Single Kid, Double Cart? It’s Happening.

Recently there was a post on one of our sister sites called “Single Kid, Double Cart: Don’t Do It“.  Throughout it, NOLA mom Megan expresses her frustrations over mothers of single kids who use the double cart.  You know, the one that looks like a car?  She calls us singleton moms “selfish” and complains that her kids want to open food and eat it when they are forced to ride in the basket of a {gasp} regular cart.  While I do understand that it might be challenging toting three kids around the grocery store, as a singleton mom – I have to respectfully disagree.  Here’s why…

Shopping Cart - Featured

I can only speak for the grocery stores I frequent, but I have yet to see a single seat cart with the car design and steering wheel to entertain the little ones.  If there were one, I would be glad to put my only child in it.  But there’s not.  And while I know that riding in the special cart isn’t a huge deal to you or me, it is an absolute joy to my three year old.  A joy, according to this mom, that my daughter should NEVER be able to experience since she’s an only child.  {Or maybe she expects me to wrangle up a friend or two to tag along each and every time we hit the store?  No, thanks.}

If I can make her happy with something so simple, I’m definitely going to do it.  Regardless of whether the cart is made for one kid…or an even dozen. I mean, I wouldn’t run over and grab the last double cart as a mom of multiple kids walks up, but I’m not going to avoid the carts forever on the off chance someone else will need it while I shop.

But you know what?  Here’s what bothers me most… My child would LOVE to have a sibling to share the cart with her.  She would be absolutely delighted to have a little brother or sister sitting next to her – giggling, sharing snacks, heck – even pulling each other’s hair.  But she doesn’t, and that’s not her fault.  Now you’re trying to say that she also can’t ride in a darn shopping cart?  She only gets one shot at being little, and I intend to let her enjoy the small things.  I shouldn’t have to worry about other moms judging me and pointing fingers while I do it.

In the end, I like to give other moms the benefit of the doubt.  For all we know, that singleton child may have a disability that isn’t easily visible and that’s the only way they can shop.  Or that momma may be experiencing a rough parenting day and using the cart is the best way to get her child in and out of the store without a meltdown.  Or maybe they are struggling to put groceries on the table, and going to the store every few weeks really IS like “a ride at Disney World.”  You know what?  They don’t even need a reason, because taking up a double cart is only a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.

And can I just make a promise real quick?  The next time I address an “issue” on the internet, I’m going to make sure that it is an actual issue – like preemie awareness, maternity leave in the US, … anything but grocery carts!

15 Responses to Single Kid, Double Cart? It’s Happening.

  1. rr August 22, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    Thank you!

  2. Eva August 22, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Let me assure you, as a mother who started out with two, I NEVER use those carts. My twins didn’t even know they existed for the first few years of their life. I think the are harder to manuver, the basket is smaller than normal, and later when I shopped with all 3, then 4, it was even more useless.
    So, I can honestly say, seeing a singleton in one never bothered me.

  3. Kristin P. August 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    Hallelujah! Thank you from all of us singleton (by choice or orherwise) mommies!

  4. Skipper August 23, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    My car has room for FIVE people, but I’m always in it alone 🙁

  5. jessica August 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    I would never have believed that such moms existed, but I actually met a mom at book club that was complaining to the group about parents using the car carts for one child. It was the silliest thing I had ever heard, and if anything I felt sorry for her that she would let something like that bother her. I absolutely hate those car carts, and I am so mad when I see 5 open ones staring me in the face when I walk up to the grocery store! I shop every time with my 3 yr, 2 yr, and 3 month old and the last thing I want to add to my day is pushing around a huge cart through the small aisles. So please, all you singleton parents or ladies who just want a spot for their purse, grab the car carts before I get there!

  6. Jamie March 20, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    I have 5 children, last being a set of twins. At stores that I frequent that have double carts, there’s far fewer of those than regular carts that accommodate just one child safely. Because your ONE child wants a joyride in a fancy double-seater, you are going to potentially leave no carts that a parent of multiples can safely use because it contains TWO safety belts? Did your child ask to be a singleton? No. Did my identical twins ask for my embryo to split? No.

    • Heather M
      Heather M March 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

      Hi Jamie,
      Thanks for your reply. As I stated, I would never take the last cart if I saw a mom with multiple kids who needed it. But the main point of my post is that just because there’s only one child in the cart, it doesn’t mean the mother made a selfish decision and intentionally decided to inconvenience you or anyone else. There are many reasons she may have needed the cart. Plus- no one person has more of a right to a cart than another.

