Select Page

To the mums and dads getting the kids ready for school,

The last few days of getting-ready-for-school rated at a 10 on the Cherry Chaos Scale. On Friday, 10 minutes before departure time, when no hair had been brushed and library books were still AWOL, I snuck off to my room to take a bunch of deep breaths and scroll through Instagram. It had to be done to prevent a homicide.

Some of the things going on:

Child #3 has a hole in the crotch of her only clean pair of pants. Child refuses to wear school dress and goes into ‘shut down mode’. Just refuses to function, like the front loader that won’t open when you’ve found more dirty undies. After sulking in a ball on the couch, Child eventually agrees to wear a skirt, but when skirt can’t be located within 7 seconds, storms off to bedroom, feet slapping on the wooden boards and grunting like a pregnant elephant.

Eldest child discovers that the only clean leaver’s shirt smells ‘weird’ and she can’t possibly wear it. (It does smell weird. As do all the other ‘darks’ that I’d left sitting wet in the machine for two days.) Eldest child refuses to wear the regular yellow shirt that all the younger plebs wear. (Of course not, how demoralising for a year 6!) Eldest child realises that the only other acceptable option, her faction shirt, is dirty in her sister’s room. A small fight breaks out and someone may or may not have given the other the ‘F-word finger’.

Child #3 has put on skirt but wanders around for twenty-three minutes with just one shoe on. I patiently remind her to put the shoe on when I see her sitting behind the couch, outside on the swing, and in her room looking at a book. But when that shoe is swung up onto the kitchen bench after she has been sitting there for five minutes, I kinda lose it. Not just because half the school sandpit is sprayed over the open lunch boxes, but because the shoe still isn’t on her foot.

Very sensitive child #3 cries because I yelled, and goes back into shut down mode.

Missing library books. Missing take-home folder. Missing drink bottle.

And on it goes, but you get the picture because this is you too. (Or is it really just me?)

It is almost the end of term, and we are all tired. My fuse is shorter. My house is messier. My patience is wearing thin.


Here are three things I’m going to do to help these last few weeks go a little smoother:

Step 1: Food shopping and lunch prep: go to the shops and get some lunch stuff for next week. I’m not a plastic-free/ all organic/ low GI/ low fat/ low salt kind of mum. And I don’t really bake. So I’ll get popcorn, hot cross buns, lots of fruit, yoghurt, bread rolls, zip lock bags, Grainwaves etc. I’ll get enough for the week, make up the sandwiches/ rolls and freeze them in zip lock bags.

Step 2: Locate all pieces of uniform and get them through the wash. Keep them in a separate pile in the laundry so they’re right there ready to go.

Step 3: Lay out the uniforms the night before school, including shoes. Make sure hats and water bottles are in bags. Clear the sink of dishes and line up the lunchboxes on the kitchen bench, ready to fill in the morning. (Some of my friends make lunches the night before, but I can’t see how that works- don’t the crunchy things get soggy and the soft things go hard?)

And I’m also going to get up just a bit earlier in the next few weeks to make sure I’m fully dressed and ready to go before making breakfast, doing hair and lunch boxes. When I’m in Chaos Mode, I’m usually still in my PJs ten minutes before we head out the door.

Oh, and I’m not going to look at my phone or email until they’re all at school.

Do you have any other tips for a smooth run?