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Poor, Tired and Cranky: Yes, It's Back-to-School Time Again

I'm not sure if you are like me, but this time of year has left me poor, tired and cranky. Back-to-School time is stressful for parents.
by Michelle Sutherlin Modified: August 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm •  Published: August 18, 2014

Ah, back-to-school time. There is so much anticipation this time of year. Students are wondering which teacher they will get for homeroom and who will be in their classes this year. They are planning their first-day-of-school outfits and shoes.

They are loading their backpacks with school supplies and folders with cartoons, kittens or race cars decorated on them. Sure, the kids will miss the pool and sleeping in, but getting to see friends again makes it OK.

Then there are the parents. Some parents are happy to do all the shopping and don’t mind dealing with their child’s nervousness and crankiness.

And then there are the majority of parents, who are poor, tired and cranky at this point. There are so many expenses for back to school; school shirts, yearbook, school lunch accounts, school supplies, new shoes, new clothes, etc.

I have decided people can start calling me “Mrs. Bagsunderhereyes.” My bank account is empty and I am Barely. Hanging. On.

Some friends of mine and I group text. Here is a recent related conversation:

Friend 1 (has 2 children): Super Store 1 was out of all things Crayola FYI.

Friend 2 (has 2 children): I felt like Super Store 2 had nothing when I was looking in July when I had to kill time. You aren't a failure, they are. Try Office Supply Store 1.

Friend 3 (has 4 children): I went to Super Store 1 two weeks ago and they were already running low. Went to Office Supply Store 1 yesterday, but just for high school supplies. Last year I found Super Store 2 to be really lacking. So we didn't go back this year.

Friend 4 (has 4 children): I need 21 prong folders. I have procured 5.

Friend 2: Oh good grief.

Friend 3: Paper or plastic? They did have those at Office Supply Store 1 yesterday.

Friend 4: I need composition books that don’t have One Direction on them. Found: zero.

Friend 3: Also at Office Supply Store 1. They're $1.

Friend 2: If all else fails order on Amazon. With Prime it will be here in time.

Friend 3: And I rarely buy the Crayons brand. Sadly. Guess how many packages of #2 pencils they have? It's also zero.

Friend 2: You at Super Store 2 still?

Friend 4: At least your supply list doesn't say sharpened pencils! I am leaving Super Store 2. Headed to office something. Up to $90 so far. Still need all Kleenex. Bags. Wipes. Etc. And lockers. I have 5 lockers. I hate school.

Friend 2: Five lockers? Why so many? And does that mean you have to buy locks for them?

Friend 4: Three regular school lockers, two athletic lockers. I have to buy locks for three of them decorations for all of them. Yes, I will get them locker fun things because getting a locker is super cool. I'm in Wal-mart. If I don't text back, send help.

Friend 3: My youngest child’s were almost $50.

Friend 1: Yeah we did about $60 for my first grader. And that's without a backpack/lunch box. She already had and a few supplies we were given back last year.

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by Michelle Sutherlin
NewsOK Contributor
Michelle Sutherlin is a middle school counselor in Norman, OK, who works with students ages 11-15 daily. She is also a mom to two boys, Ryan (12) and Will (9). She and her husband have been married for 16 years. She loves middle school students so...
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