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How To Productively Run Errands With Kids

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Running errands on your own can be a challenge just in an effort to race against the clock. But when you add kids to the mix, running easy errands can become a challenge.

And it seems that there is no more challenging time to run errands than during the holidays. There are more crowds, longer lines, and more to do. Childcare is harder to find during this time of year because everyone else is busy too! So you are typically taking your kids with you on every errand you run.

In an effort to reduce your stress around getting all your shopping and pick-ups done during the busiest time of the year, I have put together a guide to help you check everything off your todo list WHILE you have the kids in tow!

It isn’t always easy, but let’s face it, getting to hang out with your kids in almost any setting can still be fun.

I have partnered with adidas to bring you my best tips for staying productive while running errands with young kids!

Plan Ahead

With or without kids, it is always helpful to create a plan of attack before you leave the house.

You should write out a list of the stores or places that you need to go and what you need to get from each stop.

Then look at your list of locations and map out your route trying to group together stops that are close in proximity.

Dress Comfortably

I have been the mom who is chasing her toddler around a Target in heels because I didn’t plan well for running errands with my kids.

And let me tell you – when it comes to a footrace, my toddler usually wins even without me in heels.

I don’t love looking grungy when I go out to run errands, but I don’t want to be dressed to the nines either. I need to be comfortable and equipped to run several short sprints if my kids decide they want to try to escape my sight while in the parking lot.

On Mattie: Crewneck Sweatshirt / Active Leggings / Cloudform Tennis Shoes

I love this outfit for running errands, especially in the cooler months.

Leggings, tennis shoes and a bright sweatshirt – makes me feel put together, but also allows me the ability to carry my toddler and baby while pushing a shopping cart full of groceries.

These items from adidas make me feel way more sporty than I actually am and it is really great that they can carry over from a morning workout to an afternoon of errands. Or just make me look like I did the workout part.

And how fun that Kinsley and I get to do a little athleisure matching.

It is a bonus if your kids also look super cute because people are much more forgiving of the toddler tantrums if your kids at least look like precious angels.

On Kinsley: Active Ruffle Top / Toddler adidas Racer Lites

Pack Snacks and Activites

Before you head out for a day of errands (or even if you just have one stop) be sure to pack some snacks and an activity book or two in your bag.

We love these Melissa and Doug Water Wow books because they are reusable and they are small enough to keep in any one of my purses.

If you forget to pack snacks or you run out – let me tell you something that I wish someone had told me:

Do not hesitate to open snacks or toys from the store that you intend on purchasing.

That was one of the things I thought I would NEVER do before I became a parent. But I have since learned that sometimes there is a necessity to open things a little early. And the stores don’t mind as long as you pay for it.

Stroller Vs Cart

One of the things I learned early was that your stroller could also double as a cart. If you are just grabbing a few things, it is easiest to just push your stroller around the store and put your items in the basket under your stroller.

When you have kids who can walk, the stroller can sometimes be left out of the equation completely (as long as you are prepared with clothing that allows for quick sprints as stated above.

If you have a child that can’t sit up yet, you may feel more comfortable keeping them in their stroller or car seat. Most car seats will fit in a store shopping cart, but you lose a lot of cart storage space.

I have practiced the art of pushing a stroller with one hand and pulling a shopping cart with the other. Your footprint becomes quite long, but it is effective and you can maneuver all of your humans and purchase around the store.

This technique works best in stores with wide aisles (grocery stores, Home Depot, Target) but I have found success with this in stores with super tight aisles like HomeGoods.

Involve Your Kids in Each Task

If your kids are old enough, get them involved in your errands.

Ask them to help you pick out presents for family members, or get their opinions on which decorations they think would look best around the tree.

They will love that you are interested in what they have to say and the opportunity to be more responsible will help them rise to a new level of maturity. (Most of the time)

Take Deep Breaths

When things hit the fan, and they will at some point, remember to take a deep breath. Most of the people in the store have been where you are. Standing in a checkout line with a screaming baby and a toddler who won’t stop crawling on the floor.

Most people have had their kid knock a big plate off the shelf at Hobby Lobby right after you said (loudly) “Don’t touch anything!”

And the people who haven’t been there, likely will one day.

So in those moments, take a deep breath and know that you are not the first mom who is having a rough day running errands with your kids, and you won’t be the last.

And those looks of disapproval that you think you are seeing on other patron’s faces (as your kid pulls off every candy item by the cash register) is probably them thinking back to when their kids were younger and acting like hooligans. Because it does go by fast.

So enjoy it! You can be successful in running errands with your kids! You can knock off that whole todo list!

Just remember all of these tips and tackle that holiday shopping list!

You can shop our casual holiday shopping looks on major sale during Black Friday!

There are so many great deals to be found on the adidas Holiday deals page.

On Mattie: Crewneck Sweatshirt / Active Leggings / Cloudform Tennis Shoes

On Kinsley: Active Ruffle Top / Toddler Adidas Racer Lites

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