I would be lying if I said I always wanted a baby. I was pretty on the fence about it, and felt I could honestly be happy long-term with, or without one. What I wanted was a dog. Badly. I had names picked out, and dreams of my dog and I becoming a talented and sought after search and rescue team. One where we always found the victim before it was too late, and people chanted our names like in the end of that movie “Rudy.” But alas, I already had three unruly cats and a husband who was decidedly less enthusiastic about converting our small apartment into an animal shelter, so a dog was out of the question. What he wanted, eventually, was a baby. Because why commit to 12-15 years of care to something that will worship you, when you can commit your whole life to raising something…
Imagine this scenario: You’re running late. You rush around frantically trying to get ready and look somewhat presentable for the day ahead of you. Upon opening your jewelry drawer, you find your necklaces and bracelets all tangled up in a jumbled mess, making it almost impossible to pick out the appropriate accessories to complete your outfit. Exasperated and frustrated, you rush out the door, and the necklaces and bracelets never get any wear.
Every year parents face the problem of trying to get the most out of their Back to School budgets and still give the kids the things they will be excited to wear. When my kids were little they worked out all summer what their Back to School wardrobe was going to look like.
My boys were pretty easy. They liked to find a couple pairs of cargo shorts and some t-shirts. The boys liked to have at least one shirt that stood out as different from the others and made a statement about who they thought they were. Through the years they got a little easier about their wardrobes and would choose items from their closets and pair it up with something new.
Girls however are a little different. My daughter loves to reinvent herself a few times a year. Even when she was in the lower grades she always had to stay way ahead of what the other kids were wearing. She liked to have a unique style, so that meant that I needed to make sure I was getting items that would be unique but also within my budget since I didn’t want to keep buying a whole new wardrobe every few months.
Now that my kids have grown up and only my daughter is left in high school, I can look back and see what items made the most sense.
Always find 3 pairs of jeans/pants that fit well in darker colors and are not going to go away with the trends.
No matter how hard you try, you will always need a clean back-up pair of pants. Having a go-to pair of outdoor worthy jeans or pants is a must for school aged kids.
Don’t buy all of your clothes at the beginning of the school year.
Blend in some of your summer-wear with your new items until the kids know what is “IN” and what is totally “Not Cool”.
For most of the school year, the weather will be cooler so save some of your budget money for later in the year when the cold weather clothes start to go on sale.
My boys hated going from store to store trying clothes on. They wanted to buy everything in the first store they went into then head off to the game stores. When online shopping began to gain momentum, I found that I could get all of my shopping done BEFORE heading out for the small items that I left for them to pick out. I gave each of them a budget for clothes and supplies that were up to them ( specialty t-shirts, fancy pens, ect.) and we would take a day to go out for lunch and hype up the excitement of going back to school.
The First Day of School Outfit is the most important outfit of the year!
All of my kids planned that first day of school outfit as if their entire school year depended on that first impression. They would spend days making sure it was exactly what they wanted to wear. My daughter would try everything on, put on her accessories, and do her hair in multiple styles until she got it exactly right. This ritual was needed to flush out the jitters and make them feel completely self-confidant for walking into that classroom in a new grade. No matter how much my husband fussed about the role of that first day outfit, he knew that his kids would go off that day with a new backpack, a new outfit, and a smile that showed the excitement of the day.
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