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5 Main Reasons I Dislike Going Out with My Kid

I love shopping … when I’m alone or doing the simple things … when I’m alone. Nowadays, it’s impossible. So I take my kid with me. My kid who happens to be 3 years old and has the same spirit of an energizer bunny. Of course, before I do that, I contemplate on whether or not I can endure all of the following:

Photo credit: Funtoosh.com
Photo credit: Funtoosh.com

1) The hour or so it takes to get ready – Yup! I used to be able to put my makeup on, my favorite outfit, my shoes, grab my purse and out go out the door. Now, I have to pack food, extra clothes, and whatever other necessities we might need. Then of course I have to go through the torture of trying to get my 3 year old to agree on an outfit to wear, after I get him to agree to going out in the first place. Then it takes an added 10 minutes to figure out what kind of toys or things he will “need” to take with him to keep him entertained. Then another 10 minutes will be added onto the struggle of getting him into the car. Yes, there are 50 different ways I could probably name that could keep the idea of going from the door into his car seat, a big dilemma!

2) The possibility of a temper tantrum – These can pop up at any given moment. Of course it’s worse when he’s had less sleep or hungry, but sometimes you just have no idea what could be roasting his temper!

3) The loading and unloading of his things – It would be impossible to make a quick getaway with this. You have to load and unload your giant stroller. Then pack and unpack the toys and bag and crap that you need just to go to the store! It’s definitely worse if you’ve got an infant.

4) The arguments – We work very hard on trying to make him understand why he can’t just get whatever he asks for when we go to a store, but he still does whatever he can to test us. Sometimes it’s easy to explain why he’s not getting something and sometimes I feel a very painful migraine as a result of the stress it takes to have to think of a quick story to tell him as to why he just isn’t going to get that toy car. Why not just say, “no” and not have to explain myself? It’s easier said than done. I would rather figure out how to close the situation than listen to an hour long of crying.

Besides the “buying” factor of going shopping, we might argue about other things, like why he shouldn’t run off without me, why he needs to stay in his stroller, why I can’t do this or that. He just loves to talk and argue about something … anything …

5) The non-stop talking – Sometimes I just want peace and quiet. When we’re out shopping, the talking is worse than when he’s at home. He could be looking at a tree and asking what color the tree is, why it’s so tall, where they come from, how many leaves they have … it’s unbelievable!

I know this makes it all sound like my little guy is a real pain in my rear end, but he is still the sweetest thing in the world to me and believe it or not, I would never trade him for anything in the world. He can just drive me crazy sometimes and make the idea of going out a bit “difficult.”

Lexie Lane

Lexie Lane is the creator of voiceBoks.com, owner of Social Media Panel, and co-author of the book, The Blogger's Survival Guide Tips and Tricks for Parent Bloggers Wordsmiths and Enthusiasts.


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  • It can be tricky shopping with a 3 year old! We always liked to give them some crackers from the new box while we were shopping. And 3 year olds also love to help! They can get something low off the shelf and put it in the cart, they can help Mommy look for a certain item – we always called it a quest. As they got older, we would send them together on their own quest to find something and bring it back. And they love helping to unload the groceries at the checkout, too!
    If you don’t already, consider giving your child an allowance starting at 3 years old. We did this and never had a tantrum over buying things (of course there were other tantrums LOL). If they wanted something, we asked if they had enough money. If they didn’t, we figured out together how many weeks they would need to save up.


  • I am thankful that for the most part my 3 year old enjoys going shopping. He loves to toss the items into the cart. Of course, if I am grocery shopping I usually have the other kids with me to help keep him entertained. It gets easier when they are older, hang in their mama.

  • As the mom of a 3 year old I couldn’t agree more. The only occasional exception is the grocery store, that cookie keeps her calm and quiet…as long as we stop to visit the lobsters too.

  • I totally feel your pain. My kids are both on the spectrum (9 and 13). It starts with the fight who is going to be the “line leader” on the way down the stairs. Then who is going to sit where in the car. Who is going to push the carriage? What?! I can’t get that toy? It is only $90! Sit on the floor, throw a tantrum. Get up and act as though nothing happened. Now of course they are hungry – always hungry. You aren’t going to buy me a snack?! (screaming at the top of their lungs) I can’t believe you are going to make me starve to death! While in line trying to cash out (and of course not paying attention to anything because you desperately want to just be in the car and gone) – things are getting rung up that you have no idea are in there. But it passes through because someone is in someone’s “bubble”. Make her move! Mom! He stepped on my toe. Mom she is looking at me funny. Mom he smells again. OH – can we play the claw machine! ….. Just to start again when we get out to the car – But it is my turn to sit in the front seat…UGH!

  • Ugh, I hate the fight over the stroller. I do find, as germy as they may be, that the shopping carts, when available, make them much more compliant. It’s a trade off.