back-to-school shopping - always an adventure

Back to School Shopping: Already, Again, and Always an Adventure


OK, it’s August.  I get it – school where we live starts later this month.  But this year, as I’m bombarded with constant reminders of the impending first day of school (TV ads, in-store displays, radio ads, social media, and kids saying it’s not fair it starts so soon), I find myself wondering . . . do we really need to do any shopping?

Sure, part of the rationale for not wanting to do it is because it’s summer!  It’s STILL SUMMER!  I’m all for being prepared, but I’m also all for making moments last, and today I wore a cute new sundress for the first time and am choosing to hang onto that slightly less crazy than usual vibe for as long as I can.

As much as I’m trying to resist back to school shopping, I work in marketing . . . I know how hard marketers work at crafting their message and enticing their audience . . .  so, yeah, I hop on the bandwagon and decide today is THE DAY I’m getting back to school shopping DONE.  You, too?  Here’s my process:

  • Have your kids play “fashion show,” complete with music and all, to see which of their current clothes still fit and to get a sense for what sizes are needed for new clothes. Note – this was fun for a few years, but this year instead of that, my boys complained, pulled up tight pants too high, and wrestled.  No fashion show.
  • Realize that determining sizes is extra-difficult when the kids have cut off all tags from their current clothes.
  • Have an internal debate over whether they actually need a nice outfit for the first day (or first month) since it’s still going to be 90-degrees out at that time, and you know the kids will just wear shorts and a t-shirt
  • Fight with the kids over the need to “dress nice-ish at least one day a week,” and then explain that sweatpants are not suitable for that day
  • Imagine a smooth day at the mall, walking with the kids, laughing, enjoying Auntie Anne’s pretzels, trying on clothes in an orderly fashion, picking out things the kids like, purchasing, and coming home to put clothes neatly in drawers
  • Snap out of it, and realize it won’t happen. Not today.
  • Buy online instead, while multi-tasking like only a mother can

    Multi-tasking like a mother
  • Accept the fact that, even for the stuff that doesn’t fit, you will not actually ever have time to head out to the store to return it
  • Make coffee.
  • Go outside and play..  It’s summer.



Check out our back-to-school shopping from years past:

Back to school shopping with a son — one boy’s adventure

Back to school shopping – a 7 step survival guide


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