24 January 2018

My guide to making the school run (slightly) less hellish...

As many of you have recently sent off you applications for primary school, the impending letters of acceptance and then all that comes with getting ready for September will quickly be upon us. With this in mind I thought I would share a little of my knowledge about the toughest part (for you the parent) of your children's schooling, the school run...

  1. Marked as late - I cannot preach about this as I literally make it by the skin of my teeth, but the kids that are truly late are known for this by their classmates and teachers. I remember a friend of mine (who is a social worker) telling me that getting your child to school on time is ridiculously important, not only so they know that tardiness is not okay but also because your child has to face the potential wrath of their teacher, even though it's probably not their fault (exclude times where they suddenly tell you they need their PE kit when you are already halfway down the road, on this occasion your kids on their own). It obviously will happen every now and then, but, the sooner you get your kids dropped off the sooner you can breathe that slight sigh of relief.

  1. Car parking politics - if you want a good space, you have to get to school early (i never get a good space, unless I am SOOOO late that other mums/dads are already on their way back home). What is an absolute NO NO is parking on the zigzags, even if your child has a broken leg, dont do it! If you do, then there is a chance that a photo of your car will appear on your local facebook community page or (even worse) in the school newletter. Having said this there will always be one arsehole driver who seems to do it everyday and get away with it, but, I promise the one time you do it you will get busted.

  1. Model Mums - Sometimes i literally cannot understand how some mums do it, do they get up at 5am? Do they not sleep at all? Because while I wear my mum uniform (leggings and a sweatshirt), and my hair piled on my head (Nanny Plum style), there are some mums who literally look like they have just stepped out of a salon! My best piece of advice is come rain or shine, wear sunglasses and a smile.

  1. Rain check - It always rains between 8.30- 9.15 and 2.45 - 3.15. This is a fact! Invest in a good coat with a hood (also big parkas with a fur hood means you can virtually get away with wearing anything and still look alright) and keep an umbrella in the car.

  1. School bags - My rule for this is, if I am not laiden down like a donkey then I have forgotten something. I try to get my kids to be responsible for their own stuff but it never seems to work out, and if they do forget something they won’t remember till they are at their class door and it will be you that has to walk back to the car or drive back home.

  1. Be organised - I am not going to even pretend that I lay my kids uniform out every night, or the lunches are always made before 8.40am, but if I do get organised the night before the chances of me being that shouty horrible mum become less likely, and also I mentally give myself a gold star. This being said after the 23rd request of “get your shoes on please…” I challenge anyone not to shout it the 24th time.

  1. Newsletter aware - Forgetting non uniform day is a parenting nightmare, your child will remember it forever, so don't forget! Normally your child will remind you, but read newsletters and join school facebook groups. I would be lost without them. (also make a note in advance about fancy dress events/ world book days so you are not gluing together a Gruffalo/mutant costume at 10pm on a Sunday night).

  1. Local friends - If possible make some friends who live locally to you. No matter how hard you try sometimes you will get stuck indoors (chickenpox, waiting for a delivery etc), when this happens a last minute call or text to your buddy will save the day. (Remember to return the favour).

  1. Carry change - don’t be caught out by the PTA. Though they are doing an amazing job for the school, at times it can be annoying when there is a different stall, selling different items that your child cannot live without on a weekly basis. I am not saying you need to do it all the time but life is a hell of a lot easier if you buy a couple of butterfly cakes every now and then.

  1. Calm start - this is my last tip and is just as important your you as it is your child. No matter how stressful it has been getting out the door and into the car, try as hard as you can to have a little light relief on your way into school. It is horrible to send a tear stained child into class, and you walk away feeling shit. Your child will be fine and will have forgotten about it long before you do, but I have cried into a mid morning coffee on quite a few occasions and had to physically stop myself calling the school to check on said child.


Written by Jo Johnson (All The Family)
jojo_johnsonx (instagram)


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