Back to School Shopping ~ The Peak of Parenting Stress?

Summer went way too fast this year.  For the first time, we found ourselves shopping for supplies and some back to school clothes the Saturday before school starts.  It felt a little like 4 a.m. on a Black Friday.

Having to park in the last empty notch in the parking lot is your first clue that you’re in for an interesting crowd.  Amidst the chaos, I bounce between amusement and annoyance at how obnoxious people can get in these situations.  Sparse shelves with only a few remaining sale items and long ugly check out lines don’t appear to bring out the best in people.

Back to School Shopping ~ The Dressing Room War Zone

And neither do dressing rooms.  Have you had a dressing room moment with your child that brought out the … umm… let’s just say “less than perfect parent” in you?  Maybe it’s a girl thing.  And I don’t even have remotely-close to a teenager yet.  Scary.

You’re exhausted.  You’re frustrated with the clothing options and prices.  You’re stressed out about how much money this is all going to cost, and where to draw the line.  And you’re trying to juggle what they need, plus treating them a little vs their spoiled pleas for everything they’re trying on.  Hopefully your blood sugar’s not low on top of it all, or things may deteriorate rapidly.

My daughter and I actually did quite well this trip.  We didn’t even argue, and the begging didn’t surpass anything I didn’t anticipate and could handle pretty easily.

And then we overheard THAT MOM in the dressing room.  Actually, everyone in the very large row of dressing rooms heard her.   Clearly.   That gentle reminder of what you sound like when you are loosing it.  That gentle reminder of how awful it is when you yell at your kids.

SHUT UP ! (she screamed this repeatedly)


I DON’T CARE – We aren’t HERE FOR YOU ! (I’m guessing this was addressing a sibling.)

I am not proud to admit that I yell at my daughter sometimes.  She is a talented button pusher.  But listening to this poor, harried woman really was a sobering reminder.   At first we just looked at each other wide eyed in surprise.  I recognized the stressed out voice of a parent who’d been pushed too far.  But it escalated and was quite unnerving, leaving me feeling sad and a bit worried for them all.

Back to School Shopping ~ Are These Styles for Kids?

Ah, but let’s move on to a less grim topic.  Or perhaps it’s an even more grim topic.  The styles for girls size 7-14 clothes.  This a a new realm for us, and one I’m not the least bit excited about.

First, the prices are significantly higher than the toddler, up through 4-6x category.  Is that really necessary?  Eeessh.

Second, the styles themselves.  I’m not sure who is tasked with designing clothes for youngsters in this age group.  But so many of the clothes seem inappropriate.   I don’t think I’m alone in this objection.  Comments heard while moseying through my daughters department:

“I don’t care if it’s cute – it’s way too tight.”

“Who designs these clothes?  Do they have daughters?”  (That one from a dad…)

“Sorry honey, but that whole wall is ugly – you can’t try anything on from there.”  (Ok, that one was me.)

Even the young check out girl commented, “I can’t believe some of the stuff we sell for little girls.  Do you want your daughter to grow up to be a hooker?  Cause that’s what she’ll look like in these clothes.”  (Her words, not mine.)

Aaah, Back to School shopping.  So how was your experience this year?

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.


  1. To add to all the fun, around here there is a tax-free weekend before school starts. If you really like crazy crowds, then that is the time to shop. We always decide it is worth shopping at a different time and paying sales tax to avoid the huge crowds. 🙂

    • Hoooo boy. I’m almost glad they DON’T offer that here … money saving but anxiety-laden shopping – aaagh! Please don’t make me choose!

      Appreciate you stopping by, Steve. 😀

  2. We moved up another notch this year – out of girls and into the Juniors department for my 11 year old. Want to talk about slutty options?! Like for jeans – her only options at some stores are skinny jeans (which she doesn’t like). Or very deep v-neck or scoop shirts – which she doesn’t have the chest for (and I am not sure what will happen the day she does!!). Buying clothes for your tween/teen is a scary thing!

    • Oh dear, I hadn’t really even let myself worry about that yet. You’re right … they come out with a style like ‘skinny jeans’, and then that’s all you see. Ugg.

      Thanks for your comment, disneykatrina! I may be contacting you for some shopping advice in a few years… 🙂

  3. I agree. The styles for young girls these days are terrible. They are inappropriate and they also look… slouchy. Is that a word? I guess I am old school (see how I added school to the end there). I think little girls should look girly and like they have some pride in themselves.

    • LOL – I think since “slouchy” draws a good mental visual of what you are describing … it either is, or should be, a word. 🙂

      Love your comment and totally agree, Tiffany – girly and like they have some pride in themselves. Where did we lose that? Would you possibly consider going into girls clothing design for us? You are definitely on the right train of thought!

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