Let the Battle Begin: Back to School Shopping.

Parents around the country are preparing for battle. Lists are printed, sales are researched, and coupons are gathered. Back to school shopping has returned and with it copious amounts of stress. Take up your shields, coupon apps, fuel up and charge on.

The Needs

It’s no secret that American education is underfunded. Teachers across the country are scraping together pennies to fund their classrooms. It is not a surprise that this high level of needs leads to seemingly endless school supply lists. This also leads to a hell of a financial headache for parents.

Parents everywhere have the internal struggle of keeping their pocketbooks in check while also trying to contribute to the needs of their children’s classrooms. Regardless of the guilt, the financial stress can become overwhelming. Hundreds of dollars in supplies can really throw off a budget in a hurry.

Parents arm themselves with sales research, coupons, and compromises.

The Wants

If you make the mistake of taking the kids shopping with you there is bound to be a serious amount of wants that pop up. A plain wide ruled notebook is no longer sufficient, you MUST purchase the wide ruled notebook with the all the glitter and obnoxiously cute unicorns gracing the cover.

There is a very limited amount of bargaining that can be done with the wants. Trying to rationalize a $1.25 difference to a sobbing 6-year old only increases the all ready considerable tension of the situation.

Parent guilt sets in pretty hard at this point. Racing anxiety thoughts about “starting out on the right foot”creep in. Somehow that damn glitter nightmare makes its way into your cart.

At this points most parents are simply putting up their shields and playing defense.

The Specifics

The freaking plastic yellow folder with prongs. Every list has that specific and clearly non-negotiable item. This item becomes the holy grail of back to school shopping.

You find yourself on the floor of Target sorting through countless boxes of folders looking for just ONE that fits the requirements. Desperation sets in and you begin to contemplate spray painting a random folder yellow while super gluing on prongs. When the long sought after item is located you yell in victory and quickly gather yourself before someone calls the authorities.

When victory is won it is time to give thanks and revel in the accomplishment.

The Aftermath

Back to school shopping is no joke. There are tears shed, emotional battles, and the occasional casualty. Once you are finally able to return to the home base it is crucial to take time to recover. A hot shower, takeout dinner, and Grey’s Anatomy reruns typically do the trick.

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