Switching gears from lazy summer days at the local wading pool to busy school mornings is a real challenge with just one child; we are in awe of moms who manage two little ones, let alone four. While no one is really an ‘expert’ when it comes to being a mom, professional stylist and mother of four Christine Dovey certainly has years of experience to draw on. So, how do we do it? What’s the most seamless approach to managing the transition that comes with the hustle of lunch packing, pencil case sorting, new school and new friends?
Christine’s Tips: From Toddlers to Teens
1. Contact your child’s school and ask for their ‘needs list’
With this, you’ll know exactly which supplies to buy without any unnecessary purchases. It’s likely that at the end of the last school year your child came home with lots of supplies that are still okay to use again. I like to take inventory of what you have to avoid buying the same thing twice.
2. Shop where there’s variety
Shopping at a mall can save you time and energy – it’s a one-stop-shop! To map my trip, I first visit cfshops.ca to see a full list of retailers at Toronto Eaton Centre, Fairview Mall or Sherway Gardens and decide what stores I need to hit – planning ahead is key.
3. Let your kids get involved
Typically when my kids are invested in their clothing choices, they’ll be more likely to wear what we buy. This helps to make back-to-school shopping a fun experience for us both!
4. Shop the sales and think longevity
Spend on clothing that can be worn across seasons – think a great pair of jeans that can be worn through the winter and into the spring. For my youngest daughter I like to buy cute dresses that can be paired with wools tights and a cardigan in the winter.
5. Look for key trends that are versatile
Invest in staple pieces that can be worn many different ways. Outer layers are items that should be on everyone’s list. A classic leather jacket never goes out of style and can be worn with multiple looks.
6. Make a list, and stick to it, but give your child one freebie ticket to buy an item they really want
Shopping from a list can ensure a stress-free back-to-school shopping trip and also be a great lesson in budgeting for your child. I take time and sit down with each of my children to talk about what we need and how much we have to spend so I’m better able to manage expectations when we get to the mall.
Christine Dovey is a published stylist, decorator, and artist whose signature aesthetic can best be described as a blushy cocktail of delicate pretty mixed with a dash of modern edge. When she’s not immersed in writing her blog, creating design plans, or covered in paint, Christine spends her days in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband Ian and children Natasha, Scarlett, Malcolm, and Jasper.