The 7th Circle of Parenting Hell
Endless choices and literally no time or ability to focus on the task at hand. That is my overall feeling about grocery shopping with a child. And since I usually have all 3 children with me when I go, the process almost always also involves trying to prevent literally EVERY glass jar from not being knocked down while simultaneously guarding the cart from the random items my kids decide to chuck into the cart. With all that to think about, I still have to try to remember everything on the list so I don’t get home without my kids’ favorite snacks, yogurts, or whichever item we can’t function without that week.
There’s also a lot of NO. Like, NO, you cannot eat Fruit Loops for dinner. I mean, I actually survived my first year of college on Fruit Loops for dinner so it’s not that I’m against Fruit Loops, but I do feel that responsibility of imparting some semblance of good eating habits on my little ones. Pepper in the occasional temper tantrum over whatever random thing crosses their toddler minds as earth-shatteringly devastating, and it is truly the perfect storm.
Based on the pained expressions I see on every passing parent’s face as we mow through the aisles, I don’t think I’m alone in this. Plus I once read this great quote that said something along the lines of “I love that my daughter is fierce, outspoken, fearless and a passionate objector to injustices. Just not in this grocery store. Not today.” Truer words were never spoken.
I am always amazed when I hear parents tell me that they read every label in the baby food aisle. Out of my own sheer survival, I admit I generally am of the mind that I reach for whatever looks wholesome, and hopefully organic, and leave the rest to fate. Hopefully they eat it. If they do, next time around, I reach for the same things I know. But my biggest struggle is actually that I want them to try new things. I want them to have a diverse palate. It’s part of the reason I came to work at a baby food company. I want to provide new and adventurous eating options for all babies. I want parents to have it just that much easier next time they are in the baby food aisle, an hour into shopping hell, with a crying infant or toddler causing havoc. I want them to be able to reach for a single box and quell that urge for a diverse diet in one bold move with our baby foods.
But in the meantime, just know that in those moments if and when your child actually does manage to knock four jars of marinara onto the ground from their comfortable seat in the cart, I’m right there with you.
Contributed by Jess D