Shopping….Toddler Style!

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It’s been so long now since I shopped without a child, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like!!!

Shopping pre-children:
Those were the days when I would rock up at Garden City and leisurely take my time to find a carpark and I wouldn’t care where I parked as long as I found one. I’d fix my clothes up so they were nice and neat, have a quick look at my hair in the mirror and then I’d be slowly on my way to the opening doors. As I walked through the doors I would grin to myself and ask “where to first!”

I would then go from store to store seeking out the things I was looking for, pouncing on any bargain I could find. I would go through every rack if necessary and sometimes spend up to half an hour in one store! I’d have a chat to people in the que and strike up a conversation with the sales assistant as I had all the time in the world! I would take a breather after a couple of hours and have a nice quiet bite to eat and drink and once I’d finished, I continue on my shopping way until I’d gone to every conceivable shop that may have what I was looking for…oh that’s right most times I didn’t go for a purpose I’d go just because I could and LOVED it so much!!!!!!

My how life changes once you become a mum! At first when I only had one child things didn’t change much at all, the only difference was I was pushing a pram and had to stop at a parent’s room to feed and change every couple of hours. But then your baby grows and doesn’t want to be pushed in a pram all day and then learns to talk and tells you exactly what their thoughts are about shopping! Then one child turns into two and in my case three and the only time shopping is at all appealing is when it’s done on the internet! But as challenging as taking kids to the shops can be sometimes, I’ve never stopped going shopping, I just make it really routined and quick!

Shopping post children:
Oh how my head is in a different space at the shops now! Before a shopping trip I now have everything down pat. A list of what I want to buy, before I leave I’ve already thought about where I’m going to park and in which order I will get around. I make sure I have plenty of food and drinks for the kids and my phone is charged!!!! I try and get there as early as I can so I know I won’t spend long finding a car park and once I’m through the doors of the shopping centre, I’m like a greyhound who’s been let out of the cage! People must look at me and think – Geeze what’s the rush! Ummm the fact that I only have a small window of opportunity until all hell could break loose!!! I’m a women on a mission and mission it is trying to squeeze a pram into a clothes shop and dodge all the rides that seem to be every five metres!!!!!! I generally always know now what I want so very little time is spent in one store and because I need to be home by 12 to put Mia down for her nap so she is awake for school pick up, it leaves very little time for a pit stop!

Mia and I ventured to Garden City this morning to start Mother’s Day Shopping. I don’t often go to big shopping centres anymore as we have lots of little ones around our area that are sufficient and only go to big ones when I need something specific. As I ‘tried’ to browse a few shops while passing food, pulling little sticky fingers away from pretty dresses, answering “soon” for the tenth time after being asked “Mia hope out mummy!”, telling Mia the scary man would come if she kept screaming out to me (mean I know but it works lol), I suddenly started thinking how shopping has gone from a leisure activity to a chore lol!

But I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way! Now that it’s just Mia and I who venture to the shops while Bay and Sie are at school, we are in a good routine. I always make Mia stay in her pram or trolley for as long as I can which is about one to one and half hours depending on how much food I’ve brought and once I’m finished I always let her walk for the last part and if there is a little playground and she’s been awesome, she gets a 15 min play. I bring food from home for small shops and when I need to get a heap of things done at the bigger shopping centres I take a lollipop for her:) and grocery shopping days she gets her two cherrios and is always allowed a coin to put in the dog at the end – god bless that dog at woolies:)….it’s the small things in a toddler’s life that go a long way!

Shopping with a toddler or kids in general can be taxing but like anything, if a routine is established with set rules and consistency is applied, it can be quite a pleasurable experience. I only try and go to the shops once a week and I make sure I choose times that I know they’ll be less tired. Although shopping on your own is by far easier, I love that I have someone to chat to while I’m shopping and when the day comes when I have them all in school and I’m left to the freedom of browsing on my own, I’m sure I’ll love it, but have many times when my heart breaks a little that they aren’t there by my side…..because by then I would have been shopping with at least one or two children in tow (except for school holidays) for 10 years!!!!!!

