Last updated on Feb 3rd, 2021 at 12:02 pm

Shopping… A necessity for all, a pain for some and a favourite pastime for many. I used to enjoy a trip to a shopping centre to spoil myself or a loved one, to meet a friend or to just quickly run an errand.

As a new mom, I realise how much I miss that freedom of quickly popping to the store because I forgot an ingredient for dinner. Shopping is now a calculated event. From the moment I leave home with my baby until we arrive back, everything is planned.

ALSO SEE: Your survival guide to shopping with a toddler

Here’s how my shopping experience has changed since having a baby:

  • Parking my car used to be simple. Now I have to consider how wide I can open the car door to take my baby out.
  • I’d often take the stairs or the escalators to the next level of the mall, but with a baby, I’ve had to learn where the elevators are to accommodate a pram.
  • Why do some store layouts resemble a maze? The aisles are narrow, making it hard to push a pram around them. The worst is when a person without a pram or children in tow stares me down expecting me to move my pram out of the way. Seriously, where am I supposed to go?
  • As much as I’m not a fan of fitting rooms, it’s easier to try on items so I save myself a trip back to the shops. Unfortunately, a pram doesn’t fit in a change room.
  • Then there is grocery shopping with a pram. It’s not easy to push the pram while I pull the trolley behind me. People look at me like I’m crazy, but it works.
  • A pram doesn’t always fit into public toilets. There have been times that I’ve abandoned my shopping trip because I desperately need the toilet but I have my baby with me and can’t take a pram into the toilet.
  • Ask any new mom about packing her car after a shopping trip. It’s all new territory and you’re unsure what to do. I often debate what I should pack first, “Is the car too hot to put the baby in before my bags?”

Regardless of how much planning goes into a trip to the shops, I’ve made peace with the fact that there is no such thing as a quick shopping trip with a baby in tow. It’s something I have to get used to. Shopping is now different from before, but I have my constant companion staring at me with her big, beady eyes while I push her around. I’m learning to take things slower, even if it means hunting down the nearest elevator.

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Visit www.heartsinhershoes.co.za to read more about Nikita’s journey as a new mom.