SUPERMARKET STRUGGLE: Grocery shopping can be an epic task when you bring children along.
SUPERMARKET STRUGGLE: Grocery shopping can be an epic task when you bring children along. Getty Images

Modern Mum: Shopping the mother of all tasks

IT'S no secret that I'm not a fan of grocery shopping.

Who is? It's horrible at the best of times, let alone the trips where I need to bring my kiddos along.

Either their behaviour at the shops is getting worse, or I'm becoming less tolerant.

Whichever it may be, even the seemingly simple task of picking up bread and milk has become an epic task.

They become captivated by all the shiny new things on the way to the far end of the store.

This is where the bread and milk are deliberately kept so you will be forced to walk past and inevitably buy a bunch of items you don't necessarily even need.

Then there are runaway shopping trolleys, the absence of shopping bags (because I always forget to bring my own, even though I own hundreds) and trolleys that insist you find a gold coin just for the privilege of using them.

It's not so much the having to pay, but the having to actually find a coin that irritates me the most.

The times I actually do have spare change, my children usually "find" it and it instantly becomes tuckshop money.

But the thing I hate the most is that new and amazing invention (replacing human interaction), called "self-serve" checkouts.

I noticed the other day that even the humble Maccas worker has been replaced by these machines.

Now there are some people out there who do actually love them.

But I'm guessing these people have never gone through one with small children.

It usually starts out well enough, until halfway through, one of my little people decides to lean on the bagging area and the machine throws a wobbly.

Much like my children often do when I answer "no" to their requests for treats during our mission.

Then when I'm finally finished and can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, the attendant insists on checking my bags and receipts.

At this point, my children take off in different directions, while I fumble through my handbag in search of a receipt for the $2 item I purchased from the shop next door.

Maybe I resemble a thief and should stop wearing that favourite striped shirt of mine?

I usually opt for the "irritated consumer who hates self-service checkouts look".

But somehow that must translate into "I'm a thief, please dig through my personal belongings" in the eyes of supermarket staff.

They always do it to me at the worst possible time too.

I was almost crash-tackled once when I mistakenly walked out without letting the total stranger standing at the exit of a department store rifle through my handbag. I was rushing out to take my child to the toilet, not because I just pinched something and was doing a runner.

Let's just say wine is often needed after a shopping trip with my two kiddies.

It's no wonder some genius, marketing guru came up with the idea to build a bottleshop right next to the supermarket exit.

I reckon it had to have been the brilliant idea of a mother. And thank golly gosh she did.


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