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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
Dark-Star December 10, 2007, 11:13 AM

Dead on. I salute the author for having nerve to post this on a mother’s website.

The way MOST kids behave today in public makes me want to get a ticket to Mars on some days. Based on numerous stories from grandparents, teachers, and elderly friends, there used to be a code of behaving in public that everyone but the local teenage punks or that one family that just didn’t care about anything.

The ‘code’ went something like, “When a young person under 13 is out in public, s/he is to shut their mouths unless spoken to by someone, keep their hands @ their sides or in their pockets unless given something to eat/drink/hold, and stay within 10 feet of a parent.”

Kids who didn’t follow this simple, reasonable ‘code’ experienced IMMEDIATE consequences. Besides being paddled or grounded by the parents, they could be scolded harshly by legitimately irritated strangers. A mom who, say, defended her kid for running into an old lady (saw it happen) would once have been ostracized and whispered about behind her back for not making her kid behave.

Now? We don’t *dare* tell a kid to quit screaming or ‘hands off’ (even store managers are hesitant!) in order to not invite some b—-h screaming at us for our ‘meddling’. I have seen dozens of kids run down store aisles while their moms to the 10-count that the kid knows has no teeth to it - kids are smart like that. They scream like they’re in a rock concert. They drive the rest of us crazy, and we can’t do squat. Do the public a favor and either make your kids behave by any means necessary - including spanking - or leave them at home. If they ‘need’ to run and shriek, take them to a playground or park.

A final note, to 40mom: Yes, in “the deepest recesses” of our minds, we remember being kids. If we are honest with ourselves, we also remember causing all kinds of hell in order to get toys or candy, or just because we refused to walk by mommy with our mouths zipped. Having been a child once upon a time does not excuse those who ~are~ children ~now~ from ANYTHING!

Judy December 14, 2007, 3:27 PM

WHO’S AT FAULT HERE? THE WESITE FOR POSTING THIS GARBAGE!

Kelly December 17, 2007, 3:07 PM

Ok. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, Childless Bitch just validated my feelings on many things. I am a single mother, with no one to keep my son for me when I go shopping. I will tell you that as long as someone pays taxes, they have a right to go wherever they want as long as it is a public space, with kids or not. Ignorance like this really humors me. I think Childless Bitch would do well to spend some time back in kindergarten, just to learn some basic skills for life. I mean, she was a child at one time too right? And I am quite sure she was WAAAAAY worse than any of our kids!

MMB December 22, 2007, 11:12 AM

This childless Aunt went shopping recently with her angel sister, and two adorable nephews.All I can say is that it’s a herculean task to manage two small boys who ALWAYS want to play with the same toy at the same time, OR, run two different directions at once.

I’m a very successful professional women who globe trots for a living and any day stuck in an airport or working 15 hours is easier than a trip to Toys R Us with the kids. Be patient with the little ones and take a moment to watch them engage with their surroundings and take joy from the experience.

As “one of you” (childless) — I agree that society as a whole could use a primer on manners but I include us in the mix! “Borrow” a child or two for a day and you’ll have renewed understanding for their Moms.Happy Holidays!

MMB December 22, 2007, 11:17 AM

This childless Aunt went shopping recently with her angel sister, and two adorable nephews. All I can say is that it’s a herculean task to manage two small boys who ALWAYS want to play with the same toy at the same time, AND/OR, run in two different directions at once.

I’m a very successful professional women who globe trots for a living and ANY day stuck in an airport, or working 15 hours at the office, is easier than a trip to Toys R Us with the kids. I would invite you to exercise your patience and take the opportunity to revel in the little ones and stop consuming for a moment to watch them engage,explore and learn. Take joy from these little beings…I for one do and wish I had my own little monster to take.

Society as a whole could use a primer on manners. Happy Holidays!

MMB December 22, 2007, 11:17 AM

This childless Aunt went shopping recently with her angel sister, and two adorable nephews. All I can say is that it’s a herculean task to manage two small boys who ALWAYS want to play with the same toy at the same time, AND/OR, run in two different directions at once.

I’m a very successful professional women who globe trots for a living and ANY day stuck in an airport, or working 15 hours at the office, is easier than a trip to Toys R Us with the kids. I would invite you to exercise your patience and take the opportunity to revel in the little ones and stop consuming for a moment to watch them engage,explore and learn. Take joy from these little beings…I for one do and wish I had my own little monster to take.

Society as a whole could use a primer on manners. Happy Holidays!