Shopping with a toddler doesn’t do my head in, homework with a 7 year old on the other hand…a topic for a future blog post!

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My partner in crime:)

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Don’t Forget…..

We are getting to the crazy time of year where our to do lists are as long as our arms and we start to feel overwhelmed that things are just not going to get done! For the first time, as a wife and mother, I feel the most relaxed and organised I’ve ever been at this time of year! We’ve finally finished spring cleaning the house, just in time to spend the next couple of weekends turning our house into the land of ‘Christmas’!!! We are super excited, the kids are super excited and we can’t wait to live, breathe and eat everything Christmas!

But one thing that can happen at this time of year is forgetting the most important things in life! Yes we are all super busy and yes we are all super busy with stuff that is mostly unavoidable, but we can’t forget how to enjoy ourselves and relax (where we can) with the ones we love! Christmas only comes once a year and is over in the blink of an eye and if we spend the whole time highly strung and stressed over things that really aren’t worth the extra grey hairs, we’ll all look back and regret that we didn’t just simple embrace the festive season for what it is!

Today I got up and had my list of things I wanted to do, but thought why? Why should I fold the washing today when I can read a book to my children? Why put a load of washing on right now when my three children are cuddling on my lap? Why should I tidy up my laundry when my daughter is asking me to play tennis? So my today’s list didn’t quite get finished, but I don’t care, because my children are more important than any list I’ll ever write!

So this is how I will get through the crazy busy time of Christmas….if I want to I will, if it’s not important enough I won’t! I will still do what I HAVE to do, but I will do it and then treat myself to something that makes me happy – my children, my husband, running, crafting, baking, decorating! I will make sure I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and when I do have some time to myself I will use it wisely! I will stop when I’m tired and I will go like a crazy lady when I’m full of energy….but most importantly I will not forget why we celebrate this time of year in the first place!

Life is busy. Life is a rollercoaster. But if we let the business of life take over then we will forget how to live, how to love, how to enjoy! So don’t forget this festive season….stop, breathe, look around, and enjoy life for what it is!

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Sales Galore!!!!

A common sign that is hanging in shop windows at the moment boldly exclaims – sales, sales, sales!!!! I love end of season sales, it always makes me wonder why I even bother purchasing stuff at the beginning of a season! If only we had enough will power to wait until now we’d have so much more money to spend!

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The fashion this winter has been awesome! From tights, to coloured skinny jeans, to long flowing cardigans. Yet there has still been the oldie but goodie stuff around like boots, ballet flats, jackets and jeans! I’m so looking forward to the warmer weather, but I will miss wearing my winter attire!

You think by now we should have reached our limit of needing anymore winter clothes, but I don’t know about anyone else, no matter what time of year if I find something I love and is a bargain price I’ll gladly buy it! I’ve spent my whole winter trying to find a nice quality hoodie, but I’m still searching and am about to retire until next winter! On the weekend I was told to check out Cotton On, so after work yesterday I stopped in at Browns Plains Plaza….I came out with everything but a hoodie – oops!

I couldn’t help myself but the bargains were calling my name! I only had a small amount of time and had to get some groceries, but I still managed to purchase two pairs of shoes, a jacket, cardi and two tops for a total of $60!!! Most of the stuff I bought were originally priced at $40 and came down to as low as $5!!!!

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My jacket was $40 reduced to $15 at Big W…it came in navy blue as well, I think I’ll go back and get that one too:)

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I did go into Cotton On but didn’t purchase a hoodie….I do love these three items though:) $15 cardi and the two tops were $5 each!

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My shoes were the best bargain….$10 each from Famous Footwear!!!

Imagine if it wasn’t a work day and I had more time to shop….omg!!! It’s clear to me that these days, there is no reason why anyone can’t dress respectably or make sure their children have shoes on their feet. I bought Sienna a beautiful coral pair of high top shoes at Big W last week for $3 and a red and white spotted pair for $3 as well! There are sales galore at the moment and there is nothing better than walking out of a shop with a bargain in your shopping bag!!!!