I Don’t Always Put the Shopping Cart Back

I know, I know. Just the title of this post probably caused a lot of you to feel some things. This is a HOT topic I see constantly in the form of memes, mom’s group chats and NextDoor complaints. 

I know how frustrating it is when you see that lonely shopping cart completely abandoned in the middle of the Target parking lot, or propped up on a curb at Hobby Lobby (WHY DON’T THEY HAVE CART RETURNS?!) or maybe even pressed into the side of a person’s bumper at Walmart.

I’ve been known to think some nasty thoughts about people when I see them just nonchalantly roll their cart away as they are getting into their own car, not giving any consideration to where the shopping cart might end up. I completely understand the frustration behind people not taking the extra 20 seconds to walk their cart back to the cart return.

BUT. I’m a woman. I’m also pregnant. I’m a mother of two small children. I live in the year 2022 where abductions, sex trafficking and crime are unfortunately rampant, and I’m a prime candidate.

There is hardly a day that goes by where I don’t get on Facebook without seeing one of those viral posts about how many women and children were rescued from a trafficking ring or a mom’s group post about a woman and her child who were being followed through a store by strange men. It seems like every day there’s a new trend of leaving notes or weird things on people’s cars as “tags.”

I honestly feel like I live in a very safe city, and I’m pretty good about watching my surroundings. But things still happen in the safest of places. And a lot of things seem to happen in parking lots. So sometimes, if I’m feeling uneasy about a situation, after I hurry my kids into the car and lock the doors while I load the groceries from the back hatch, I leave my shopping cart in the space next to me instead of walking it back to the cart return. 

I don’t let the cart roll freely down the parking lot to play pinball against all the other shopper’s cars, but I might prop the front wheels up in a grassy area and hope it doesn’t roll away. And I can assure you that I feel guilty. Every. Single. Time.

I feel guilty for the employee who has to fetch the lonely cart while trying to round up the ones that are already neatly in line. I feel guilty because I know there’s another shopper in the parking lot calling me lazy under their breath.

But unfortunately sometimes you have to sacrifice the way you feel for the safety and well-being of yourself and your children, and that’s what I’m always going to do.

So no, I’m not lazy because I don’t always put the shopping cart back where it’s supposed to go. I’m just a mom trying to keep herself and her babies safe in a world full of unrelenting craziness.

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Shelby is a wife and mom of 2 boys, Foster (2016) & Fowler (2018). She recently opened a real estate brokerage and is a work from home Broker who loves documenting her real life Real Estate adventures with babies in tow. She has a love of helping people and putting a smile on their face whenever she can. She never takes life too seriously, and can find humor in just about anything (even if that's cleaning up baby blowouts on her lap in the backseat in between home showings). Formerly a Heritage Hall preschool teacher, she enjoys spending her free time at home doing learning activities with her kids that fill the teacher part of her heart. If she's not playing with her boys or selling homes, you can find her doing home projects with her husband Jacob at their farmhouse in Guthrie!


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