You have kids. Congrats. You will never again know what it is like to casually stroll, browse, and try things on in a store like a civilized person. Your only option is to up your game, bear down, and get it done. Here are the top 25 ways to own shopping with the beloved, adorable little person who owns you:
25. Park close to the store. Shout-out to stores with family parking right up front.
24. Forget that case of water. Seriously, you are not carrying 24 water bottles and holding someone’s hand.
23. Don’t let them push the cart unless you enjoy your ankles being rammed.
22. Put them in a cart, regardless of age. See No. 23 for emphasis.
21. Resist the temptation to browse until you have all essential items covered.
20. Forget trying things on. Those days are over.
19. Pushing a stroller and a shopping cart is for suckers. Clip a basket to your stroller handlebar and shop like the wind.
18. Shop during nap time (in case that wasn’t obvious).
17. Pack a load of snacks that are not sticky or staining, but take time to eat, like dry cereal.
16. Know exactly which stores give out stickers or lollipops and have semi-clean bathrooms.
15. Know that bribery is totally fine.
14. Smile at everyone judging you when your kid has a meltdown at the register.
13. If it can’t withstand a swipe from a peanut-buttered hand, don’t buy it.
12. If they can read, give them your shopping list and a pencil so they can be part of the mission.
11. Allow them to touch or carry around anything they want from the store shelves, with the understanding that you are not actually going to buy it.
10. Warm up your sweetest sounding versions of: “We have that at home.” and “Not today.”
9. Caffeinate. Obviously.
8. Accept there is no such thing as “running in” to a store anymore.
7. Share the load. Let them carry the bag with the toilet paper.
6. When exiting the vehicle, pat them down for any toys, crowns, or other trinkets capable of triggering a major freak-out when lost in the store.
5. Always hold the hands of people shorter than the clothing racks unless you enjoy a panicked corn maze vibe.
4. When you can’t decide on a new outfit, ask your kid to tell you what they think.
3. Smile at all other mothers with screaming kids.
2. Know your minivan is boss because it can store all the bags without you breaking a sweat.
1. Buy everything you didn’t have time for… online.