Friday, 29 January 2016

7 Reasons Why I Shop Online Now I'm a Parent



I am a fan of the occasional shopping trip to buy clothes, makeup or Christmas presents. It’s nice to make a day of it, start with lunch and end with cocktails, and spend the day with someone I love. It’s not something I like to do with Ebony in tow, however. Trying to enjoy a day of shopping with a small child is, quite frankly, ridiculous. It is destined to end in tears for everyone involved. For this reason, I have embraced the wonder of online shopping. It’s just so much easier when new things appear by magic. I love not having to leave the house, especially in this weather. Here are seven reasons why online shopping is the way forwards for parents:

1. There is no extortionate Peppa Pig car ride
It is physically impossible to guide a child aged between two and four years of age past that stupid Peppa Pig car. They just need to go on it. Peppa Pig cars are like crack for preschoolers. The flashing lights, the obnoxiously loud music, the repetitive rocking mechanism that makes onlookers want to kill themselves… it lures them in. They are drawn to the Peppa Pig car ride. The Peppa Pig car ride signals the end of your day. You have two choices, either you spend all your shopping budget on the damn thing or you say no and rush straight home to list your child on eBay. Well, which is it?

2. Can eat crisp butties
When I’m shopping online, it’s totally ok for me to wear pyjamas and eat crisp butties. This is not ok in Manchester. Well, probably you could get away with the pyjamas, but the crisp butty would be pushing it. I always include lunch in a shopping trip, and for a small child, Ebony costs a ridiculous amount to feed. We might go for pizza or falafel or a burger, but it always ends up costing more than I expected. Online shopping is a good way of avoiding the extra cost of eating out.

3. Ebony can’t hide in the clothes rail
When you’re shopping online, you can be wherever you want to be. I suggest, in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by toys to distract your child. You do not have these luxuries when you are shopping in real life. In real life shops, there are no toys, unless you are in a toy shop which you shouldn’t be because this is a shopping trip for you. Your child will use their ‘wonderful imagination’ to create their own games. These games will mostly consist of hiding inside circular clothes rails whilst you run frantically round the shop trying to find them. One shopping trip in a busy city will age you approximately five years. Shop online, it’s better for your mental health.

4. Can use discount codes
Discount codes are the best, aren’t they? Everytime I buy something online, I do a quick search to see if there are any valid discount codes available. If you’re shopping at JCPenney, for example, simply search for JCPenney discount codes and you should be able to see if there are any working codes available. It only takes a few minutes and can save you a decent amount off your purchase. This is something that can only be done online, I would never walk into an actual shop and ask the shop assistant if I could get a discount, but it’s totally not embarrassing to do online.

5. Don’t have to make diversions
Any parent will tell you that certain shops have to be avoided at all cost. For me, it’s the Disney shop. I physically cannot drag my daughter past that damn shop. The ridiculously huge eyes of the princess hypnotise her into a consumer-trance and she gravitates towards the shop. Once in there, she will touch each and every single thing on sale asking if she can have it. After 45 minutes of extreme product touching, I invariably agree she can have something. I then spend another 20 minutes trying desperately to find the cheapest thing in the shop. Guess what? It’s an Inside Out toothpick and it costs £15. Great.

6. No snacks needed
Probably about 80% of my income goes on snacks. Ebony could happily snack all day long. She loves fruit, she loves crackers and hummus, she loves raisins, she loves gingerbread men, she loves falafel. She loves all the food. Everytime I take her into Manchester, I spend a fortune on snacks. Also, I am then forced to carry around half eaten snacks for the rest of the day. This does not happen at home when I am shopping online.

7. No distractions
Online shopping happens at one shop. You pick your shop, but your stuff in the basket, pay for it and move on with your life. You go straight to the shop website by searching for it on Google, you aren’t forced to walk past hundreds of other shops on the way there. This is always my downfall with real life shopping. I physically cannot walk past shops. I must go in. What if they have that thing I want? What thing? Pah, there was no thing, I tricked you and now look, I’ve bought another skirt ha. Evil high street.

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