Well maybe not ever. I’ve made bigger ones for sure! But at the time I was like, “WTHeck was I thinking?!??
It all started mid-summer when we received a flyer from school:
My initial reaction: “Wow, this is great. Instead of having to shop for all of the school supplies,we can just order them. It may cost a few extra $’s, but I think I’ll do it.”
My boys, however, insisted on wanting to pick out their own stuff. SO, I gave in.
(If you’re a parent, you’d probably agree that August – i.e., Back to School month – is THE craziest month. Ever. For me. But, I thought this will be something fun to do with the boys. “FUN?” Ha…)
3 weeks and…
- 5 stores (You search for that 12-pack-Crayola-colored-washable-erasable pencil pack and begin to wonder, “Are the teachers playing a cruel lets send the parents on a crazy non-exisitent supply scavenger hunt joke??” However, that pack ends up being right there at store #1. But you missed it because you had zero ability to concentrate, blaming it on the crammed aisles filled with other back-to-school parents and fussy kids.)
- extra $$$ spent (since I can’t just go to Target and come out with the one thing!)
- 2 1/2 hours of drive time
- 1/2 tank of gas
- mounting heap of supplies on dining room table
- 1 hour of checking & rechecking inventory lists
- SIDE NOTE: The one good thing – which is probably going to sound bad – is that both kids decided they had no interest in going with me school supply shopping after all. If you’re a parent reading this, I think you’ll understand.
- loading of supplies into car
- noting what we’re still missing (which will now be late…oops!)
- putting returns in car (wondering if it’s even worth the $5 reimbursement)
- dragging the supplies through (heat of the summer) parking lot to Meet Your Teacher Day
all of the above later…
We made it to the classroom. Where half of the desks (the ones belonging to students with smart parents) had neatly bundled supplies all ready to go for the new year.
See how happy this child looks? It’s because he didn’t have to drag in his supplies like I made mine do.
A much happier way to start the school year. For parent and student!
- When looking at “cost savers” think about ALL of the costs involved, including TIME and what you could otherwise be doing with it (i.e., opportunity costs!).
- Sometimes you just have to put your foot down: “No. We’re getting our supplies from this one source this year. But I’d love to take you to pick out your…. ________.” (It won’t be the end of their world. And the benefits – to them and you – of having a less frazzled you far outweigh the trying to do/be everything alternative.)
- Be realistic with your schedule. Look a few weeks and months in advance. Note when you have extra intense week / month and do what you can to minimize everything else.
And last but not least! If you’ve missed the deadline, don’t kill yourself over that 12-pack-Crayola-colored-washable-erasable pencil pack. The 10-pack-Crayola-colored-washable-erasable pencil pack will be just fine.