Struggle to leave the house without having to take your kids along for the ride? Lana says that's why late-night Kmart shopping became her happy place.
It’s sad but oh so true.
Lately, I’ve been finding inner peace in the aisles of Kmart as I do my Christmas shopping late at night.
I actually don’t know if a bunch of ‘just because’ flowers from my hubby would give me as much pleasure.
My local, “I feel like a millionaire in here because everything is so cheap!” Kmart store is open until midnight – seven nights a week. This means that on any given night if I have enough energy to perhaps stay up and watch some telly (and pretend I didn’t see the washing pile that needs folding), I can escape the house on my own.
On. My. Own.
I know, perhaps a trip to Kmart doesn’t constitute as quality ‘me time‘ for most mums, but hear me out.
I go AFTER the kids have gone to bed and it is honestly the most indulgent alone time I’ve had in ages. This is how my wild night out progresses.
After pecking my hubby goodbye and checking if he needs any more socks, I close the front door and a rush of excitement washes over me. I’m out on my own! This is actually happening.
I breezily walk to my car in the cool night air, knowing my little loves are peacefully sleeping and I’ve left my big love with the washing up to do.
Then, I slide into the driver’s seat straight away – because I don’t have to buckle anyone in or struggle to win car seat battles. I drive the five minutes it takes to get to the shops in dead silence. There’s no backseat fighting, no one screaming out “concrete truck!” so abruptly that I almost veer off the road, and no parking issues because it’s 8pm on a Monday night.
A store of dreams
Next I walk sans pram towards the light, the fluorescent lights of Kmart that is. Lights that ordinarily would send my eldest boy a bit crazy if he was with me and I pause. I have a shopping list but I’m on my own. I can totally buy myself some new knickers and finally chuck out the “I really am not doing our sex life any favours” stretched old ones (and yay, they are only $2.50 a pair).
Then I peruse the homewares section, because I can. No one is tugging at my skirt sending panic waves through me that they might pull it down in the middle of the store, no one is racing off in the other direction or grabbing this and that off the shelves. I am alone. It’s just me and Deborah Hutton.
Why yes, I do need a new bath mat, I think to myself as I stroke the soft pile like my toddler with his beloved blankie. While I’m here I sort some Christmas gifts. Mugs for kindy teachers (I’ll fill these with chocolates) and something else when I see it, a pretty mirror for my sis in law and some tea towels (I’ll be clever and use these as gift wrap for my MIL, when I work out what the heck I’ll buy her).
Then, after I’ve indulged in some dreaming – “yes, I think I would be happier with a wicker basket clothes hamper than the plastic one we have” – I snap back into why I came here.
The dreaded toy aisles. But no! I am alone. This means, it will be a quick affair. I grab a $10 crane truck for my nephew, a pack of planes for stocking fillers and a doll accessories pack. And I smile, knowing no one is going to plead with me to have one too, or ask for yet another die-cast car or whine at me to open the thing they snuck into my trolley at the check out.
After doing a little of what I came here for, I pick up a few supplies for me – that nice body cream that smells like a piña colada, some nail varnish – because for the first time in a year I am going to paint my nails – and some new hair ties (yes, I am always searching for these. My life is going to be much more manageable now with new hair ties).
Then I approach the checkout, which just happens to be near the women’s section (good thinking store layout person). Two $3 t-shirts and a skirt later, I detour to the change rooms. I don’t have to wrestle the coat hanger off my toddler or stop my four-year-old from peeping under the cubicle at the lady next door, because I am on my own. I feel so relaxed! Yes, these will all do, I think and shove them in the trolley.
My cup refilled
I grab the kindy teacher chocolates on the walk to the queue-less checkout. I’m so happy. A bit of me-time shopping in peace has done the trick, plus I’ve ticked a few more things off my Christmas list. Go me! Even the beeping scanners can’t shake my happy vibe.
When I get home my hubby is still awake and watching TV on the couch. "Did you grab any chocolate?" he asks.
Well, Kmart will be open tomorrow night …
This article originally appeared on Babyology.
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