The 17 emotional stages EVERY mum experiences in IKEA

What can we say, a trip to IKEA is, well, it’s a bit like giving birth – no really, hear us out…

Having a baby always seems like a good idea, but once you’re there, lost in aisle 92 between the kitchen tubbie things and the film-flam-flaramjarams, you seriously start to doubt your sanity and whether you’ll make it out alive.

But, trust us when we say, you are not alone. Here are the 17 emotional stages that every mum goes through when they’re lost in IKEA with the kids in tow…

1. Positivity – Sheer and utter, foolish positivity

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OK, team we can do this! Let’s go to IKEA… All we need is a Tomnas shelving unit. Just one thing.

2. Regret – Why did I think Saturday afternoon in IKEA with three kids dragging behind me was a good idea, why??

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Only 10 minutes into the car journey and the kids are already arguing in the back. But that’s OK, once they’re in that Swedish crèche wonderland place they’ll snap out of it, right. Right?

3. Hunger – I’m hungry, they’re hungry, we’re all hungry. Only meatballs will fix this

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Can you smell that? Meatballs! Do they pump the smell in at the entrance or something? We all need pre-IKEA lunch, it would be rude not to.

4. Energy – fed, watered, now limber up and LET’S GO!

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Time to power walk round the shop. I read somewhere it was over a mile round trip – that’ll up my steps for the day, surely.

5. Elation – what’s that that you say? Free childcare!

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Oh yes they have a crèche! Now, where’s the entrance to Smaland. The kids love that place… don’t they? *waves kids off with a fake ‘I’ll-be-right-back’ smile* Toodaloo.

6. Over confidence – I can totally make my house look like this for under £100

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15 minutes in and we’re pretty sure we could change careers and become an interior designer… how hard can it be? Throw together some prints, add a low hanging light bulb and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen’s your uncle.

7. Guilt – The kids showrooms are UH-mazing, my three are lucky they have beds

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We’ve never made the kids’ room look this colourful, or interactive, or with great storage solutions, or chalkboard walls (LOOK AT THE CHALKBOARD WALLS!) I’m a bad parent.

8. Disillusion – Look at all the white duvets and cushions and… Oh yeah, I have three kids

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Who am I kidding – white is not an option.

9. Desire – I want everything

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Ooh, free teeny tiny pencils. I need one! And a paper tape measure. Best.day.ever. And what are these things? Flardfull? I don’t know what it is, but I think I need it. Oh, it’s a scented candle. I definitely need it.

10. Confusion – Errm, how do you say that?

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I mean how do you even pronounce that, it’s just letters? ODMJUK… ‘hi I’d like an od-muh-juck, a ode-em-gook… a mug, I’d like a mug’. Why can’t they just call it a mug?

11. Lost – I took a wrong turning at the storage section, where am I?

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I got sidetracked by the fancy-pants hanging tub thingies and lost my way, I’m no longer following the yellow arrows – gah! There’s no phone signal here either… did I tell anyone I was coming here? Will they even notice that we’re not home yet? Did I turn the oven off? Will they ever find me… oh, wait here’s the arrows again. Phew.

12. Smug – I did it, I’ve found what I came in for!

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I’ve found the Tomnas shelving in the show room! All. by. myself, and with only one life-flashed-before-eyes-I’m-going-to-die-in-the-kitchen-show-home moment, a near collision with that family of nine and the help of only one bored-looking shop assistant. Go me.

13. Scared – I didn’t measure anything, I can guess right?

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Uh-oh, do I want it nine or 12 squares long, NINE OR 12?!

14. Hopeful – It’s nearly over, now I just need to get through the Market Hall

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Right it’s in aisle 19 Area 4, stay focused, go and pick up that Tomnas. And get out! GO! SAVE YOURSELF. (And the kids, don’t forget the kids.)

15. Failure – I need another blue bag

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I’m gonna have to buy another one of those big blue IKEA bags, and then wedge it into the airing cupboard along with the three I already have.

16. Free – I can see daylight!

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I’m out. I scanned, I bought, I packed the car, I even remembered the kids – I’m on the home straight.

17. Realisation – I feel like I’ve forgotten something…

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I got distracted by the little cacti and frozen meatballs and I’ve forgotten the goddamn Tomnas shelves. I’m going to have to come back tomorrow, aren’t I?