How I Run Errands With My Kids Gracefully: Paired Outings

One of my own major struggles as a mother is errands! Ack! Do you remember the days you used to go grocery shopping with ease? Do you remember dropping off your library books and dry cleaning at your leisure, instead of needing to literally schedule it based on nap and snack and the tender balance of mood?

Yeah, me neither.

And it sometimes feels like your children are out to sabotage your errands from the start. For you, it’s necessary life function. For them, it’s an adventure, the goody store full of colorful boxes and food samples and DONUTS (oh, and the occasional enormous $40 stuffed bear, whyyyyy?).

I realized their sense of adventure during errands was not a character flaw. They’re supposed to be curious and bold! But in the grocery store? It’s misplaced and inconvenient, at the very least.

So, I decided to start giving them their adventures first and embracing paired errands.

When we go out, we do two things: one fun thing for them and one needed thing for me. Their fun thing is meant to get their wiggles out, their energy (somewhat) depleted, and their bladders empty (there’s always a potty break at the tail end). If there’s an adventure before what I need to get done, we can usually do our work with more grace.

Here are some examples of my paired outings:


  • Library with kids play area + grocery shopping
  • Story time + target
  • McDonald’s PlayPlace + post office (bonus: I get coffee!)
  • Mall park + Michael’s or other specialty store

In the summer only:

  • Playground or park + grocery shopping
  • Beach + library run
  • OR a long walk to your errands, if possible. Fresh air does a lot in and off itself!

It helps if your two locations are close to each other. My library and grocery store are right across the highway from each other. This grocery store also has a playground across the road that’s easily walkable in the summer months (I’m just waiting for that snow to melt!).

I’m cautious about doing this with big indoor play parks, however. At these places, my kids usually want to play for at least two hours (and because of the fee, I’m usually a fan of maximizing their play time). At that point (and depending on the ages of your kids), the outing is too long and everyone is tired. Your grocery run won’t be enjoyable anyway! I keep play parks for fun days and use more simply adventures for days we need to run errands.

Onward, mamas!

How does Marabou support women?

We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.

Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest. 

Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.

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With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.

Postpartum doulas for a first time mom

House cleanings for moms of multiples

Childcare for moms with older children!

Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.

More and more moms find they have to figure out postpartum alone. Is it any wonder why PMDs are on the rise? Or women are embittered by the journey of motherhood? We can change that by giving the gift of peace.