I’m sure like most moms, and especially moms of multiples, you often daydream of a time when errands were easy. Remember when you used to wander aimlessly through Target and maybe even try things on? Or order a coffee and SIT DOWN to drink it? Dropping off dry-cleaning, getting your teeth cleaned, mailing a package – once simple tasks now require the preparation of a space excursion. Especially when you are alone.
|The Day We Went to Ash Wednesday Mass Alone. I’ve never prayed so hard in my life…that they would stay quiet and somewhat still in their stroller.|
We just relocated to Chicago last year, leaving friends, family and an entire support system of help more than 700 miles behind. I thought I was independent before, but now trying to figure out how to do the most mundane things – usually with the girls in tow – has taught me a thing or two!
Check out my top recommendations and please share your tips and tricks:
- Back it up! – I’ve learned the best way to get in and out of doors is to use your tush to push. (Salt-n-Pepa, anyone?) Whether you are the captain of a snap-n-go, tandem or double wide side-by-side strollers, it is much easier to open the door and back in then then trying to lean over your children and swing the door open and push them through. I’m actually so quick at this then when people offer to help me it can sometimes mess up my mojo! (But, you should always, ALWAYS, accept the kindness of a stranger holding the door for you!)
|I miss the days of newborns. They would just look peaceful – like here outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia. If your children are under 9 months…NOW is the time to be alone in public!|
- Stroller accessible – Most moms rely on their strollers, but being a mom of multiples, your stroller is your lifeline. For me, it is my second set of hands so I can actually get stuff done! I pay attention to ramps, sidewalks and which malls/stores have the most convenient elevators.
- Double carts – The coveted double cart or kid-friendly shopping carts are so key. Target and Costco definitely have them and so do some of my local grocery stores. (It can’t hurt to call ahead too, if you are venturing out for the first time alone.) Snagging one of these can be the tricky part. It’s like hunting a wooly mammoth. I scout these bad boys by doing multiple trips in the parking lot and by, hopefully, parking next to it. When I don’t spy one, I usually try to flag down the employee who’s collecting the carts. I’m the crazy mom, leaning out the window, with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in the background, “hey, do you mind bringing me one of those double cart thingies, please? I’ve got twin toddlers in here!” It’s a jungle out there, ladies!
|Target AGAIN, Mom? You better feed us animal crackers the whole trip.|
- Heel kid, HEEL! – The phrases of ‘child harnesses and safety tethers’ were just invented to make you feel better about putting a leash on your child. My girls wear leashes ALL THE TIME. I’ve gotten a few looks but it is better than you losing one! We love these adorable options from Skip Hop. These are crucial for any mobile children who want to be on the move in a public place rather than stuck in the stroller.
|This is definitely a scene of out of 101 Dalmations.|
- Know your and your children’s limits – I’ve had some major fails while being alone with my girls in public. Planning too many errands in a day. Running around during naptime. Changing diapers in fitting rooms. Forgetting snacks, water or BLAAAAAAANKIEEEEEEE. The list goes on and on. As any mom will tell you, wrangling your kids in public – by yourself - is a constant work in progress. It’s not perfect, it’s rarely fun but we all know it is part of the job! Plus, when you do get those rare chances alone – trips to the drugstore, post office, heck, even the gynecologist – will feel like a vacation!