23 things you’ll understand if you’re a school run parent

Family life
school run parent

Ah, the school run. That blissful time of day when children enthusiastically leap out of bed no earlier than 7am, eat their breakfast with no fuss, and put on their school uniform, shoes and coats without even being asked. The sun is always shining when you leave the house and you all arrive at school with plenty of time to spare.

Well, that might be how it is for some people, but that’s certainly not the case in my world! I’ve already written about how getting three children out the house in time for school leaves me knackered by 9am. And I wasn’t surprised to read last week that more and more mums are opening the wine as soon as they’ve done the school run (not me, I hasten to add!).

I love my kids to bits, but the school run is the trickiest part of my day and so many of my mum friends tell me the same.

So, here are my 23 things you’ll understand if you’re a school run parent (disclaimer: if none of these apply to you, then what is your secret? Genuine question. I, and millions of other parents, would love to know. Especially if it’s not post-school-run-wine!).

1. No matter how early you get up, and how well you prepared everything you need for the morning last night, you will still be rushing out the door at the last minute.

2. You might have triple-checked their book bag for letters and asked them repeatedly if they have any homework/dress up days etc… but they’ll still tell you about it two minutes before you leave the house.

3. Rain has two favourite times. 8.30am-9.30am and 3pm-4pm.

4. Except in the school holidays. School run time will be dry, but it’ll rain when you want to go out.

5. Despite the fact they do it every day, children will always look utterly surprised when you ask them to put their shoes on.

6. They will also ignore you the first 63,455 times you ask them to put said shoes on and then when you flip and shout at them, they’ll cry about how you’re the meanest mummy/daddy ever.

7. Someone will always need the loo as soon as you’re out the door and ready to go, despite the fact you asked them 12 times the other side of the door and they all said no.

8. Babies will always save explosive nappies for the moment you are about to leave the house on the mornings you are already running late.

9. The day you are running late will be the day your child falls over, cuts their knee and puts a hole in their tights or trousers. They will be inconsolable and demand you take them home and not to school.

10. Having to wake them up to get up to school when at the weekend they are up and raring to go at 5am.

11. Or, they wake up every day way before the alarm clock. Except for the morning you forget to set it when everyone sleeps in… meaning you’re late for school.

12. If you usually drive to school, you can guarantee the day you walk, there will be loads of parking spaces near the school.

13. Your child will use the school run as an opportunity to get dirt all over their pristine uniform on the day they have their class photo. That’s if you remembered about the school photo in the first place, and were organised enough to make sure they had clean clothes ready to go.

14. Realising at 8.28am that the PE kit is in the wash and hoping no one will notice if you Febreze it, fold it nicely and put it back in the bag.

15. When your child jumps in a puddle just before they get into school, making you feel like a bad parent as they face a whole day with soggy socks.

16. When it comes to end of day pick-ups, if you have a baby, you can guarantee they will refuse to go down for their nap… and then refuse to wake up when it’s time to leave to get to school.

17. The day you are first in line at the door to pick your little darling up will be the day the teacher asks you to wait behind so she can have a word.

18. The day you really need to get away from school promptly will be the day they come out late.

19. The day you don’t have an umbrella or a waterproof coat will also be the day the rain comes from nowhere and the kids come out late.

20. You can guarantee the parent next to you will have bought sweets for their child’s after-school snack, leading to a meltdown from your own offspring because you bought them breadsticks.

21. Despite having spent the last six hours with their friends, your child will shriek with excitement and insist they need to play when they see their buddy right outside the school gates.

22. Despite asking several times if anyone needs the loo before you start walking home, and everyone saying no, someone will need to go when you’re out of popping back distance.

23. No matter how crazy and stressful school run mornings are, the final ever day you do the school run, you will realise that you’re actually going to miss it.


Can you relate? Do let me know what you think in the comment section below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, or you can tweet me on @cardiffmummy

You might also like this one: How does anyone keep on top of the housework when they have young children?

