Shopping for yourself is definitely difficult with small children. Try short amounts of time with promises of things they like to do after you have "mommy's turn to shop." I spent a lot of time in the Disney Store when mine were little, but they had to spend some time in my stores too. We would go back and forth with stores for them, and stores for me. It also helped that we went often enough that they were used to a similar routine on each shopping trip. We always took time for snacks and playing at the mall play areas, too.
Ideally, you need to have regular shopping outings when the kids are with dad or a babysitter. You'll get so much more accomplished, and not feel so pressured to get everything done during those unavoidable times when you must shop with the kids.
Online Shopping. Moms today are fortunate to have this option, so take advantage of it, even if only to get ideas of where to look and what's out there. Use sites that have free shipping and returns, like Nordstrom and Zappos.
Budgeting. Keep a separate budget for kids clothes and your clothes. Make sure you actually spend your budget, and don't use it on the kids.
I talk to so many people who truly hate shopping for clothes. But even if you like it, it can be challenging. Here are a few ways to make it a little easier:
Avoid Crowds. Go when the stores are less crowded, like when they first open or weeknights. Obviously, this is not always possible, but it's less stressful to have more space to look at the racks, more available salespeople, and no waiting for the fitting rooms.
Wear Comfy Clothes. Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to take on and off, with a camisole that can be left on. Slip-on shoes are much easier than something with ties or worse, boots.
Try Two Sizes. Take two sizes of everything into the room. Sizing is incredibly inconsistent, even within the same stores and
brands, so don't assume you know your size in a particular garment.
Keep Options in Mind. Find fit first, then color. If you love the style and fit, ask about having the color you like shipped to you
or sent from another store, if not in stock.
Be patient with yourself and remember you can always finish at another time, and return items that don't work out once you get them home. Know yourself, and whether you shop best alone or with a friend or relative. If I'm serious about finding what I need, I usually do best by myself. Don't give up and try to enjoy it!
Wardrobe Consultant and Personal Shopper. Love to help women match their outside image to their unique inner beauty.