This is when you are really getting brave as a mother. I’m not talking about the trip you take when you have your husband there to help you. This is when you are alone and feeling brave and say “I’ve got this, let’s go get some groceries.”
I have done this four times now with a new baby and it never gets easier. My last time was with Oliver and I decided to hit up Aldi with all four kids, in the middle of the day, when the store was packed full of other shoppers for some unknown reason.
I was basking in my mom-glory of 3 kids hanging onto the cart and little bundle in the wrap. We were actually getting food into the cart. Of course I couldn’t go by the list I had because I had no time for that. We just threw in what we liked and strolled down the aisles. I was feeling pretty good about this. Bryan would be so excited that I can do this alone and we don’t have to spend an entire evening getting groceries. We had recently had a shopping trip that required two long bathroom breaks with kids. Somehow I didn’t tell Bryan we were going for the second bathroom break and ended up with Bryan searching the entire store for me because, since I’m a genius, my phone was in the cart with him. After that, we had both pretty much sworn off grocery shopping. It took us two hours to shop that night and we were pretty sure we were the biggest mess of a family ever!
So, the fact that Aldi was going well was so exciting! The kids were soon to be starting co-op classes after our winter break, so we stopped at the wonderful little section of everything-you-never-knew-you-needed to look at new leak-proof cups (yeah right). Anyway, stopping was THE WORST thing we could do because it was at that time Oliver began to move around and I knew what was coming. He starts screaming in his little frantic baby cry. My milk hears that call loud and clear. Everyone is turning to look at us. Who is this mess of a mother with kids everywhere and a crying baby? I try to maneuver him in the wrap to nurse, but he hates the confinement and starts arching his strong little back. At this point I feel like we will never be able to leave. I am questioning my sanity on why I thought I could do this on my own, and telling myself not to cry.
We somehow made it through the checkout and I’m pretty sure the kids had to help get my wallet out from my awful diaper bag. I’m not really sure about that part, but I always seem to imagine I can carry a smaller bag and then end up with a disaster when I have to dig something out. I’m a mess.
The silver lining of that trip was a helpful woman who took over pushing the cart for us on our journey to the car and encouraged me along the way. That makes all the difference sometimes in a mom’s life. Knowing that someone sees what you are trying to do as good, even though it’s hard. That other mom’s have felt that same fear build up when you realize you are in over your head. That you aren’t alone in this motherhood journey, even though a lot of it is very lonely. That crying in your car and busting into the nearest chocolate your kids threw in the cart, is totally normal.
All my love to the mommas out there,