I used to love wandering through the shops on a weekend ….touching items that caught my eye, comparing prices, people watching, stopping for a well earned cup of tea or just enjoying the ambiance of others on a similar mission.
Then i had our beautiful twins and life changed drastically. And i do mean drastically, i don't think i was quite prepared! It was difficult to get out of the house, even if i managed it there was definitely no time for browsing and people watching became a distant memory. I came to dread Birthdays and special occasions like Christmas & Easter and always felt unprepared no matter how hard i tried to get that important shopping done. To be honest it really added to my feelings of inadequacy as a Mum…others managed to get presents brought…what was i doing wrong?
And then i discovered online shopping and the magical people who delivered things right to my door….no packing of the huge nappy bag, no rushing about the house just trying to get out the front door, no struggling with babies and carseats, no stress about finding a park in a busy shopping centre (why is there never one of those lovely ‘parents with prams' parks when i am looking for one…A double pram is a nasty big beast at times!), no fighting to push that big pram through a busy shopping centre and spending too much money as i grabbed whatever i could because babies were crying or toddlers are running in different directions and i couldn't compare best buys like i used to!
Although the toddler twosome are nearly 3 now i still love to do the majority of my shopping online…it's just plain easier to be honest. I'm hoping this doesn't make me a lazy or boring Mum although i do fear the toddler twosome have turned me into a bit of a hermit which is perhaps not so healthy! I wonder when you actually become seen as a mysterious recluse and not a stressed out, snappy mother of toddlers hiding in her trakky daks with not even a thought to makeup or associated beauty regimes!? Bit sad when your teenager applies makeup and gets her hair done more often than you do now. But i digress sorry….
I do my grocery shopping online and i also shop for presents and special occasions. As i am apparently joined to the leg of each of my toddlers at the moment, not to mention the endless public toilet trips since beginning toilet training, I find it to difficult to try and shop in store for toys and anything that *might* also become theirs. Little hands go everywhere and when i reach the checkout i suddenly notice there are little surprises in the trolley that i know i didn't put in there!
I'm pretty sure they work together….one distracts me while the other throws the booty into the trolley….they then follow this up with a tantrum at the checkout so i just give up and buy them anyway so we can make a speedy exit (Yep, i know that isn't ideal parenting but i challenge you to admit you haven't been tempted to do the same!
The girls Birthday is coming up next month and i must admit that i have been feeling like a very slack Mummy because i just haven't wanted to deal with the Birthday present shopping ordeal. So i cannot tell you how excited i was when Big W offered me a voucher to try out their online toy shopping experience!
I have been hesitant about attending the toy sales in the past few years as there are usually so many people trying to grab a bargain and i don't have the luxury of leaving the girls with someone so i can go on my own (we actually don't have that magical someone that everyone keeps telling me to leave the girls with for a break….wish we did but no, not an option for us unfortunately). But an ONLINE TOY SALE….that i can do…pass me the laptop quick!!
The Big W Online Toy Sale begins this week on the 20th June and runs until the 10th July so plenty of time for you to find those perfect gifts for Christmas, upcoming Birthdays…or just because!
I actually like to use the toy sales to buy various games, books, outdoor toys as well as a few favourite novelty items for all 3 girls that i can use throughout the year…takes a bit of the pressure off when it comes to Birthdays and it means i can focus on family at Christmas time too rather than worrying about gift shopping. I have had to find a secret squirrel hole down in the depths of the garage to hide all these glorious buys though!
They are pretty cluey about toys now as they head to 3 yrs old and to see them grab the junk mail and turn to the toy pages you would swear they are already 10! They absolutely love looking through the toy catalogues and picking out their favourites. By adding some scissors, glue and cardboard it turns into a fun little activity for them and it's nice to get some idea of the toys they feel are special or worth a mention as they are the experts in the play department….I'm just an observer really. But i do like to provide quality props and tools for them to ‘work' with.
This time i decided to do something different and we all sat down to look at the toy catalogue online as well as the numerous toy categories. The girls were very excited and i was surprised to see how many toys they pointed out to me that i didn't think they even knew existed…those catalogues are a powerful tool obviously! They were quite impressed when i enlarged their favourite pictures so they could see them better.
Of course i didn't let them choose all the toys they pointed out but i did love watching them interact and get so excited about feeling a little independent and helping Mummy to shop!
I focused mainly on educational, interactive toys because i do sometimes feel i am lacking in this area with the girls….I don't have an Ipad or “I” anything to be honest so i don't have apps and other techy gadgets for them to explore. It concerns me that perhaps i am putting them at a disadvantage by not offering these things now they are getting older but that is a post to explore another day….hopefully i am not the only parent becoming a little overwhelmed by the pace of new technology! I did also chose a few toys that i know will suit their individual personalities and that they showed a keen interest in while helping me shop. I'll be sharing some of my choices with you next week.
This would have to be the first time i have shopped with the girls and not been stressed at the end of the experience! I found the toy categories easy to follow and they allowed me to choose the areas i was interested in with a minimum of searching.
I'm also a huge fan of layby and this has been my preferred way of buying toys when i did attend the toy sales as i could pick them up just before Christmas…no need to hide them for 5 months from prying eyes (Miss Teen has gotten better at this each year!). But the lines….oh the lines, i almost gave up and put the toys back many times!
If you're like me and would like to avoid the lines of stressed shoppers then take advantage of Big W's online no deposit Christmas layby…genius idea to avoid the queues and your toys are delivered right to your door!!
Are you excited yet? Well hold onto your keyboard because Big W are offering Mummy Musings & Mayhem readers the opportunity to win 1 of 5 x $100 Gift Vouchers! Winners will also receive them in time to spend at the toy sale!
I know i could buy a lot of fun with $100 at Big W….how about you?
The competition ends and comments close at 6pm (AEST) on the 30th June 2013. The winner will be notified by email so please make sure to leave your address when commenting! I will update this post with the winning comments after the competition has closed and also share on Facebook. GOOD LUCK
This is a sponsored post for Big W Australia but you can rest assured that all opinions expressed are 100% my own and you can trust my recommendations!
Thank you to all that entered…this contest is now closed and after reading through all of the entries at least 5 times I have decided on 5 winners…..
Jackie @ My little Bookcase
Thanks to all that took the time to enter…it really was an awfully hard job to narrow it down to five! Winners will be contacted by email.