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The Childless Bitch on Holiday Shopping

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It's Black Friday and guess who will not be stepping into a mall today? Me!

woman shopping with her kids

It's Black Friday and guess who will not be stepping into a mall today? Me!

That's right, us single, childless gals are rockin' a hangover from a kick-ass post-Thanksgiving party (how was yours?) and will gladly give this bizarre American middle class holiday to you. You can meet at Wal-Mart at 4 in the morning. I am more than happy to let you have the quesadilla maker at 20% off. My gift to you.

But for all the other days I will be in a mall or super-chain megastore, I think it's important to address the mother/child shopping etiquette that needs to take place this holiday season.

First and foremost, leave your child at home!

Shopping is intended to be an enjoyable activity. Why would you want to ruin this experience for yourself, the loved one you've dragged along and - oh, did I mention, every other human being trying to simply buy a gift card?! Listen, we may smile politely but in the back of our minds we're thinking, "Why is that thing in here?"

I get it. You strap your kid in because you think you're making a quick stop at Target, but it never works out. So, since you choose to bring little Jimmy into the hell that is consumer shopping, below are a few rules that should be followed.

1. Those dying bird and abused animal noises you're hearing are coming from your child. Do something about it or I will.
2. No splitting the line. We see you putting your kid in one check-out line and yourself in another to 'beat the system.' This is not clever or original. Let's play by the rules.
3. Dressing rooms are not anatomy class for your children. If your little Tommy peeps his head under my door, I have every right to notify mall security.
4. If you find yourself saying, "Honey, we're almost done here" - you should have left the mall 30 minutes ago. You and your child have already broken at least 3 rules on this list.
5. Aisle 9 - dog leashes. I'm just sayin'.
6. Because you are trying on shoes does not grant your child the right to occupy a seat. This is the one time I will allow her to play on the floor.
7. Leave the doublewide stroller at home. Your marching band of children are taking up the entire aisle and setting the world record for slowest walkers of all time. Get in. Get out. Go home.
8. Do not fuel A.D.D. with Cinnabon.
9. Congratulations! As a parent, you have earned an all-access VIP pass to three hot mall locations - The Child Plastic Playing Area, The Food Court, and Santa's Holiday Village. Enjoy!
10. And last but not least, it's called online shopping. Suck it up and pay the shipping costs. This will not only be a gift to your overall health and well-being this holiday season, but also a kind way for you to give back to your community.

next: Trista's Top 5 Mommy Must-Haves
215 comments so far | Post a comment now
07Tristansmommy November 23, 2007, 11:09 AM

What a bitch! She definatly doesn’t have kids! Wait until she does and then she’ll be sayin otherwise! I applaud all of you moms who do brave it out there with your kids and even if you do make a scene once an awhile that’s life and motherhood. Good luck this holiday season! :)

Butrfly Garden November 23, 2007, 11:22 AM

Not that my kids are anything close to the terrors you apparently think all children ARE, but I would LOVE to know exactly what you WOULD “do about it” if a small child was making noises in a store. Honestly. Enlighten me.

It’s called “freedom,” honey, and I’ll bring my children anywhere I please. If you don’t like it, refer to your number ten.

J November 23, 2007, 11:45 AM

The title is very fitting. First - not every child behaves poorly in public. Yes, there are some - but not all… and my guess would be that not even the majority. Second - in order for children to learn out to behave in public, they have to be in public. You may be limiting your “no children rule” only to shopping experiences, but there are some parents (a lot?) that enjoy shopping. And even if we didn’t enjoy it we would still need to do some shopping. Not everything can realistically be purchased on-line. People who have children tend to have more expenses than those that don’t and wasting money on shipping just because there are people in the stores that are so limited in their thinking, lacking in patience and just plain full of themselves that they are bothered by the presence of chilren is absurd! YOU are the one that is bothered - remove yourself from the situation and do YOUR shopping online.

Sally November 23, 2007, 12:48 PM

Thank you so much for this too truthful article that suburban mothers everywhere are going to cringe at!! Get a clue mothers, your kids and your lack of control on these kids make shopping hell for the rest of us.

Randi November 23, 2007, 1:16 PM

I love the Childless Bitch. Can I get her email address? I think we could be friends!

(C’mon Moms. You gotta admit. Our little rugrats can make us insane. So pity the poor childless people without the acquired resistance we get from repeated exposure.)

How I long to hang out with my single friends over lattes and roll my eyes at the bratty kid running circles the next table.

Funny stuff.

KarenK November 23, 2007, 1:47 PM

This is absurd. As a mom, I have enough to worry about than what a single person thinks of my child’s bahavior. Get over yourself.

Angie November 23, 2007, 3:56 PM

I’m sorry if your bragging about being single and your life is going so great, why the heck are you even on a moms website you do not belong here! You haven’t been blessed with a lil baby and really don’t deserve to as well! Go find a good party website. Enjoy!!!

Tara November 23, 2007, 4:34 PM

Why or perhaps HOW do these children make your shopping “hell”? Seriously? Are they bothering you personally?

It’s one thing if you have or have had an issue with a certain child or lack of parenting in a social situation in particular (I would ask you to address that in the proper way) but to lump every “family” into one category and tell us all to not shop in public is insane.

