Growing up, going to Costco was one of the few errands I truly didn't mind doing with my parents. The store sells a little bit of everything and a whole lot of everything else. Plus, the prices were (and still are) reasonable enough that you could usually convince your parents to get you something they wouldn't at a regular store ("It's a bargain!"). Perhaps my childhood sealed my fate to also be a Costco mom. Are you? Here are some signs you're a Costco mom though, honestly, deep in your heart you probably already know.
I'll be honest: I don't go to Costco super often. Doing so is not an economically sound decision for me. But when I need a few choice items, like grated cheese (we go through a ton and I'm snobby about the kind I get), diapers (when I had children in diapers, anyway) a birthday cake, printer ink, alcohol for a party, or something special, it's to Costco I go. It has always been a magical place for me. The specialty items! The samples! The fact that they sell legit coffins the same place they sell milk and eggs! Costco is, in many ways, the very best version of American excess, which I normally disdain but can get down with when we're talking about the Costco version. It's enormous and showy, but in a kind of cute way. And while you go with a list, it's always important to take a moment and listen to what Costco tells you you need. For example, I bet you didn't think you needed that really adorable set of glass food storage containers. But look! They're in your cart now! And have you ever had this particular kind of granola bar? No, but look, dried cherries! Girl, you love cherries! These granola bars are your destiny.
Here are some signs that Costco is your destiny.
You Have A Big Family (Optional)
You don't have to be the head of a large household in order to be a Costco mom, but if you do have a gaggle of children then Costco becomes sort of necessary. I'm one of five (people often referred to us as a "brood") and my mom would've been at the grocery store every single day if it weren't for Costco.
You've Never Met A Kirkland Product You Didn't Like
Kirkland, of course, being Costco's house brand. Sure you can get name brands at Costco, but if there's a Kirkland option I usually go for it because OMG, you guys, they're so damn good. Like, weirdly good. Kirkland diapers practically sponsored my kids' babyhoods. I even like the Costco Chardonnay. Go ahead and call me basic if you want, but it's damn tasty.
The Idea Of Running Out Of Anything Sends You Into A Panic
The idea of always ensuring that you have whatever you need on hand (often in a nifty little hoard closet or room or basement) is what sends so many people to Costco. My grandmother is one such person, and I'd attribute that to her growing up during the Depression or something except that she was born in 1940 and missed it entirely so, well, I think she's just a low-key hoarder...
... and definitely a Costco mom.
There's Always At Least One Enormous Product You're Considering
Case in point? I literally purchased a swing set for my children this very minute, because this list item reminded me I've been considering it for a while.
(Good news, guys, it was magically on sale. It was a sign.)
You Don't Eat Before You Go Shopping
That's a rookie mistake. There are so many samples at Costco and you're a fool if you don't try all of them, because yum. You especially don't feed the children before going to Costco. The samples will mostly fill you up but they're going to be good for a while after this trip!
You Celebrate A Successful Shop With More Food
The dining area near the exit is, like everything else, almost surprisingly yummy and reasonably priced. My children and I like to go for a Very Berry frozen yogurt sundae. My husband is more of a sausage and pepper sandwich guy. But don't overlook the pizza, which will keep you full for the next several days.
You Have Considered Getting A (Bigger) Car
Because your sedan is just not enough to fit your haul.
The Parking Lot At Costco Is Your Version Of Hell
For real, dudes, the retirees who are constantly milling around the Costco parking lot (no matter when you go) have the assertive, unearned confidence of a Wall Street bro and the of I DGAF attitude of a honey badger. Good luck getting out with all of them running around.
You Always Hold Off On Buying Appliances Until You've Looked At Costco
Because, so often, you can get them super discounted and there's just no need to pay full price ever.
Celebrations Always Mean A Costco Cake
How is Costco cake so unwaveringly, uniformly delicious? I don't know. I don't even like cake but I would run through barbed wire to get a piece. I'm pretty sure I graduated high school and college, got engaged, got married, and had babies just so I could celebrate milestones with Costco cakes. My children's parties always feature a Costco cake because, damnit, they are going to grow up to be Costco people, too, and this baked good will be the very essence of childhood nostalgia.
You Have Taken A Picture With A Giant Teddy Bear
You know the ones. They appear every holiday season and you're like, "OMG, I want one!" and then you think about it for three seconds and you're like, "Where TF would we put this thing?" Still, it's a fantastic photo op, even if it means your kid will cry all the way out because they want to keep the teddy bear.
You Buy Paper Products Once A Year
If you need to buy more than a palate of toilet paper a year please see a gastroenterologist, because there is something wrong with your insides.
You Celebrate The Fact That They Pay Their Employees A Living Wage
Entry-level workers at Costco make $13-$13.50 an hour and can expect to make around $22.50 an hour within four years. While that's not exactly millionaire wages, as a reminder, the Federal minimum wage is an embarrassing $7.25 an hour.
Your Kids Think Non-Economy Sized Bottles & Boxes Are "Little"
Bless their hearts, they just don't know. Their sense of scale is all thrown off, for you are a Costco mom and this is the only world they know.
You Have Been Working On The Same Bottle Of Toilet Cleaner Since 2009
Honestly, even you're surprised it's taking this long. Economy-sized indeed.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.