Today, I went shopping.
No, not food shopping.
Clothes shopping. You know, for me.
How many times have you been shopping with your little one, only to get hot, get frustrated, throw an internal tantrum and come home empty-handed?
Because no matter what you try on, it looks shit, nothing fits, your stomach has swollen to six-months-pregnant size, and your toddler is squirming and whining and shouting ‘I hungreeeeee!’, or ‘I wanna waaaalk!’, so you thrust the clothes back on the changing room rack, do a 360 with the pushchair, and storm out of the shop feeling totally deflated and demoralised. You justify your lack of clothing with the following reasons:
1. You’re not totally without clothes (despite the fact most of them have holes in, are out of shape, or barely fit you anymore) and don’t really NEED anything (apart from bras – but, well, you have bras and it’s not life and death);
2. You can’t really afford it (Not to mention the hassle of trying all those clothes on with a restless toddler in tow).
So you visit the children’s section and buy your kids something (you can afford that – they need clothes more than you do).
This is me.
Pretty much every time I go shopping.
Apart from today, where I took great pleasure in a THREE-HOUR shopping trip with my littlest shopping assistant.
It was one of those rare days, where she sat as good as gold in her pushchair (Minnie Mouse and Upsy-Daisy can take some credit for this), joining in with the changing-room selfies. There were a few cries of ‘I want to get OUT!’, which were met with firm replies of ‘No,’ and promises of going to get a little treat when we’d finished.
Of course, once I’d tried on 7 dresses in two different shops, the infamous call of ‘I need a weeeeeee!’ came from inside the pushchair (I realise this makes her sound like a tiny thumbelina-type child. Actually, she is a little dot, but she’s not THAT small), and so we left the shop (minus any dress), and circled round in search of the toilets.
If you don’t have kids, you can stop reading now (because, quite frankly, you might think me sad for gushing about this).
But, if you’re a mum with young children, read on.
The new toilets in the Centre:MK are amazing!
There’s facilities, and then there’s facilities – with kids in mind.
There is actually a dedicated child/toddler/baby change/general hangout-area within the huge, purpose-built conveniences.
Really, the American term ‘rest-room’ has to be the best way to describe it.
In addition to the main toilets, there are toilets for little ones in two dedicated unisex rooms, with a full-sized loo and a miniature one for the miniature people.
Then there’s the baby-changing area; the food-heating facilities, the private breast-feeding cubicles, and the AWESOME touch-screen TV and other play-points for the older children to entertain themselves while you feed your baby. I breastfed my own children, and I recall the struggle of desperately trying to relieve their hunger while stressing about whether anyone was watching; could they see me, would they judge me? I could never relax, and the experience of attempting to be a normal person out shopping with her baby was stressful enough to make me avoid going out.
Truly, I was impressed, and just had to share this on the Wiki Places For Kids site. Mums NEED to know about this place if they don’t already. It’s what we’ve been crying out for, for years.
We finally got out of there (by bribery of sweets from Mr Simms’ sweet shop for being such a good girl and getting back in her buggy), and continued our search for the perfect dress.
Three hours and some stress-less shopping later, I left the shopping centre with a luxurious dress from Coast (oh, how I have missed that shop Pre-Motherhood), and a shiny new notebook and pen. In reality, I would feel guilty. But it was such a successful shopping trip – I needed a dress for some upcoming events, I never spend money on myself, and my sweet little button was so good, we walked out of that shopping centre with smiles on our faces.
So no, I’m not going to feel guilty about indulging on my recent shopping trip. And neither should you.
Lose the guilt.
When’s the next shopping trip…? 😘