After breezing through the aisles of Costco, and checking-out in record time, I was on my way to the car. A mom balancing her entry point into the parking lot caught my eye. The wind was billowing fiercely against the door to her Champagne White SUV, as she fought to hold the doors open and try to unhinge the infant carrier from its holder. I watched mom beat the odds, and heave the carrier down onto the front bar of her shopping cart, while simultaneously keeping the door open with her back leg, so Jimmy, the squirmy toddler who was still buckled-up, could see mommy.
The cart teetered backward in a slow rolling swing as the wind picked up. Frozen, all I could do was watch in slow motion and wonder if the wheels would hold.
How did this brave mom even get a shopping cart to her vehicle without having to leave her children in the car alone?
Mom carefully made sure the infant carrier clicked on the front bar, and then climbed back up to get Jimmy out of his car seat. Should I stand guard? I wondered.
The cart wheels were threatening to roll backward at any moment. Being a mom is dangerous. Mom was still busy freeing Jimmy from his car seat. In an incredible feat of super-mom she heaved Jimmy into the grocery cart.
I brought my two free hands up to face me. This is freedom. All I had to do was think ‘move’ and my legs and arms cooperated. No arguments. Suddenly, there was a loud BANG! and the doors to the SUV wind-whipped shut. Jimmy started to wail from the basket of the cart, which, in turn, caused his little sister to wake-up and holler.
I cringed inside. Real sympathy pains swept over me like I was the mom living this moment. How many times was I that mom in the parking lot? This was agony. I was crying, sympathizing, and reliving the past all at the same time. I was a wreck just watching this.
Before I knew it, crying Jimmy was picked up and resting on mom’s hip, while mom looked frantically for little sister’s pacifier that was lost somewhere in the bottom of the car seat. By now, Jimmy was beside himself with dry heaves, little sister was inconsolable, and a small imperceptible tear ran down mom’s cheek. Mom hadn’t even made it into the store yet, and her whole family and one bystander were all having breakdowns. This wasn’t a happy ending. I slumped back to my car, defeated.
I really didn’t see how that poor mom was going to survive her shopping excursion. She wasn’t even surviving the parking lot. There has to be a better way, I thought.
I set out to do some research. I called upon moms the world over and talked to them about real-mom life-hacks. Not just for moms on the go, but also for moms who just can’t.
Mom Life Hacks Testimonials:
Sarah: I wake up really early in the morning, get online and schedule a delivery time for same day delivery with Costco. You have to hurry though, because if you don’t get a delivery time right away in the morning, then all the delivery times are taken. I pick my delivery time slot for noon, put the diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, toiletries and snacks in my cart to go, and by 12 it’s delivered to my door. I don’t try to go anywhere anyway, not with triplets in the house. Best part is, I don’t even have to haul the groceries in from the car, they deliver them to my door! It’s so much easier to unload that way.
Akima: I like to use the Wal-mart pick-up option. I can order everything I need ahead of time, drive into the parking lot and have groceries delivered to my trunk. My kids sit in their car seats watching a movie or playing a game, and the groceries get delivered to the car and we’re off. I don’t have to try and get the kids out of their car seats and fight the transition. Everything I need is in the trunk!
Mika: After working all day, I try to spend my time at home connecting with my kids, helping them with homework, talking about their day and generally, just checking-in. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make meal prep very easy. At my daughter’s insistence, I tried the healthy meals in a box. They deliver ingredients for the healthy meal to my home. All the fresh meal ingredients and recipe are in the box. My prep time is no more than 30 minutes. It helps me learn how to cook in more diverse ways, and have healthy meals for my kids. My children actually help me make the meals. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every night, or run to the store looking for something quick and easy to make.
Audry: Let’s face it, there are times in life when everyone needs french fries. I take my family out for fast food once in a while as a special treat. I used to go inside, wait in line, try to order and watch my kids at the same time. Then, I maneuver through with the tray while making sure my children were holding hands and staying together. Finally, we settle at the table. I divvy up the food only to find out someone needs something or someone’s food is missing. I would leave my kids at the table, alone, and fix the problem. After doing this a few dozen times, I got wise. I learned to order from the drive through. I get everything in bags and double check that my order is correct. Then, ask for extra ketchup, straws, napkins and a drink carrier. I get everything at the window. Then I park the car and head to the dining area, bags in hand, sit down and enjoy. So much easier!
These real-mom-life-hacks are dedicated to all us struggling moms trying to get through another day intact. Let’s put our heads together and make this easier. Next time you stare down a cart at the grocery store and see your future: tantrums, horrified looks from passer-byes; “I-WANT-THAT!” screams from your children every 2 seconds, think of a real-mom-life-hack: Imagine letting your toddler enjoy a movie on the way to the grocery store, while you pick up a latte for yourself at the drive thru. Pull comfortably into the parking lot of Walmart, wait for your groceries to be delivered to your trunk. Take a mental health break and drink your latte in peace.
More helpful grocery options:
Instacart App – Order from your favorite local stores through the app and have groceries delivered same day
Kroger Clicklist – Order online and pick up or have delivered
Amazon Fresh – Home delivery
Peapod – Home delivery
Meal Delivery – There are a variety of meal delivery companies to help ease the burden of shopping and cooking
Please post and share some of your real-mom-life-hacks!