shekinah December 22, 2007, 9:52 PM

I want to say I am surprised at the behavior of many of the people on both sides of the fence but, the truth of the matter is, I, sadly, am not surprised at all.
I waited until I was 32 to start having children so I was able to have my “fun” before I had my children. I have a different kind of fun now.
I am a single mother so I was not able to leave my children at home when I went shopping very often. I am single because I am a widow. My children’s father died of cancer when they were very young. Just a little background so you know where I am coming from.
I agree with both sides and disagree with both sides for different points. I realize people seem to believe the “shock factor” is the only way to get their point across so they try to be as rude as possible.
I have seen the large families with both parents out shopping and 6 or 7 children running around, usually one of the kids with a shopping cart and 2 or 3 of the kids inside it, the mom pregnant with another one and all of the kids under the age of 10. The kids are running into people, knocking over displays and the parents in another part of the store.
I have heard kids screaming as if in pain and the parents ignoring them or screaming at them to be quiet or bribing them by telling them if they will do “A” they will get “B”. I am disturbed and annoyed when I run into both of these kinds of parents.
I always told my children from the very beginning whether they were allowed to get anything extra while at the store. I let them know before going in if they misbehaved we would leave immediately. My children did and still do behave when we go out shopping. They are now 10 and 13 and they still stay with me when we go shopping. They may politely ask if they can have something but they also accept it if I say no.
While my first instinct would be to want to protect my children, if an adult came to me telling me my children misbehaved, I would do something. Even if it were just to apologize to the person and tell them it would be handled. I do not automatically believe an adult over my child, but neither do I automatically believe my children over an adult either.
Parents are too “protective” of their children most of the time now and have a knee-jerk reaction of “No, my child would NEVER do such a thing.” Yes.. even your child is not perfect and will misbehave and make mistakes.
Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, kids did not get away with the things they do now. If an adult saw a child misbehave, they got onto the child and that child’s parents heard about it before they ever made it home and they got it again then. While I don’t favor spankings, discipline is something entirely different and needs to be addressed for the sake of the child and the adult they will grow into one day.
My 2 cents.





Matilda December 23, 2007, 4:25 PM

140 comments before this one, and i don’t think a single one of you understand that not everything is written to be taken seriously. it’s called tongue in cheek. it’s called a sense of humor. get over it.

MMF December 29, 2007, 4:30 PM

I have 2 children with 1 on the way. My children are NOT saints when I take them shopping & I admit that, but malls are, in my opinion, a place for families as well as teenagers and singletons. The author was being cheeky in her writing ~ yes, I’m sure she meant what she said to a degree but the added “nastiness” was meant to be humorous I’m sure. This being said, I openly admit that when I go out to eat (sans children) I ask for a table AWAY from kids. When I go shopping and see children who are allowed to run around, screaming, etc. I get annoyed. As parents it IS possible to expect your children to behave like children, not like free-roaming monkeys, while in public. I do think that today’s parents are a little too willing to let their children run wild and just “smile” ~ a stroller WITH straps is a beautiful thing people and the rest of the shopping public should not be expected to deal with screaming, running children.

Sandra January 23, 2008, 3:34 PM

Why are people taking this so seriously? CB is obviously trying to be humorous and misses the mark more often than not.

Anonymous May 16, 2008, 6:54 AM

obviously she hasn’t stayed home more than a week at a time with no contact with the outside world with a sick child….

rulsgrl August 14, 2008, 11:36 AM

This woman sounds pretty bitter and lonely to me.
Someone that cant spend a holiday that is all about family with a family and is reduced to getting drunk and partying on thanksgiving sounds like someone that truely needs some compassion….how sad.

weary of ill-bred children January 12, 2009, 11:03 PM

Taking children into public places is an opportunity to teach them considerate public behavior. To allow them to run amok and behave badly is a sign of the mother’s bad manners.

j January 31, 2009, 7:56 AM

Can I just ask…. why just because I have kids do I not have the same basic human rights as this single woman, such as to enter a shopping centre to buy food? I live overseas and I cannot actually do a great deal of my shopping online so I have no other option if I need something in a hurry.

Tiffany June 4, 2009, 2:37 PM

Wow! Such bitterness among most of you moms. Sorry ladies, but your bitter attitudes in your posts don’t cover up the fact that you are truly miserable; rather, it just makes it more obvious.
I know you wish you can be carefree and not have to worry about toting your cranky kids around, but you chose your life. Don’t inflict your unhappiness and bitterness on others, escpecially those that are happy and carefree.

Anonymous June 13, 2009, 8:59 AM

For the woman who posted
” not having kids voluntarily is the worse thing a woman can do to herself” - GROW UP! Some of us look after YOUR kids most of the time in schools as teachers and havent had kids of their own for this very reason!
Plus we pay high taxes and dont use public ammenities most of the time because they are full of young mothers and kids who make us feel like some kind of alien because we dont have kids of our own.

Anonymous October 28, 2009, 8:58 AM

please be considerate people. everyone has the right to be in public spaces which is what makes them public. but people who cannot sympathize with someone in a different situation than they need a slap in the face. children are God’s gifts to his people and need to be treated accordingly, teach them to be good. as the 3rd in a family of 10, i know some children can be uncontrollable and single moms have a rough enough time without crabs. some moms dont have the resources to go out alone. but i do agree that those who refuse to discipline their kids and let them go buck-wild wherever are morons

Anonymous November 23, 2009, 11:23 AM

seriously lady? half of growing up is exploring and experiencing the world. by restraining children by say leaving them at home or even better leashes, children are likely to develop by being a lemming of the system rather than doing what it is they really want to do.

Anon November 23, 2009, 8:54 PM

This seems extreme. I am a guy who is constantly in a hurry and I never feel the need to ask someone to move their double wide stroller as there are other aisles I can walk down to get to the same place. The noise complaints are reasonable as well as the dressing room thing, but suggesting that a mother give up shopping in public because she has children is just another way to say, “I have no idea of the needs of others because I live with the focus on me.”

Black Iris November 30, 2009, 9:52 AM

Thank goodness she’s childless.


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