Now with that said, I personally LOVE to shop by myself without my children. I do have a great time. Much easier to get things done and focus on the task (or fun) at hand. However, being a military mom I don’t always have the luxury of having my husband home and going places without my children. Yes, I could hire a babysitter but that could get VERY expensive every time I wanted to go by Target or Kroger.

I suppose since you are single and don’t have anything else to do but drink then you can pick up all of my stuff for me. I’ll leave you a list. Let me know when you’ll come by and get it. I’ll be all snuggled in my bed with my children.

Ok, so how about let’s just get realistic? I hope you get to feeling better and find the real root of your anger. A positive and thoughtful attitude will make you a much more pleasing person.

Amanda November 23, 2007, 11:49 PM

Kudos to the author. Never has a more truthful article been written. I know I am sick and tired to death of trying to shop and having to hear the annoying, high pitched squawking of a kid while its mother just ignores it. You may be able to tune out your kid’s annoying voice, but the rest of us actually, *GASP* find it irritating and shouldn’t have to put up with it. So, YOU get over yourself. Teach your DNA replication to be quiet in public or else take it outside.

Julie November 23, 2007, 11:53 PM

Sweetie, you need to check yourself into a retirement community….there you can live out your days child-free (well except for at the holidays when they will let children in to parade around in their Halloween costumes, to sing Christmas caroles, and for an Easter egg hunt). Then again, you probably have issues with seniors as well. After all, they move more slowly than younger folks, are budget conscious so they seek out deals like the Early Bird Special, and I’m sure you would find no value in their first-hand recounting of historical events. Plus, they love to talk about their grandkids…guess you’d have to develop a set of “rules” for that, too.

Here’s a better idea. Become an agoraphobic and lock yourself in your own house forever if not for your own peace of mind then to spare the rest of the world from your chronic bitching.

Sydney November 24, 2007, 9:38 AM

Don’t be that bitter towards this woman. Besides, in a few years she will probably be eating her words and taking her children into the shopping malls and annoying old versions of her. But in all honesty, this letter does sound very familiar. I thought that when I was young, single and childless. But now that I have my family I couldn’t imagine having those thoughts. She’ll change, and hopefully for the better.
I do wonder though, if my sister happened to write that letter, it sounds like something she’d say….! Ha!Ha!

wildwildrice November 24, 2007, 4:58 PM

To the lady who doesn’t care what strangers think of your child’s behavior: he or she is not going to be a child forever. The whole point is not whether some random schmoe is irritated by squealing. The point is that you’re raising up an ADULT who knows how to behave and control himself in public, which means you need to reinforce good behavior consistently and do your best to quell (or at least not reinforce) bad behavior even if you’re busy or tired. If you don’t have time for that, maybe you should’ve stuck with house plants.

Angie November 24, 2007, 5:43 PM

This is to the person who said “Teach your DNA replication to bascically be quiet out in public”
That’s quite the nerve. Your one of those really annoying people that stand right behind you gabbbing it up on your cell phone and I have to be bothered by your voice. My child has every right to talk in public places if that makes you unsatisfied than you remove yourself from me and my lovely chlid’s space.

Denise November 25, 2007, 3:23 PM

The only people who would find this post “infuriating” are those women who think their precious darlings’antics are adorable, or excusable because they’re “just kids.” Good parents don’t take tired, cranky, out-of-control kids shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Furthermore, yes you can teach them how to behave in public without taking them out in public.

Lynn November 25, 2007, 4:24 PM

Why take offense to this woman’s article? If parents properly supervised their children in public, then other people wouldn’t have the opportunity to get stressed out by being near unruly behavior. Every time I go out in public I have to listen to screaming kids. It doesn’t matter where I go, there they are running around and screaming. I rarely see a parent control their child or better yet, leave the premises.

Leah November 26, 2007, 11:11 AM

Amen Sister! It’s high time that some of the “parents” out there teach their children how to behave in public! Too many people abdicate all responsibility and want to be their kid’s “friend” instead of “parent.” You go Girl!!

Anna November 26, 2007, 9:41 PM

I couldn’t have written this article better if I tried! It’s about time someone told it like it is. The only reason you would be “infuriated” by this article is if you’re exactly the kind of self centered moo with entitlement issues that the article is talking about. Just because you forgot how to use a condom doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to put up with the crying shrieking banshee that fell out of you as a result. Keep your damn kids at home!

J November 27, 2007, 2:33 AM

I have to third previous sentiments. There are good parents, there are bad parents. The bad parents make excuses for their kids. The good parents use bad situations to teach their kids. They straighten up, or they go home. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief here, yes, even PARENTS can be annoyed by your children and your unfit parenting.

NKBurlington November 27, 2007, 8:42 AM

[quote]On 23 Nov 2007, Tara wrote:
Why or perhaps HOW do these children make your shopping “hell”? Seriously? Are they bothering you personally? [/quote]

Um, yes. That was the point of the article.

Your unsupervised little darlings can ruin a perfectly fine afternoon with their crying, whining and running amok in public. Your general lack of concern is no help either. You seem oblivious to little Junior’s screaming. The rest of us however, can hear him loud and clear!

Either leave your children at home with their fathers or keep them on a leash!

Angie November 27, 2007, 12:25 PM

I ‘ve been writing posts to this article and they don’t seem to going through not sure why?

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