Back to School
My girls started school again on Monday. It really is not a big deal for us, we have never made it so. But sometimes, talking to fellow parents, I feel like I'm not the "perfect" mom.
For example I don't usually go back-to-school clothes shopping for my kids. I don't think I ever did. I mean, why buy new clothes, if they have perfectly good ones that fit. I never understood the hype about it. Seriously, why? As she is getting older, one of my girls has asked to do this, as she called it, "back-to-school clothes shopping". Really? I just looked at her and asked "when did we ever do that?"
Not that I don't buy them clothes, in fact I buy way more than they need. But I do it when they need it or when I see something I know they would love. Or I make them clothes. I knit, I sew and sometimes they even wear what I make. Just because it's unique, no one else has it.
We got them back-to-school clothes twice since I remember (my oldest child is second year in college, so I've been a school mom for at least 14 years). Well, during the back-to-school sales chances are you end up getting something that other kids may have. This year for example, my daughter got a cute dress for her birthday (which happens to be right before school starts). She was going to wear it on the first day of school. Of course she changed her mind, since she likes to dress comfortably, not pretty. When she came home, she told me "I'm so lucky I didn't wear that dress. I saw at least two girls wearing the same one." So now she has a perfectly cute dress that she may or may not ever wear to school because others have the same. I remember this happening with her sister one year. Except she wore whatever outfit it was and then buried it so deep inside her dresser, that I never saw it again for along time, until in fact she grew out of it. At that point she told me that she wore the same dress as one of her friends, on the same day, she couldn't chance that happening again.
Ok I admit, it is a bit annoying to not want to wear something just because someone else has it, too. On the other hand, I totally understand. I had to wear a uniform in school. All twelve years. I absolutely hated it, and was trying anything to at least accessorize, to be at least a bit different.
Anyway, my other back-to-school issue is buying school supplies. I admit, they are needed. Do you necesarily need to buy everything all at once though? I always used to walk out of the store spending at least $100, but most of the time over, just for the "needed" supplies for the three kids. Ouch.
This year, the girls were looking at the list and telling me what they really would need and what we should probably forget or wait a few weeks (or months) to get. They were also willing to use things from last year that they didn't need.
I really admired my youngest though this year. She did need a new backpack. I knew it, the old one just fell apart (she used it more than one year, of course). But when we were looking for backpacks in the store, she was talking to her sister, and they came to me telling me that she didn't need one. So what would she use, I asked her. They agreed that she would use her sister's old one, which is still in good shape. Being a senior, her sister would not use a backpack, but a book bag instead (which we have plenty of).
No, I am not a cheap mom; we spend more than anyone we know on travel. But my girls, especially the little one, are very environmentally responsible. They recycle, they are aware that the more things we buy, the more we hurt the environment. So instead of buying new clothes every season, we may alter the old ones, or decorate them in an interesting way; instead of buying a new backpack, they use what we have; instead of getting the latest fashion accessories, they rather travel around the world. In the end they enjoy traveling to faraway places more than wearing something new every day. Well, at least I hope so, that's the idea behind my bak-to-school attitude.
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