My Love/Hate Relationship With Grocery Shopping

If there’s anything that moms love more than a complete lack of responsibilities in any given day, it’s the opportunity to escape the nest, fly solo, and hit up their favourite grocery store!

While I totally get that there are many, many other things that moms would prefer to do other than mentally calculate the family’s expenses, diet, and meals while navigating the endless aisles – think: spa day, wine & dine with friends, sip a hot coffee without a chorus of children babbles and destruction prevention – grocery shopping is the closest form of realistic escape that we can hope for.

I, like many other moms, love it when I can hop in the SUV, blast my own tunes, and take the five minute drive down the road to the local supermarket. If I’m feeling extra ambitious and free, I’ll go out of my way and skip provinces to my fave store, Farm Boy. Not only do I usually save a bit of money here, the store is so gorgeously designed that I feel like I’m in a trendy farmer’s market or in a completely new country! It’s just blissful.

However, this positive relationship I have with the places where the food lives is one that is quickly changing from Yeehaw! to blaw.

Like any new relationship, grocery shopping began with excitement, opportunity, and the donning of rose-coloured glasses. I believed it was what I wanted, what I needed. Looking back, it has become the relationship that I dread. The one I wish I could ghost away from.

As the girls get older, eat more, and become more demanding and picky with the grub they ingest, I find doing groceries to be more of a headache than the luxurious escape from the chaos it used to be.

Mostly, I’ve become extremely jaded by the prices of food. Like, I feel like an old man looking back at the days where a bag of flour cost a nickel and milk was delivered for 25 cents a week. I used to love filling the cart with items for the family, but now I’m cynical about the thrice a week chore.

Is it just me, or do food costs get jacked up every few weeks? It may be small, but it’s happening. I swear!

Aside from the rising price of food, the girls waste more than they ingest, which is a whole other issue. This means that every time I serve them a meal, I’m praying it all ends up in their face instead of on the floor, because every time I see the scrambled eggs splat or the cut up chicken wedged between the high chair and their butt cheeks, I’m mentally adding up how much they’ve wasted.

“Well, let’s see. Breakfast cost me $1.03, lunch was $0.94, and dinner…*sigh* there goes $3.12.” Adding all of this wasted food up at the end of the week fills me with despair.

The food items that really grinds my gears are dairy products – milk, cheese, butter, yogurt. These prices are outrageous! We go through these items SO FAST in our home, that this monthly budget alone could exceed our phone and Internet bills!

And don’t even get me started on toilet paper. Christ.

I think that the worst thing about shopping for your family is the desire to actually feed your loved ones healthy food. And if that’s a priority, be sure to budget an extra $50 per grocery run, because if you want to be healthy, it’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg.

Our closest grocery store is the most expensive one I’ve ever been to, and yet we still buy 80% of our food there. Why? The only thing I can say is that it’s super convenient. AND THAT’S HOW THEY GETCHA. We go for the roast chickens and stay for their organic aisles, but we bitch under our breath at how much our bills are every. damn. time.

Something has to change!

On that note, there is a new grocery store in Ottawa I’m pretty drawn to called called Nu Grocery and I would LOVE to check it out. Its entire concept is built around having zero packaging for all of their products. So all you do is show up with containers, fill ’em, and pay for the food you want. It’s basically a concept that reduces our carbon footprint or whatevs, but I’m super intrigued as to whether or not prices would be lower, too. I would love to fill my mason jar full of butter and pay a fraction of the cost!

But that trek is for another day, one filled with extra time, extra money, and extra tupperware. All of which are the things I cannot spare.

 

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Facts About Motherhood: #58

Fact #58: Motherhood is boring.

It’s never fun to admit something that you’re supposed to keep a secret. Like, the fact that you have hemorrhoids or a third nipple.

There are so many secrets that mom’s won’t admit to that it actually adds more stress to keep the thoughts all bottled up. There is never a good time for moms to confess every thought or worry they had. If we did, we’d be sent to our guilt graves. Or we’d be looking at an epic novel, and not the short and loose dialogue I like to share with you all.

One thing that nobody ever tells you about becoming a mother is how boring it is. Oy, it’s mind-numbing. The moment you have a baby (or two!) is the moment that you enter a black hole of repetition, routines, and lack of spontaneity.

