One night, much like any other, my husband offered to spearhead our baby and toddler’s bedtime. Thrilled that I was officially “off the clock,” I immediately took him up on it. I sunk deep into my couch and settled in with some mindless screen time.
Unfortunately my “checked out” moment was brief. I was ripped back into reality with the words “We’re out of diapers.” Record scratch. Oh no. Could I somehow “MacGyver” a feminine product into a diaper? No. I realized that an immediate run to the Shopette was necessary. I grabbed my keys and dashed out the door, ready to save our evening.
The Shopette was brightly lit with upbeat music and a myriad of service members, who — unlike me — had interacted with adults that day. Had I even put on makeup? Thank goodness I was wearing a bra. Once I realized that I was good to go, I found the reintroduction to society invigorating. After a day of toddler tantrums and meltdowns, I was ready to feel human again. I wanted to slowly browse the aisles but remembered the timeliness of my return.
I first swung by the diaper aisle (would have been a shame to forget those), and then headed to the wine section. I realized that yes, I was “that” parent purchasing alcohol and diapers. I recalled stories of friends who made the same maneuver, and I felt better knowing that we’d all been there at some point.
I knew the stigma of buying these items together — something akin to a “shopping cart of shame.” As I approached checkout and the clerk asked for my military ID, I confidently smiled and embraced my choice. Scanning my items she laughed, “One of those days? I remember those.” I couldn’t help but laugh.
As I walked to my car I told myself, “I’ll try not to do this again…but I won’t judge myself if I do.”
When I walked in the door, my husband was doubly thrilled. After a long day as a soldier and a challenging evening as a dad, he was ready for a glass of red too.
If you’ve made this purchase, you aren’t alone. I know that: 1) you may not get out much and while you’re at the store, it’s only logical to grab your things too; and 2) raising tiny humans is exhausting.
So milspouses, if your shopping basket (or his honey-do list) contains something for the kids and something for the adults, I say go for it! Be easy on yourself — you’re doing a great job.
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