Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sisterhood of the Shopping Mommies

There is a sisterhood. A bond between stay-at-home moms and weekend shoppers. Instead of shopping bags, we carry diaper bags. (Sometimes both.)

I was at the mall this week. I was on a mission. I had a very particular task to accomplish. As I looked about me, I realized that I belonged to a sisterhood. A sorority of sorts. We don't have a name and the only "ritual" to initiate one into membership is giving birth.

The Sisterhood of the Shopping Mommies.

We don't need to speak to recognize each other. There is no secret handshake or code word, just the exchanged glances of two women both pushing strollers making way for each other to get through the aisles.

Because of course, the people who design stores don't think about things like strollers when planning the layout of the store.

They certainly don't think about those rare occurences when two women with strollers are trying to get down the same aisle.

So it's up to us. The Shopping Mommies. We have unwritten rules. If the other mommy has more children than you, she gets to go past first. If you're about to have a head-on collision with another stroller, each mommy must keep to the right, creating "lanes" as it were. If a mommy is pushing a newborn in a stroller, carrying an older baby on her back in a wrap and leading a toddler by the hand and then proceeds to drop the item she is looking at, it is YOUR job to pick it up for her and give her a smile of sympathy. Unless, of course, you are also pushing a stroller, have TWO babies on your back and are leading a toddler and a seeing-eye dog. Then the poor gal is on her own.

Also, if you have better gear than the mommy who is in the aisle next to you, don't flaunt it. It's not nice. The size of the diaper bag doesn't matter!! (Of course, if you happen to notice that your gear IS better, it's OK to indulge yourself in a smug little smile when the other mommy isn't looking.)

And for goodness sake, when it's time for the Shopping Mommy to leave the mall and make the trek back to the car, hold the door open for her!!!! I can't tell you how many times I've pushed open a heavy department store door with my foot, pushed the stroller through it and let go, letting it roll a bit so I could get through with my bags, hoping the door wouldn't close on me and separate me from my precious cargo. I also can't tell you how many times I've done this with someone standing nearby with only a purse and a single shopping bag, just staring at me.

Thank God for the Sisterhood.


Darlene said...

I feel so out of the loop now that my babies aren't pooping in their pants or drooling on my shirt. I miss the sisterhood as I see it slowly slipping away.

Damselfly said...

So funny!

I think some sorority members need a refresher course....

Anne/kq said...


I have a double stroller-- or sometimes even two joined-together singles, even wider-- and that makes things much more difficult sometimes.

Also, if my kids are awake and the other mommy's baby is asleep, then even though I have the double I will be the one to back up or go around, so as to minimize the need to jostle the sleeping baby. And you're right-- it does tend to be the Sisterhood who hold doors and pick things up for each other-- shame on the able men and women around who don't!

Beck said...

I had someone ram MY stroller with THEIR stroller the other day. Tsk!

Haley said...

I love it when you write witty posts like this! This was hilarious, and so totally true, technically I'm not even a member of this club yet and I already know all about it! :-)

Thank you for all the wonderful comments you left me today, it was nice to find them when I got home. :-)

Susan said...

Awwww...I wish I had this part back on some days. And I know what you mean about women trying to push their strollers and paraphanalia while someone watches and doesn't help...especially down one or two steps! Makes me crazy.

Thanks for the reminder that we can all reach out and help.

:-) Susan