“I’m not going!” “Oh yes you are!” I lose.


When I was a teenager, I’d decided one day that I was over going to the grocery store with my mom. The last thing I wanted to do every Saturday was wake up and go to the store. My mom wasn’t having that.

I come from a single parent home and we had a routine. Saturday was shopping and Sunday was laundry. There were no ifs, ands or buts. Although the exception was during Field Show season, since we often had a 7 a.m. call time (or earlier), in which case I guess we went either when we got home, or if the event took an entire day, we went Sunday morning.

As part of the school regiment (Tall Flags baby, represent!!!) and that meant that every Friday night I’d be at either a football game or a basketball game and then the group would almost always gather for pizza afterward. Friday nights I wouldn’t get home until pretty late.


Left hand side, middle row in all red

On one particular Saturday morning, I was more tired than usual and my mom came in to tell me it was time to get up and get to the grocery store. I proceeded to tell her she could go to the store her own darn self, I was sleeping in. HAH! Now, at this point in our lives, I’d decided I wouldn’t be eating my mom’s food anymore because I didn’t like anything she cooked. In fact, I’m not really sure I did eat much those days. I can’t recall nightly meals. Maybe I lived on boxes of mac and cheese at the time. Who knows. So it’s not like I helped her with the grocery list because I didn’t really eat. As long as I had milk and cereal, and mac & cheese, I guess I was good.

Anyhow, She wasn’t having it, and I’d be going to the grocery store come hell or high water. She eventually won the argument and I do believe I went grocery shopping with her every Saturday until I started working.

Being a mom now, I often compare the way I handle our shopping and chores to how it was done by my own mother. For a few years I was a single mom of 2 small children myself. I had no choice but to drag them to the store with me. Once I got married, that was the end of taking the kids to the store with me. And especially now that 2 of my kids are old enough to stay home alone for a while, and watch their little sister to boot, the last thing I want to do is take the kids grocery shopping with me. Occasionally I have to take Jessalyn along on a store run, and every time I say to myself that I’ll never do that again. It’s not that she misbehaves or throws fits when I tell her no, we will not be buying whatever it is she’s asked for, it’s just that I get so distracted and end up forgetting half the items on my list. If I need Jason to go to the store with me, our first option is to leave Jess home with a sibling. I just don’t like taking any kids with me when I’m grocery shopping, or even running other errands. Am I alone in this?

I can’t understand why my mom would put her foot down once I was old enough to be home alone, and MAKE me go to the store with her. If I didn’t want to do something, I can tell you, I’m pretty sure I was a miserable little twit and did my best to make her miserable as well. And yet, week after week she’d tell me I had no choice, I was going. It’s not like it was quality time together as long as I was being a little wretch because I didn’t want to be there.

So I ask you, gentle reader, if you have someone available to watch your child(ren) do you take them shopping with you anyway? Do you prefer to wait until there IS someone available so you won’t have to take them to the store? Are you like me and avoid running errands with your child(ren) at all costs?

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Jen Tucker

I'm a wife, mother of three and stay at home mom. I consider myself blessed to have such a wonderful network of friends and family around me. It may not be large, but it's an important one. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and it is my hope that I can bring a smile to your heart as you read.

4 thoughts on ““I’m not going!” “Oh yes you are!” I lose.”

  1. Since I don’t have children, I can’t answer your specific question. What I can offer is memories of grocery shopping with my mom when I was a kid/teenager.

    My dad only allowed the “big” grocery shopping for a family of 6 every 6 weeks. Milk and bread and other incidentals could happen in between, but the major shopping got held for an entire Saturday every 6 weeks. This shopping did not include meat very often, as we raised our own animals and our meat came out of the freezer.

    The shopping trips required significant planning and a full day of military-style execution. As soon as I was old enough, my mom would split the list into parts for me and her by section of the store. We filled carts with groceries and stashed them with customer service until we were all done (usually 3 – 4 hours of marathon shopping). Before I was old enough to take half the list and cover my own section of the store, she would assign one or two items to me and I would go “fetch” them while she continued down each aisle in order.

    As I think back on it, I’m amazed she could run a house with 3 growing boys who ate like machines with only major shopping every six weeks! I don’t know how she could have done all of the shopping on her own, she needed my assistance to get it done in a single day.

  2. Yes, it took me about 5 times of Tyler screaming at the checkout to decide no more kids at the store. I love going during the day because there’s hardly anyone there and I can get in and out, but if the kids are grumpy, it’s just not worth it.

  3. For many years I had to take the kids to the grocery store because, for the most part, I was on my own with the kids. My husband is self employed and quite often works twelve to fourteen hour days. I hated grocery shopping on the weekends, the stores were too busy and our family time was limited. I did not want to spend what little time we had in a grocery store. So I packed them both up and away we went.

    Would I have preferred to go by myself? Absolutely! For the most part, however, the kids were pretty well behaved and didn’t cause me too much grief.

    Now that the kids are older and I can do a lot of these errands on my own I sometimes miss their company. I can honestly say that this realization surprised me a little. Looking back we had a lot of fun looking at all the stuff, checking out the weird veggies and fruit and making a game of trying to find certain things on the shelves.

    Occasionally I will still ask them to come with me on the shorter trips. While I enjoy spending time with both of them it’s kind of special when only one comes as we have a lot of fun and it gives us an opportunity to talk.

    Jen, being that your Mom was on her own and probably working a lot this may have been an opportunity for her to spend some time with you, especially once you were of school age and gone all day. Maybe it was a way of her trying to connect or strengthen your relationship. It was probably the one time she knew she would have you to herself, before you went out with your friends or did your own thing.

    Just a thought.

  4. I almost always have one or both children with me when I go shopping. I don’t mind because, most of the time, they are very well behaved and used to going since I’ve always taken them.

    As they get older, they are having more fun. I’m sure when they are old enough to stay home on their own, they’ll choose to do so, but for now, I guess I consider going to the grocery store on my own a luxury and as crazy as that sounds, I don’t want it to be like that all the time. I enjoy having the kids with me to talk to and laugh with and they have fun matching the pictures on the coupons to the items on the shelves. I also like them to see how I shop with a list and coupons. It’s such a great learning experience for them.

    We always try to go to the store on the first Wednesday of every month, even if just for a little bit. That’s the day that the local seniors all get 10% off their grocery purchases. We just wander around the store with our list and help people get their items from the top or bottom shelves and the seniors love to see the kids and say hi to them. It’s a lot of fun for everyone.

    Yes, I’m well aware of the fact that I’m a crazy weirdo.

    And when I do have the rare opportunity to shop alone – I take a VERY VERY long time doing it. *snicker*

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