Hey, I’m not knocking down parenthood. There are plenty of joys that come along with raising infants, such as… well, baby giggles are nice. And teaching them things like the word “no” is kind of rewarding, too. All I’m saying is that the load of expectations of what motherhood is like should be busted open like Pandora’s Box.

Here it is, ladies. Motherhood in all it’s glory.

You’re gonna be bored AF sometimes.

Every day is the same cycle of tasks: waking up at the crack of dawn, washing the same dishes and onesies, playing with the same toys, changing the same bums, infinite nursery rhymes. Add the precise moment your toddler starts whining and you won’t even have to look at the clock to know you’re entering their afternoon fuss time.

Now, there ARE things to help you to keep your sanity in check while your little ones examine and toss the same damn toys around. For example, I like to vent about it online. Some moms like to work out. I don’t have such mom friends, but I imagine I’d hate them encourage them to maintain their interests.

Doing anything for yourself when your infants turn into toddlers with ‘tudes will make you feel a lot of feels, especially guilt. Even right now, I could be playing with my girls, but instead I’m doing this. While deep down I know the benefits of doing something for myself, I can’t help but feel like I’m neglecting them. And what’s more annoying is that they’re becoming smart enough to know that. The moment I open my laptop is the moment they start crying out, “Mama!”

 

Mom Boredom should be as much of a well-known term as Mom Guilt; both go hand-in-hand and can suck the pre-mom personality out of you faster than a bottle of wine.

Mom boredom can affect you so much that when you finally are gifted with a break, you simply can’t handle the freedom. You stay close to home and feel like a prisoner finally being released into the wild. This is why so many moms flock to Walmart and Target in their down time – it’s the least likely task that will generate guilt by spending time by yourself. “I’m buying diapers, damn it! I’m still thinking of my babies. Just leave me alone to walk every aisle for the third time!”

Being bored when you’re childless is like being bummed by the fact that you’re lazy and uncreative. Or hating the fact that you have way too much time to relax.

Being bored when you’re a mom means talking to yourself because you can’t talk on the phone with your girlfriends ’cause your baby won’t let you. It means dressing your babies up in endless outfits and taking dozens of photos just to make the hour go by faster. It means eagerly volunteering to go buy milk (or literally anything) the moment your partner comes home from work. “We desperately need more pepper – out of my way!” It means becoming socially awkward because you’ve been lacking in all forms of communication, other than social media. Being a bored mom means that you seriously consider turning to, ugh, Pinterest for things to do.

Nah thanks. I’ll stick to complaining online.

The Devil Wears Diapers

If you’ve ever had a baby, you understand the pure hell that is teething. One baby has the power to bring you to your knees, arms raised above your head, shouting what you’d give to end it all. You’d sell your soul, but this baby already owns it. And remember I have two. So I expect double the sympathy.

These demons are 8 months old and have been teething for an eternity. AN. ETERNITY.

Every day we endure the lighting bolts of screams and scalding whines. The endless cries from exhaustion. The bipolar-esque switch from glee to misery.

WE WANT THE TEETH. GIVE US THE TEETH.

At 8 months old, not a single tooth has popped.

And those damn teething toys and tricks don’t work. Nothing works. Aside from passing out mid-play or post-meal, the only thing that distracts them from their swollen gums is watching Baby Einstein on YouTube.

HALLELUAH! We have a saviour.

Before babies, I was all, “If I ever have kids, I am limiting their TV time! No way will I let my spawn be glued to a screen.” Meanwhile, I’m glued to my phone.

Was I ever deluded.

When TV is the only source of salvation, you have no choice but to give in. But Baby Einstein? Really? I often think, “How can my babies enjoy such puny plots? I could make these if I had an abundance of toys, a solid white wall, and a steady camera!” Baby Einstein is just a series of toys, babies, music, and high-pitched jabbering.

GIRLS! YOU LITERALLY ARE, AND HAVE ACCESS TO, ALL OF THOSE THINGS. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

The other option that helps us claw our way out of hell is drugs.

While we don’t do this often (enough!), baby doses of Advil is liquid magic. When we reach our wits end, and I’m sure when the girls have reached their own, they get the syringe.

JUDGE ME. I don’t currrrrrrrrrrrrr.