Finally, it is back-to-school time for many children, but more importantly, it’s back-to-school time for parents as well! It should be an ecstatic time for everyone, but here in Texas, buying back-to-school supplies can put a damper on all that excitement.
In a state whose motto is “Everything is Bigger,” so is school shopping. It is a retail bonanza almost as big as Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter. I’m just waiting for Hallmark to come out with a card!
Click here for the debut webisode of “Mamas Gone Wild!” with Nikki Woods and Mary Flowers Boyce.
As a former educator myself, I understand that most teachers are strapped, and so are many of our school districts. I’ve taught school in a horrendously underserved school system and would have loved to have gotten a fourth of the materials my kids’ classrooms get each year.
Check out this statistic: The National Retail Federation estimated that households with students in grades K-12 are expected to spend an average of $548.72 on school-related merchandise. That’s $548.72 per child! Who doesn’t long for the days when all you needed was a pack of pencils and some notebook paper?
So you can understand why, when they sent home the list of required list of supplies, I freaked out. Not only do you almost need to go back to school to add up the cost, but also to understand what several of the friggin’ items are. Is it just me, or is it wrong for a mom with a million things to do to have to spend 20 minutes trying to figure out if she’s got the correct three-hole punched plastic divider with pockets on the side? Seriously?
And what the heck do they need with all those plastic bags – and brand-name expensive ones, no less! It has already made me bitter and cynical, and my kids are only in third and fourth grades. I can just imagine how stressed out I’ll be by the time they get to middle school. I have evil visions of the Elmer’s Glue people giving kickbacks to the school principal or one of my son’s teachers stocking her own personal pantry with Kleenex and Clorox wipes!
I mean, who monitors what goes on these ever-expanding lists? And when are we allowed to question it? When they request a pair of size 9 Jimmy Choo pumps?
Now that I’m done shopping – last trip, 8 p,m. the night before the first day of school – I can rationally consider why the whole thing has me and other moms I know so upset. It isn’t so the expense, although I may have to forgo my bi-weekly pedicures for a while. And it isn’t because I resent the first-graders using Kleenex tissue when I’m forced to buy the generic brand.
The real issue is that back-to-school shopping puts parents (and moms, in particular) in yet another situation where we will be judged. We’ve done school already, graduated and, if we’re lucky, landed in careers that we love. But once a year, we all have to go back to school and, in a sense, be graded by teachers and administrators who are checking to see whether we know the difference between fine-tip and broad-tip markers.
I talk a good game about not becoming consumed with this kind of stuff when I actually have a team of people to manage at work, but in reality, like most high-achieving parents, I’m worried sick about screwing up this assignment. I want my kids’ plastic bags of pencils, pens and paper to be the best. I want a gold star, a smiley face and an A-plus from the teacher. Don’t think that may happen today, though.
Oh, well. There’s always next year!
Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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