Today is a continuation of my series on SYSTEMS and rules that help me as a Mama.
Shopping is a chore, but if we have systems in place, it doesn't have to be as bad as it otherwise might be. My children love to go shopping. I'm not entirely sure why, but it usually is a pretty good experience... and they get to leave the house.
Unloading the groceries could be as much or more of a hassle if we try to do it without systems in place. I totally remember those days!!!
For me, unloading the children is the same process at home as anywhere else (with a little more easy-going mama at home since I'm not worried about them running into the parking lot and getting run over). They know that they are expected to hang out near whereever I put the groceries into the van. Before I started selling Lilla Rose at the Farmer's Market, that place was pretty much always the very BACK of the van. But now that's pretty full of my set-up for the market, so I usually load the groceries into the passenger seat area of the van now.
As a result of this change, the children unload themselves from the van and hang out around the front of the van until I have baby in the sling and am ready to distribute stuff for them to take in the house. I make sure to give the little guy (2 years old) the lightest groceries. Sometimes I have to take stuff out of a bag for him to carry. I can NOT leave him out of this process or there will be greater difficulties in the short and long-terms.
The girls carry the bulk of the groceries and I follow up with whatever is left after they run and make a few trips to unload. It works very nicely. Once inside, I coordinate the unpacking of bags. Usually with the two youngest trying to help and being reminded that they need to get out of the kitchen. The older two girls are very helpful. Often my second daughter is assigned to read to the younger two with my oldest daughter helping to load things in to the refrigerator or putting other things away in cabinets.
Now, all of this series (concerning the systems I use for shopping trips) doesn't mean that we have NO problems ever. We do. The children don't keep their hands to themselvses perfectly. They don't do what they are told the first time. We have lots of problems. But the problems we face are not, thankfully, temper-tantrum-type problems (unless it's mine when they ask for something I had on my list!!! haha). Praise the Lord!
Are you excited to see what comes next week? I sure hope you are!!