Before I had my baby, I genuinely enjoyed shopping. It used to feel like going to a spa. I’d leave my hectic day outside the mall’s doors and get into this cool, quiet mecca of all my favorite things to wear and eat. I enjoyed every minute of shopping for clothes, bags, and shoes. When shopping for groceries, the covered OCD part of me experienced comfort in the organization. I strolled down aisles in the grocery stores humming a Bruno Mars hit playing overhead, my shopping list in hand, as I thought of stopping in the seasonal aisle where the store displayed the latest best-selling books.
I was all alone with my thoughts as I shopped in the grocery store, picking out items for dishes I looked forward to preparing, in complete control of the whole situation. I didn’t have to speak to anyone, and even when I did, we only shared pleasantries. I’d maybe help an old lady grab something off a high shelf with my tall arms or thank a bagger for packing my groceries.
It was calming. Rejuvenating. Something I always looked forward to. And what’s more fun than shopping without worrying because you know you’re taking care of yourself only. Those were the days!
Now that I have a baby, shopping is a whole new ball game. Whether I’m shopping for groceries or clothing, I hate it.
Motherhood makes me so damned tired that I barely have any energy left to go out and shop. Most days, I’ll do 15 hours straight mothering, cleaning, working, and never stopping. I barely have the time!
Add my small, shouty mouth to feed that follows me everywhere. She’s practically my little purse.
And even though I love her to bits, I hate tagging her along when shopping.
Shopping with my toddler is awful. First things first, I have to pack her diapers, snacks, and an extra set of her clothes- you know, just in case. Then, I need a stroller, car seat, etc. So, going shopping now feels like we’re packing for a mini-vacation; only we’re not.
If I’m fast and my daughter isn’t fussy, prepping her and packing everything else takes roughly an hour and a half. If she’s having one of those days, it can take even two hours to get ready. By the time you’re done, you’re too tired to even want to leave the house.
Now, this is just the beginning! When we get to the car, she usually hates getting into the car seat, and that’s another 10 minutes of going back and forth, asking that she gets into it. Once we get to the mall, she’ll run in opposite directions, cry because I didn’t unwrap the snacks I just put in the cart, or even throw a full-on tantrum because I’m not letting her have what she wants.
There’s usually some terrible magic inside malls and grocery stores that makes my normally reasonable, independent toddler becomes insufferable and irrational.
The change is usually so sudden and shocking each time it happens, so I’m giving up on shopping with my kiddo. I love her too much to spend my weekly grocery shopping hating her.
Other than my daughter making shopping a gruesome experience, I am now more self-conscious of the shopping decisions I make. Initially, I’d shop without a care in the world because I was a family of one. Haha.
Now, shopping means I have to check the price tag of every damned item. I’ll either go for cheaper items or ask myself whether I really need something. I mean, I could do with my current pair of shoes because they’re still in good condition. Buying a pair worth 100 bucks is equivalent to how many diapers again? Now, this takes all the fun out of shopping.
While parenthood has made me more conscious about my spending habits, sometimes I wish that I’d binge shop for a day without feeling a tinge of guilt.
And don’t forget the part where my postpartum body isn’t the same.
Shopping pre-baby was a breeze. I’d wear my size 10/12 dress or pants, which would fit perfectly.
Now, the clothes I wore pre-baby don’t fit as well as they did. I now have a bigger bust, a fupa that I desperately want to hide, and trying on clothes that barely fit leaves me even more exhausted than I already was. Plus, I’m short on time because I need to rush home to check if my kiddo is OK.
So, every time I imagine going shopping, I’m filled with dread. It just isn’t fun anymore.
Now, I go for grocery runs without my daughter and make sure to slot days of the month- maybe once in two months when I shop for myself.
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