Saturday, August 21, 2010

Anxiety = Poor Choices = Overspending

School starts on September 1 around here.  My kids will be going to a new school due to the district rezoning issues this past spring.  This is a high anxiety situation in the best of circumstances.  Bossy knows he is going to a new school, but I don't think he really gets it.  I think when the bus pulls up at a new school....then he will get it, and flip.

But this new school is making it so much worse for us.  I am extremely stressed, which means I am taking it out on the kids (sorry kids!).  This also means that I am under prepared for some things, and prey to emotion.   We have called the school dozens of times, and no answer.  Tried taking a ride over....and it is deserted..  The office officially opens on Wednesday, so someone better be there!!!

1)  We don't know their teachers yet.  Now, I spoke to the principal and the teachers in the spring about this.  Knowing who they have (more Bossy than Sassy) would enable us to prepare a social story to lessen anxiety for Bossy.  Instead, we don't know yet...he continually asks me, and then gets upset that I don't have an answer.  This in turn ups my anxiety.  So, I have made a few impulse purchases....a new wallet for me, socks for the kids....

2)  School supplies.  No idea what they need.  Haven't gotten a list.  At the old school, supplies were provided.  Not sure about this school.  Open school night is Aug 30, so potentially I will have 36 hours to get everything.  Great.  Hope the sales are still on.  I don't want to buy a ton of stuff now, and then they don't need it...or they need something different.  They each got a new lunchbox today....he NEEDED it.....she WANTED it.  Of course I caved and let her have it.  And the really stupid part of his....I spent $25....when I swore that the $30 one I saw on line was overpriced.  *sigh*  And we are trying to be more eco-friendly, and I want to get them fabric, reusable sandwich and snack bags.  So I wouldn't be surprised if $50 is spent.

3)  Clothes.  My kids are set for the most part on clothes until the weather gets cooler.  But first day of school, they always have a new outfit.  And I hate most of what is out there.  I refuse to dress my 3rd graders like they are 25.  I bought one outfit for Sassy, which I will be returning.  I spent $51 out of frustration of not finding anything that I liked and fit her.   I found something else (and Grammy offered to pay for it), so now the other outfit can go back. 

4)  Shoes.  Still need to get these for the kids.  He needs 2 pairs of sneakers.  She needs sneakers, boots, and dress shoes.  Thank goodness Payless has a B1G1 half off sale, and I have a 20% off coupon!  But I will have to watch out.....anxiety means I will have a harder time saying no when Sassy "just loves" this pair and that.

I wish I had a better outlet for anxiety.  I either eat, or overspend.  Why couldn't I be one of those exercise people?????


  1. My kids aren't in school yet, but that sounds really stressful. In my area the school district puts the school supply lists in all of the local stores. I hope it all turns out well in the end.

  2. I shop too when I am sad or upset or anxious. Yep. Not a good outlet for me either.

  3. I hope everything works out -- I remember how stressful it can be to change schools.

  4. I'm sorry about your anxiety. I spend when I'm anxious as well.

    Maybe you could buy some generic supplies that are on sale (glue sticks, bottles of glue, crayons, pencils, markers, scissors, etc.), then save the receipts? Return as needed.

    We don't have supply lists either. I've been buying $0.25 glue sticks and crayons along with $1.00 markers. I also bought a bunch of $1 tissues on sale last week. I didn't save the receipts though because it just occurred to me. DUH.

    We change schools every 2 years here. Our buildings are divided according to grade level, so at least all the kids change and my kids aren't the "new" kids. We have a building for K, one for 1st & 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th, then high school. This is a transition year for us ... new 1st grader and new 3rd grader. I actually like grade level buildings, but every 2 years it means a big transition and some worry.

  5. I feel the same way about the clothes that are out there for kids, nothing I want to dress my 6 year old daughter in. I caved and bought a shirt covered in glitter and I paid for it with glitter all over the carpet and over everything else in the laundry.
    As far as school supplies, my hubby said I should bring back the trend of using paper grocery bags to cover books instead of buying those new book covers. I can't believe what they expect children to have for school these days. Maybe I'm just getting old but I miss the good old days.

  6. @Sarah - back to school normally isn't that stressful for me. The new school and new administration is fueling the fire. I hope it turns out ok too.

    @Mimi - isn't it amazing how you can "justify" the shopping when it is for the kids???

    @RainyDay - the kids are starting to get stressed...they really want to know their teachers.

    @Anon - If it was just a change in building, but it was the same kids and such, it wouldn't be bad. Our schools redid all the boundaries, so our new school is getting 70 kids, from 7 different schools.

    @Jennifer - I am all for paper bag book covers! Actually, Sassy would love it...she would spend hours decorating them.

  7. As a mother of a teenage daughter and am being there and doing this, I wrote a blog about this...

    Hopefully this provides some good advice.

  8. "I wish I had a better outlet for anxiety. I either eat, or overspend. Why couldn't I be one of those exercise people????? "

    Oh boy do I relate!! It's tough to remain moderate when I'm stressed. I'm also a shop-for-the-kids kind of person, and yes, so easy to justify it because of course they deserve the best!

    My son starts kindergarten tomorrow. Anxiety is running rampant for me; he's excited and ready to go! We didn't get a shopping list, either, and I'm told supplies are provided. I still got crayons, markers, and glue sticks, just to be on the safe side.

    I did buy an expensive lunchbox (the Laptop Lunchbox, about $30 including the bag, with a coupon code) and he loves it. Hopefully he doesn't lose the pieces in the first week!

  9. you are definately not alone at all! I spend when I am stressed as well...

  10. Hi,

    Wonderful post! In response to your last statement about exercising... You might be too focused on the process and not the gain. Well... I'm still overweight myself but I somehow manage to exercise consistently the past few months. I actually think that I'm in the best shape of my life as I could play more minutes in basketball now that I am 25 compared 5 years ago.

    The trick is not to go out at all during a weakened state. When your mind is feeling weak, you tend to spend. When I say weak that simply means it's either one of being physically, emotionally or mentally sick.

  11. I know I'm a little late and this has nothing to do with your post, but I was wondering if you ever tried to appeal to the school board to keep Bossy and Sassy in their old school? I think I remembered you mentioning it but I may have imagined it!

  12. @Tim - I am weak...I admit it. But time to pick myself up and try again.

    @Debt Free Girl - Yes, I did appeal the decision, and was denied....along with a bunch of other parents. I don't know anyone who managed to keep their kids where they wanted to. We survived the first week of school....with some bumps and bruises.