Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher

Can you really do the supermarket shop with kids?

How to shop with children: Or not! as the case may be...

I sometimes forget how much of a difficult experience food shopping is with young children, because I end up back at the supermarket again and again (like groundhog day but more stressful!). 

You think I would eventually learn my lesson and try and nip out when hubbie is at home with the kids. But obviously I must get some reverse joy from hanging my head in shame, as I keep returning, with my pleas for good behaviour falling on deaf ears!!!

It is worse nowadays though, as I now have a part-time job at said local supermarket. So entering I ask: “Please be on your best behaviour as mummy works here…”  youngest on entering the building then starts bawling and crawling around the shop floor. Given that he is three this did get a few strange looks! I can just imagine the side-mouthed comments, here's lovely Karen and her loopy kids.

How to shop with children

Then we have to contend with the people who think opening a packet before getting to the till to pay is committing some cardinal crime… they look at you with disapproving, slightly disappointed eyes!  As if you’re helping contribute to a dark supermarket underworld. Like your not going to pay for it and put it back. It's OK folks! I work here as well...

Living on a budget and shopping with my boys do not co-exist very well.  My list deviates all over the place, as yoghurt’s, chocolate, sweets, and lemonade are all manhandled into my trolley.  Whilst I try and fail to get some order into our shopping experience, we leave with my wallet significantly lighter and the boys’ tummies much fuller!!!

It is not only myself that finds shopping slightly trying, my friend left the store in a hurry the other day to the sounds of a war cry from her youngest.  I could have sworn we were going to face a Braveheart battle, but it was just a little two-year-old who was very cross about not getting an ice cream…

That said, there are plenty of mum’s who negotiate the supermarket with ease and relative calm, somehow they have programmed the child to follow them (carrying the basket) nicely through the store. It's as if the child is walking in unison with mum and doing a relaxed and dignified waltz around the place.

And they make it seem as if my child (who is of the same age) look like they've just walked off the TV set of the latest Jeremy Kyle show, ya know the one, where the child is a nightmare. This couldn't be further from the truth though. Anywhere else and my little rascal is as good as gold. One foot in the supermarket and it's "Kevin the teenager".

Note to self: Observe and learn about these gracious mum’s with their programmed children and hopefully gain some valuable knowledge, until then the cupboards can remain empty whilst I summon the courage to take the boys back over the long summer holidays!

Please tell me it's not just me that suffers from this Supermarket mayhem. 

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