6 thoughts every mum has while doing back-to-school shopping.

Thanks to our brand partner, Williams

Fellow parents will know that as the school holidays draw to a close, there is still one more gauntlet you need to run before that school bell rings. I’m talking back to school shopping.

If you’re not organised, it can be traumatic. Think week-before-Christmas traumatic, because every other mother at her wits end and fresh out of kid entertainment ideas is also at the shops, crawling towards the finish line of what seems like an eternity of the kids being at home.

But as your eyes meet, over the line for exercise books, take comfort that you’re all probably thinking the same thing.

Here are the thoughts every mum has had while back to school shopping:

“Why do they have to be so specific?”

A ruler is a ruler, right? Apparently not at my kids’ school. Each and every ruler has to be the same which would be fine if the school (and every other school in our area) took the time to alert the ruler-making people that a great deal of these rulers would be required all at the same time.

But oh no, it’s like musical chairs in the parenting world. There are 50 rulers and 75 players in the shopping centre. Let the games begin.

An easy way to avoid the stress of tracking down the ‘right’ ruler is to pour yourself a coffee, type it into Google and wait for it to arrive on your doorstep in three to five business days.

"A ruler is a ruler, right?" Image:

“Is there really a difference between the expensive one and the cheapie?”

I guess this really depends on what we’re talking about. If you mean the box of tissues each child needs to donate to the class, I’d be whacking a cheapie in the trolley, personally. My child isn’t going to know, or care, that his snotty little mates are enjoying aloe vera during the winter months.


But certain things are worth investing in. Shoes, for example. I personally think this is a case of buy it once, buy it right. Get your child fitted professionally with a good pair of shoes at the start of the year or you could find yourself lining up several times to replace worn out soles, broken toes. Some stores also offer a discount on the second pair of shoes you buy, so it saves time and money to knock over both your child’s school and sports shoes in one go.

“Why is this all so bloody expensive?”

When you start treating your credit card like a gift voucher, you know the shop has cost more than what you anticipated. “I dunno how much is on this one, but give it a crack,” you say to the staff member as you hand over your plastic partner in crime for the 284th time.

A tip for first timers wanting to save some dollars is to call the uniform shop towards the end of term four. This is the time second-hand uniforms are put out, meaning that you’ll get your pick of the litter. You could also consider posting a “Wanted” ad on some local buy, swap and sell sites to pick up your required uniform at a fraction of the price of the uniform shop.

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It doesn't make sense. Image:

“Is there something I’ve missed?”

You know that feeling when you go on holiday and you can’t quite place it, but you’re pretty sure you’ve forgotten to pack something? Shopping for back-to-school supplies is just like that.


No matter how organised you are, you’re bound to feel like you’ve forgotten something on the list and lady, you do not want to come back if you don’t need to. Take a few minutes before you venture into shopping centre battle to write a comprehensive list of what you need and tick it off as you go.

“Two things down, 84 to go.”

You’ve been here for two hours and you’ve achieved… oh, not much. You’ve watched your child try on a hundred pairs of grey shorts, none of which are right, apparently. You’ve tracked down the ‘must have’ pencil case, knowing full well that the contents of it will be lost by week three. Already your feet are hurting and the kids are whinging. Schedule drink breaks during your trip to hydrate and most importantly - caffeinate - yourself.

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“Labels, I NEED labels.”

This year my son managed to lose his school hat before he even started at school. I’m not joking. He begins Kindy next year and his preschool held a ‘dress in your uniform day’. I picked him up to be told that he lost his school hat. It didn't even make it through the actual school gate. Accepting that my child would lose his head if it wasn’t attached, I know that labels and laundry markers will be my best friend.

What thoughts do you have during Back to School shopping?

This post was written thanks to our brand partner Williams.