Getting out of the house with a new baby is hard. It’s tempting to just stay home where it’s comfy and easy and you know where everything is, but for the love of sunshine, you gotta get out sometimes.
If it’s any comfort, packing the diaper bag and remembering the million and one just-in-cases will get easier, I promise.
My first trip to the grocery store with my little one-month-old bundle was almost as mentally tiring as it was physically. Good thing they had snacks there.
I’d thought it through and I had a gameplan. You have to have a plan because when you’re managing an overstuffed diaper bag, a purse, a jacket, a blanket, and a 20-pound carseat (oh, and a baby), it’s not as simple as hopping out and grabbing a cart on the way inside.
Do I get her out and then go get a cart? How do I carry all this stuff to the cart? Do I leave her in the locked car while I get a cart and bring it back so she’s not in the wind? What if the carseat doesn’t fit in the cart?
There’s a lot of cart questions.
So I make the cart decisions, get inside, and the baby’s still happy. (!) There’s still grocery shopping to do, I realize, which at this point is almost an afterthought. But off we go down the first aisle.
Will we make it through this entire store before she decides this isn’t fun anymore? Where am I actually supposed to put the groceries when this carseat takes up so much cart space? (more cart questions)
There’s a certain level of stress that goes along with trying to pull of such a seemingly simple task. Lists, carts, carseats, covers, wind, baby, noise levels, temperaments, fellow shoppers, you get it. Yes, I know it’s just the grocery store, but it takes practice!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: HOW MOTHERHOOD MADE ME RICH
Then we get behind another mom and her two little girls, about 3 and 6 years old or so. And I can already tell she’s such a pro.
She smiles at me (maybe because I look like a first-timer) and her little girls are instantly interested in my baby in the carseat. They whisper something to their professional mom about a baby and I pull the cover away so they can see her face and their smiles are so sweet and sincere.
The little one asks if it’s my baby and I answer her, indeed it is. The mom glances at me with caring eyes and we all slowly move along to aisle two at about the same pace.
We’re immediate allies.
Her girls are curious about everything and she lets them explore a little, picking out their favorite cereal and finding the best bunch of bananas.
She keeps them close and her voice is kind and sure. She moves through the store like it’s second nature and I’m pretty sure she never even consulted a list. I’m seriously in awe of how fast they filled that cart.
I can tell this team of three is definitely not first-timers. The grocery store is their jam.
I hear a few more adorable comments about “she” and “baby” and I grin and give a tiny wave. This mom was calm and seemed to be enjoying their outing. The girls are well-behaved and giggly.
Her reassuring face did just as much for me as for her daughters.
My heart felt full and I think, we’ve got this, girl.
In fact, I look at this equipped little family and know we’ll get there, but for the time being, it makes me feel better about where we are now. It’s new and kinda difficult, but sweet and short-lived.
Mama’s getting this figured out, little one.
We’re doing it together. And this other grocery-store-mom gave me confidence and validity. If other shoppers were going to get distracted by any loud kid noises, it wouldn’t just be from mine.
Without saying a word, she told me that it’s just a part of life and even though it may not be like it used to, grocery shopping (and everything else) gets easier and turns out to be better than ever.
So next time my girl and I encounter a new mama at the grocery store, we plan to smile and show interest. Perhaps without a word, we’ll help plow the way for future bold undertakings, like the post office.
I’d love to hear about your first outting with a new baby and any errand-running tips you have for new mamas!
by grace & grit,