“Are they all yours”?

grocery+shopping+clip+art1Shopping with children can be hard work. Parents of two or three children might think it bad, but have you tried shopping with seven?

If possible, I try to avoid doing grocery shopping with the seven kids in tow, not because they are naughty or climbing the store shelves; it is because they like to help (they actually do behave) and many hands does NOT make light work when doing a grocery shop.

For starters, when one has a large family, we don’t just run down to the shops for a carton bottle of milk and bread…..NO, we almost buy the whole shop out.

When a large family shops, it’s for the sole purpose of stocking up, re filling our shelves and pantry in order to feed our family ~ so we don’t have to make another trip…..for at least 2 weeks (or if you are lucky enough to have the storage area a MONTH).

Early preparation is involved when a large family shops for groceries; the car van is packed with a jumbo sized eski, shopping bags, boxes etc and we frequent ALDI or bulk shopping stores.  We have a plan, a schedule and time frame.  We are on a mission, have a goal and want no interruptions.

Of course interruptions are constant whilst taking all seven kids out; and most of the time it is the outsiders that are the problem.  People can be so inconsiderate and perhaps they just don’t realise; however we do not need to hear those comments:

“they must be feeding an army” ~ if that be the case, wouldn’t my trolley be full of the bare essentials?

“look at all those kids” ~ you can stop staring now, and please close your mouth and jaw; as I have told my kids your face might stay like that if the wind changes.

“wow, they have two trolleys”? ~ very good, your mathematical skills are impeccable.

Nor do we need those stares and rolling of the eyes (we do see them you know ~ even if we seem preoccupied with the children and pushing our trolleys).

When we are loading our grocery’s on the ‘treadmill’, those eyes gleam even harder; have you ever thought to help a large family load their groceries once in a while? This would have to be the hardest part about bulk shopping (and at ALDI), it is hard work unloading, than reloading the trolley.  The tellers give us a real work out (although, I am not complaining, exercise is a good thing and we get lots of it while shopping at ALDI).

We do on occasion often let someone go in front of us (after all their pile of things are far less than ours); however when you ask me “Are they all yours“? and in front of my children….while I am trying to either load the treadmill or push my overloaded trolley to my car (whilst my children marching along in single file), what are you thinking?

Seriously, who would go to a supermarket to bring home stray kids?  (I would rather shop on my own thank you)!

Packing the groceries is also a strain, but with SEVEN helping hands, I must admit it is a little too much help and can be rather cramped for space too.

On the other hand unpacking the car is fantastic; as instead of doing 10 or more runs back and forth from the car to the house, all the extra hands make the job a little quicker (even if some can only carry one item at a time).

Clothing and shoe shopping on the other hand is an adventure for the kids as they love going to department stores (I find it less stressful than the grocery shopping); again, my children behave and stay close by or otherwise the older ones take a little one by the hand and meet us back at a spot. When shopping with children (and many), one must keep an eye on them too.  However, I rarely take them all to the shops unless I have too.

So next time, you meet a mother or father in the park, street, supermarket or department store with lots of kids in tow, stop and think before you speak.  If you are going to ask “are they all yours“, please use some common sense, and be kind when you ask this.  A compliment and a smile goes a long way.

Large families are a blessing; and yes “they are all mine”, and I love them dearly  (otherwise, I would leave them at the store for some other mother to collect on her shopping day)!

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  1. greatgoogamoogas greatgoogamoogas
    5, October 2012    

    I much prefer to shop on my own, it’s the only time I get everything on my list, but love having the kids at home to help carry it all in.
    I always allow people ahead of me if I’m still loading up and if I am out and not doing a grocery shop I always offer to help out with unloading the trolley.
    I’m always lucky enough to either run into other large families, in which case we talk logistics or pass on tips or I get people want to know all about large families and comment on how lucky we are or how wonderful it is to see a large family.
    I do get the occasional negative comment but it’s usually something like “you must be mad” or “glad it’s not me”.
    I’m glad it’s not them as well as I would pity their poor children and I don’t judge others for their decisions so what makes people think they have the right to judge me for mine and out loud in front of my children.

  2. Emma Axtell Emma Axtell
    5, October 2012    

    I did this two days ago. With just four kids. We had two trolleys for basics and had to go back for a third. I noticed quite a few ‘looks’ but I think it was because they assumed I was a loon getting ready for the apocalypse… after all I only had four kids with me, its not like ‘normal’ people get that much on a shopping trip. 🙂

  3. Rebecca Inglis Rebecca Inglis
    5, October 2012    

    LOL! I went to the shops just yesterday with seven (one is staying with family). Everything seems to take 3 times as long when you have that many, even when you’re not mucking around or stopping to window shop. What’s even worse than loading all that shopping onto the ‘treadmill’ is doing it while heavily pregnant so I would always have at least 1 big kid to help with that part but now I try to do the Aldi shop by myself if I can.

  4. Crissy Crissy
    5, October 2012    

    Oh boy do I hear you, which is why I gave up on shopping with the kids a looong time ago!

  5. Christine Christine
    18, October 2012    

    I think the comments I hate hearing is “don’t you have tv?” or “must be on centrelink”. We only have 4 and now one on the way. There was a day where large families were deemed normal, today some people deem us weird. I love having my large family albeit the stressful days, its all part of it.

    • Lenore` Lenore`
      15, November 2012    

      I have 5 kids Christine and I would love to have 7! I used to feel almost like I should feel guilty or embarrassed that we had so many kids! Especially as we didn’t plan them! About a year ago I changed my attitude and decided I wasn’t going to apologise for my kids (they are AMAZING!) not even in my head!
      Now when People ask me if we don’t have a TV, I say, why yes of course, we just like sex better… :-S one old lady replied, oh that is quite rude (she hadn’t made the comment, her husband/partner had) and I just smiled and said, so is asking if we don’t have a TV (the other one I hate is “haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?”) And now when people ask me if they are all mine, I always make a point of smiling at my kids as indulgently as I can (even when 2 seconds ago I would have been happy to tape them to the sides of my trolley!) and say “aren’t they wonderful, I want another 5!” or “yes! I am aiming to have 7!”
      We didn’t plan any of our kids, they were all gifts! Some are statistically very unlikely to happen! Contraception just didn’t seem to work for us! But everyone just seems to assumes that we made mistakes or were careless or didn’t care or something! we had always wanted a large family, just not quite the sandwich timing we ended up with (5 under 7)! But now, I wouldn’t change a thing! I watch my kids interact and see them feel secure in their family, they all KNOW that they belong to each other, and never lack for playmates!

      • MDDW MDDW
        15, November 2012    

        Absolutely beautiful replies Lenore. I also love replying to people in the manner you suggested. Making their “jaw drop” is fantastic.

        I agree whole heartedly with all you said above ~ God Bless you 🙂

  6. multibloggingmum multibloggingmum
    23, January 2013    

    Yes shopping with a “tribe” is awful …being a Mum of 7 + a couple of step-kids I so know what it is like!
    Thank goodness for on-line shopping and/or late night shopping!!

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