Shopping 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 becuase 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)!