I was shopping at my favorite, all-be-it insane, grocery store with a few of my kids. I don’t remember exactly how many of my kids were on this trip, but I was outnumbered. As I shopped, I was passed by another mother. A mother of one kid.
She said to me, “Wow. You are brave shopping here with all those kids. I can barely handle it with my one kid.”
I said to her, “Thanks! You’re brave too! Shopping with one kid is wild, right? You’re killing it!”
At the grocery store, kids in tow, we are here to score some serious food. We have a system made for success and a pretty hardcore grocery list. We add shopping baskets to the bottom of the cart, that’s where fruits and veggies go. The cart had a cup holder for my coffee. We get bars in row 22 that we start eating immediately and throw the rappers in the cart to pay for later.
If we are honest, I probably got chocolate from the row that’s across from Aisle 5 and am sharing it with my kids. (Only because my attempt to smuggle it into the cart and start eating it secretly did not work. I must work on my ninja skills, if only for having the chocolate all to myself.) And, in keeping with honesty, baby quite likely stole a few drinks of my coffee while I was comparing cans in the tuna aisle. Good thing it’s probably decaf.
Having a four kid family means I’m way outnumbered. Which means I’m in it to win it. I have a plan. I’m there to succeed. I’m aware that success may include having to be flexible. I know what things my kids can help with. I know when it’s time to pop the four-year-old into the cart. It’s an odd kind of dance.
I’ve got a metaphorical game face on, yeah. But that in no way means I’m looking at the “one kid moms” or “one kid dads” and thinking, “You aren’t nearly as cool as me.” What I’m thinking is, “You are killing it at parenting. You are successfully grocery shopping with a small human being. Good job. Fist bump. Do your thing, yo.”
Dear friends, let’s encourage people and look to see their success. Let’s not be comparing ourselves with others to prove that we are better than them. That’s a slippery slope of nastiness. Let’s see the best in people. Even in strangers who take their kids with them to the grocery store.