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The Childless Bitch on Holiday Shopping

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

woman shopping with her kids

That's right: We single, childless gals are rockin' a hangover from a kickass post-Thanksgiving party (how was yours?) and will gladly leave the bizarre American middle-class Black Friday shopping to you. You can meet at Walmart at 4 in the morning. I am more than happy to let you have the quesadilla maker at 20 percent off. My gift to you.

But for all the other shopping days on which I will be in a mall or super-chain megastore, I think it's important that I 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 every other human being trying to simply buy a gift card?! Listen, we may smile politely, but in the backs 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 checkout 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 thirty minutes ago. You and your child have already broken at least three rules on this list.
5. Aisle 9: dog leashes. I'm just sayin'.
6. Just 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 double-wide stroller at home. Your marching band of children is 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 ADD 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: Baby Names, 2011: The 14 Hottest Trends
17 comments so far | Post a comment now
shelagh mayhew November 26, 2010, 7:26 AM

Please remember that you were a child and your mother had to shop with you when maybe she really didn’t have any other choice. Rarely do mothers have a choice to leave their child at home or with other people to watch them while they shop for any reason. If you have no children by your own choice then that is your reason to think that you have the right to criticize the mothers that do have them. If your choice is to make your list of complaints known to the rest of the world then, expect reprisals and comments as to your particular rules. You have a very sad comment on the lives of the mothers and that is really telling that it bothers you so much to see the happiness and the obvious frustrations at times that all mothers have had throughout history. Whether there have been nannies or grannies or aunties or even male equalivients to these others than mothers to help take care of the children the point is that no where in the present is it possible to have everything that you declare a priority to the holiday shopping season. Sit tight and wait till the years’ end and then you may have something else to complain about, like how you had to buy gifts for all the brats that you decry and feel so ill about.

ss November 26, 2010, 9:06 AM

I agree that some parents have no idea how to discipline their children in public (or do but just choose not to do it). I do, however, have the utmost compassion for a mom at the mall struggling to control her child or children. I have one young child and another on the way. I do as much online shopping as possible because it’s SO MUCH EASIER!!!

Unfortunately, though, sometimes me & my toddler have no choice but to go out. We’ve got no money for a nanny and no relatives nearby. I do my best NOT to bother other shoppers but I’m guessing once I have two children under the age of two I just might be the mom tearing her hair out at the mall from time to time. I hope other people will see me doing my best and give me a little sympathy.

HM November 26, 2010, 9:22 AM

Nah. As mom to a 3 year old my sole purpose this holiday shopping season is to make people like you more miserable than they already are. Glad to know I’m succeeding already.

???? November 26, 2010, 12:04 PM

I agree with #7. I hate the double wide stroller when you take in in the restroom and pretty much push everyone out of your way. Look out! ignorant mom coming through.

KS November 26, 2010, 3:40 PM

If your not going out of the house why do you care what other people do with thier children? Actually if you don’t have children why do you seem to care so much about them? May you be blessed with a set of unruly triplets and have every one of your friends bestow little gems of wisdom such as this upon you.

Here is one tip from the mom squad. I’m tired, hormonal and slightly lacking in current social skills. Just try one of your sassy mouth antics with me once while I’m out with my children and you my dear will be scarred for life.

I do hope you run into a mother some day who actually gives you a taste of your own medicine.

Karen November 26, 2010, 6:53 PM

I love number 1, do something about the noises or you will. I’d love to see you try and get somebody else’s child to calm down and be quiet, and I’d love to see on video the parent’s reaction to you. This entire piece is written in ignorance. Perhaps it is YOU that should stick to online shopping, that way other people simply living their lives don’t interfere with your peace and quiet.

michelle November 26, 2010, 7:45 PM

I’m totally bringing the kids to the mall this year, making sure to pick a time when they’re overtired, cranky and poopy, not to mention hopped up on Cinnabon and practically spilling out of their double-wide stroller. I secretly love the attention…

TK November 26, 2010, 8:37 PM

Girl, I know what you mean. I’m out bopping along in my single selfish mode and there’s a Jr. or a Jr. Miss who is walking backward at the pace of a snail, or a tot who has gotten away from Mom and is screaming and running thru the isles tripping teens with Ipods stuck in their ears. Most of the time I like other people’s kids. But when the little one is screaming his head off, yes you should have left Wal-mart 1/2 hour ago.

Another thought, why are you blogging (as a childless B”) on a place called Mom-Logic?? And why am I here? I like the games!!

Rachel November 28, 2010, 3:20 PM

There is no time I enjoy being a mom more than the holiday season—shopping included. I’m sorry you don’t get to experience that joy.

Maybe you should steer clear of the kid-ridden Target and mall and go a little more upscale where us moms can’t afford to shop. Just a thought! ;)

MH November 28, 2010, 3:51 PM

I know that all of you are fighting over the content, but I have a different problem with it. Is it just me, or do they reuse these articles year after year? I’ve noticed them repeating just about all of the same articles for the Childless B*****.

Annoyed November 29, 2010, 6:07 AM

You really are a B. I hope you get knocked up someday so you can eat all of your words.

kassandra November 29, 2010, 7:23 PM

I am married but my husband is depolyed. We just moved to a city and I know anyone. My youngest son does have ADHD. I am a stay at home mother. So getting out of the house with kids in tow is a blessing. Now, having to take my chidren with me is not sometimes. But, I have no choice. I have broken all your rules except for one (cinnabon-because we don’t have one here).If I have to send my oldest to stand in one line and I in another to make the process faster for me, I am going to do it. I would rather make the process faster for everyone when my kids see someone in uniform at a store and start crying. ALl I can say is “dog leash” a few of them, because you think we have terrible kids. Wait till yours come out.

Anonymous November 30, 2010, 7:33 AM

As a mom I could not possibly agree more with her list!!

It’s so sad - some women become mothers and all care for manners and respect for others goes out the window.

kaye November 30, 2010, 12:50 PM

I have two kids and I think this was hilarious! Also, very true. I feel bad for moms that have to take kids out shopping with them, its a miserable experience no matter how you slice it.

Evelyn December 1, 2010, 8:07 AM

So true!!!! as a mom who works in retail I agree that there is nothing in the mall u need that bad that cant wait untill ur kids are home, Kids dont only bother other customers but employees as well.. I am a single mom and u would never find me out on a all day shopping trip with my son.. Its called cyber monday! use it!!!

sarah December 4, 2010, 11:56 PM

I love my 4 year old niece and my friends’ kids but sometimes I want them left at home. Why? So my sister and I can shop and then catch up at the local Starbucks.

I am child free and happily married. My life is no less than yours just because I choose not to procreate. My BIL, who has 2 kids, has mouthed off to women who are not controlling their children in public places. Manners and rules still apply. Just being a mom doesn’t mean you get to act haughty and throw all semblance of honor and character out the window.

As the middle child of 4 kids, we went out with our mom but if we began misbehaving, out the door of the mall we went. All mom had to do was give us a look and we straightened up. Just because we choose not to have children doesn’t mean our lives are empty and meaningless. Children are not the holy grail. Think long and hard before you have them.

hearing treatment February 27, 2011, 2:20 AM

You made some nice points there. I looked on the internet for the topic and found most individuals will go along with with your site.

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