      We all have our struggles and are just trying to do this parenting thing right. Let’s give each other the benefit of a doubt.

    • mom of twins May 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

      As a mom of twins, I have to agree with the some of the other twin moms here. It’s not really about who deserves to have a fun cart. It’s a safety issue. One shopping trip when my twins were very young, around 14 months there weren’t any double carts and I carried one while the other was in the single cart. When we were paying I set her down and she bolted out the front doors and into the parking lot. It.was.terrifying. I’m so glad she wasn’t hurt. Of course on our way out I passed a double cart with one kid in it. So that is why I get upset. Yes, seeing our children have fun is an amazing feeling, but know that a double cart to a mom of multiple young children means more than just entertainment. It means keeping their kids safe. I don’t think most people do this intentionally, they just aren’t aware. Or maybe they have a kid with a handicap, I get that. I do take issue when people put their own kids enjoyment over the safety of other children.

  7. Twin Mom March 21, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Justify your selfishness any way you like. Plain and simple… other people need it more than you do. Yes, I know the horror of grocery store meltdowns. Try it in stereo sometime. Bonus points if you’ve got one in a single cart and one flailing to escape your arms… and there goes the singleton mommy floating by luxuriously with the double cart.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but you don’t know what it’s like until you’ve been in our shoes. Don’t do it. Your kid can deal. Life is full of disappointments.

  8. Cara March 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    As a twin mom, I have literally been carrying both babies on my hips and been cut off grabbing the last double cart by a man with one kid. I had to hunt one down by stalking the people in the parking lot leaving and it took about 10 mins to find someone leaving. What made me more upset was once I found the cart that day I saw a lady letting her one kid walk around freely while pushing an empty double cart. I get that people probably don’t even think about it but I just wish people would think twice before using it during a super busy time when its not necessary. Just as a courtesy, not because I deserve it more than they do but because I need it more.

  9. Megan March 25, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    I understand that moms with more than one might need it more but let’s remember her best point (imo) – show us a SINGLE car cart and we’ll gladly use it but it’s NOT an option! I’ve never been to a grocery store where the car carts are the only double carts. There are car carts and there are double/single carts. She’s not talking about using up the regular double carts — just the car ones and with those single is not an option! And honestly, I’ve been to the store where I don’t even have the kids with me and at the time I get there, I only had the option of a double cart bc the single ones were all gone. Or Ive needed it bc the basket is bigger and I’m taking a big trip! So the point is, you don’t always need it more and people are not just being selfish and ignorant. There could be lots of reasons why people without two kids are using a double cart and that’s why people getting upset about it bothers me.

  10. SO March 4, 2018 at 8:41 pm #

    Are the moms of twins saying the only carts that hold their kids are the race carts? I shop at a store where all the carts (regular carts and race car) have 4 leg holes and double safety belts. I have one child and if he wants a race car cart and one is present, I will use it. First come, first serve. I’ve never given it a second thought.

    This seems like a new level of mom shaming if only parents of more than 1+s can have the race car carts. 🙄

    • Mark June 10, 2018 at 11:08 pm #

      The issue is when the race cars are the only double seaters in the store. My wife literally is unable to shop if it’s just her and our two toddlers. She often has to search the parking lot for a double seater or wait for someone to finish using one (which very very often are taken by parents with only one child).

  11. Kerry March 4, 2018 at 8:50 pm #

    Sorry, my oldest was an only child for 5 years and we never used the special double carts because we didn’t need them and there are not very many of them. My youngest two are 14 months apart and you better believe it’s irritating when you have one toddler buckled in the single kid seat, and another toddler in the basket of your cart with no safety belt, and no room for your actual groceries. Just to pass a mom with a single child in one of the double carts. Maybe the regular carts aren’t fun, but fun isn’t why people with more than one child use them. If there were a boring double seat cart like Costco has, I would definitely prefer that rather than having to spend 10 minutes wiping down every nook and cranny of the steering wheel in the “fun cart”.

  12. Betty March 4, 2018 at 9:59 pm #

    They carts are there for all customers not just those with multiple kids. So, you better believe I used it with my one and only and if people think that’s selfish so be it. If you are so concerned with safety then bring someone else with you to the store and use multiple carts or shop online.

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