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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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