Shopping is not my idea of fun at the best of times. Clothes shopping? With children? That is its own special kind of hell.

First you have to navigate the actual shop, trying not to lose your children in a sea of clothing rails and repeating for what feels like the millionth time “DO NOT TOUCH!” Which of course they do. Then they run off to the children’s department and get fixated on a hat/t-shirt/pair of sandals that are inevitably adorned with Frozen characters. Trying to part them with said item becomes a struggle that you know you won’t win. So you give in (for now) and hope that you can slyly leave it somewhere before you get to the checkout.

You know you don’t have long before you are risking tantrum territory so you resort to bribery. Snacks or promises of being able to pick ‘anything you like from Poundland’ usually work. For a few minutes.

As you go through the rails you fear you are getting old as you don’t recognise/like any of the fashionable choices and head straight for the comfy and practical clothes. A mum can never have too many pairs of leggings can she?

Then it’s time to hit the changing rooms.

The cramped changing rooms bathed in harsh fluorescent lighting and sometimes crazy mirrors that look that they must have come from a closing down sale at the circus. (Seriously, I don’t look that hideous in actual real life do I?)

Once I’ve fit the pram in there and told the eldest (to no avail obviously) to stand still and be good, there’s hardly any space for me to sweatily wriggle in and out of badly fitting clothes.

Add a brutally honest 4 year old foghorn in the mix and I would rather be anywhere else.

Like an unhelpful Trinny or Susannah she critiques my outfit choices and points out all my flaws.

Trying on clothes this week (for holiday and returning to work) I got these gems.

“Oh Mammy, why is your belly so big?”

“Your bottom is sooooo fat.”

Or she just found hilarity in my nakedness.

“Haha. Nipples. Haha.”

But the pinnacle of my humiliation had to be when she made up a song about how much my belly shakes when I put my jeans on.

It’s nice to feel loved.

To be fair it wasn’t all bad. When trying on a work skirt she said I looked “like a woman”. As opposed to the homeless man I usually channel?

She also commented that she liked the bra I was trying on, and told me loudly (of course loudly, she does everything loudly) to take the tags off and put it in my bag. Never have I felt so shifty as I (also loudly) explained that would be stealing.

I emerged from the changing room dejected, embarrassed and, out of the ten things I tried on, with one top. One baggy, belly-covering top.

Then we went to the cafe for cake. No wonder my belly shakes.

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17 comments on “The hell that is clothes shopping with children”

  1. I feel your pain! Clothes shopping with kids is bad, they make rude comments about what you’re buying and point out the flaws in your body that you’re trying to ignore. Clothes shopping for kids ain’t much fun either! Thank you for a good laugh! #brilliantblogposts

    • You would think I would know better by now but often I have no choice but to take then with me. There’s nothing like the honesty of a child to really make you fee rubbish when you are trying on clothes!

  2. Oh yes I hear you!! If only we could find 5 minutes to go shopping without them! My 8 year old said this week ‘Mum I wish you could look cool.’ I had on ‘the coolest’ stuff I own…

    • Ha usually Izzy will compliment the most random things, like a plain t-shirt, but then if I dress up a bit she will say she doesn’t like what I’m wearing. Maybe she’s just not used to seeing me wear nice things!

    • When they are little it’s not too bad – they can sit in the pushchair and usually be bribed with snacks. The real trouble is when they start to talk – and my daughter never knows when to stop!

  3. We don’t take him anymore if we don’t have to! We had a week off recently and went clothes shopping while he was at nursery! I’ve been a couple of times with him a long time ago and he just whinged! The noise of which is a nightmare in the quiet changing rooms! Nope, if I don’t have to, I don’t do it! #mummymonday

    • Sometimes I don’t have much choice but to take them shopping but I try to avoid it as much as possible! I don’t think my nerves can take many more trips like that!

    • Izzy thinks she can have something every time we go shopping, she doesn’t understand why I won’t just buy her a toy or other treat from every shop.

  4. I tend only to take the non speaking child with me, however this isnt going to last much longer and I am pretty sure a running commentary on my wobbly belly would be more entertaining than the non speaking child crying as she is shoved in the corner of a small changing room while I take the other corner to try on clothes…. online shopping you win! #oldschoolposts

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