets face it at that point a lady bug would be pissing you off after that grocery shop from hell. The kids then are asking me a million questions on top of the cashier who now looks at me like I’m the worst Mother because I keep telling the kids to kindly be quiet so I can pay attention to the total since I am on a budget and if I go over, bloody hell that’s it. I get in trouble by the big boss, my Husband.

I’m done at checkout and as I start speed walking to the van, someone falls or gets hurt, has to go potty again, or are fighting over who gets to hold on to the cart. Children, I have two sides on my cart. There are two of you, your older sister wants nothing to do with me or my sides or anything to do with the word Mother at this point in her life. Calm it down. One side for each of you.

When I get to the van, I have again a system to get all the groceries in the van in a timely manner, all while checking my surroundings so that I am not attacked and making sure my kids are safe. (Stranger Danger) But wait, the middle one is whining she is ‘so hot’ because I forgot to turn the AC on. We live in Florida, Florida feels that we should not participate in any season at all, so its 86 degrees out with the heat index of Satan’s crotch.

I have my oldest help me load the groceries after many grunts, groans, eye rolls and ‘why’, because I said so that is why! I wish that was just a good enough answer for my trio at times. I then tell my oldest to get in the van and lock the doors while I return the cart. When I come back all hell has broken loose again as someone has stolen someones toy, it’s not fair, I need lunch, I forgot to eat breakfast, why isn’t Daddy home, and my favorite : I didn’t start the fight he/she did.

At this point I do whatever it takes to for the ride home without pure chaos breaking out in the middle row of the van so that drivers that pass by may be concerned about the well-being of the two littles who just for the life of me can not get along. Or maybe my middle one would go sit in the rear row of the van so that her brother isn’t ‘staring at her to make her mad’. Let’s put a movie on, maybe take a nap, or just please be nice for the next 15 mins so I can focus on driving! Please!

They say when you are stressed deeply inhale and exhale and repeat at least 10x. It will calm you down. Whoever came up with that bullshit, I’m sorry, it does not work when you are a SAHM of 3. 3 different ages and stages. Are the only parent home 95% of the time. For Petes sake if I breathe in & out too deep too fast I may pass out.  That didn’t help me! Then I may have to endure the embarrassment of the paramedics coming aka my husband or his crew. Because I passed out for trying to inhale deeply one too many times to simmer myself down.

The days of grocery shopping chronicles don’t happen often, but when they do, I dread them. I love & adore my kids dearly, but let’s be real ladies, grocery shopping with kids is no easy task that we walk into smiling & laughing going ‘YES! OMG! This is awesome!!!’ Unless you are one of the Super Moms,  I tip my hat to you.

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