30 Comments to 23 things you’ll understand if you’re a school run parent

  1. Aimee Foster

    Oh yes! Pretty much all of these apply to my school runs – especially the explosive nappies, the rain (today was awful) and the snack thing! The first question I get asked as I pick my daughter up is, ‘Have you bought me a snack?’ as the child next to her is chomping away on some Haribo. All I’ve got is crackers, sorry. And sometimes I forget the snack – big, BIG mistake!!
    I really enjoyed reading this and feel slightly better that I’m not the only one who finds the school run bloody stressful! x

  2. Victoria Owen

    All totally true!
    I have another one… You come close to breaking point several times over the weekend trying to ‘encourage them’ to finish their homework and then you put it safely in their school bag for them to hand in. Upon your return from Monday morning school run you find it has been removed from said school bag and is sitting in a patch of spilled milk on your dining room table! Aaaah, why do you bother???

  3. Ahh nodding along here so many very true and you know what? I think when alls said and done I will miss the school runs but that’s years away! It’s the tooth brushing that sees us leaving at least ten minutes over the time every single damn day!

  4. The school run is a few years away for us, but I’m already terrified of it! I’m famously unorganised and the thought of being responsible for small people getting some where on time is not a welcome idea! I can only hope that I study this carefully and prepare!! Somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen 😀 xx

  5. Oh this is soooooo true…love the post and almost all 23 apply on a daily basis! Although I have just put a sign up on the front door – the ABCD sign. It stands for:
    A – Arrggghhh we’re late
    B – Bag
    C – Coat
    D – Drink
    The three things my two boys need to be responsible for….so far, so good!

  6. Yes, these are all so true – especially shoes and toilets. Our kids also seem to have a different interpretation of the words “be ready to go in 5 minutes”. In their world, ‘ready’ doesn’t include socks, shoes, toilet, ensuring they can find and have packed their book bags – instead, it appears to cover ‘not in pyjamas’ and ‘have put our favourite TV programme on’.

  7. ameliaappletree

    I related to almost all of these. If I might add one to the list: The miraculous day when you actually get them ready early and tell them that they play for five minutes, those five minutes will be spent messing up their hair, removing at least some of their school uniform and emptying out the book bag….

  8. I love this! The shoe one in particular really got me. I thought I was the only one that delivered this surprise every day! One to add is ‘the hair’, the refusal to brush it and the cries of ‘why do you always have to hurt’ while holding the head with two hands in exactly the place you need to brush.

    However, I’m already feeling the pain that The Kid is in Year 5 and I only have two years left to cherish our walks to school.

  9. I don’t have children, but I still really enjoyed this post, sounds like a nightmare. I have enough trouble getting myself prepared and out of the house on time lol 🙂 #mmwbh

  10. Love this. Can I also add to the list – asking child every morning to ensure he’s fully dressed before he is allowed to play on his tablet before school. Child then shouting – I’m dressed, can I play? Only for me to discover as I give them 2 minutes warning to departure, that he is in fact sitting there naked, with one sock on. He then looks in absolute shock and horror at me when I point this out to him. ‘But I am sure I got dressed’. ARGH!!!

  11. I have a child with extra needs and a v poor working memory so telling him to get dressed or brush teeth is literally like banging my head on a brick wall, i have to do all these tasks for him and get myself and baby ready to leave and no matter how organised i am and how ahead of schedule we begin with guaranteed that is the day he will meltdown due to sensory overload of too many instructions of things to do. And it always takes longer to set up the buggy than you think no matter how many times you do it! Yet for us the school run itself to school is pretty quick bring quite literally a run to school…not of my choice i add, but more due to my sons inability to process instructions to slow down and wizzes off on his scooter at the speed of light. Ah well at least i get my exercise! The way home is a mixture of snail pace, speedy gonzalez and firefighting the impending tantrums and requests to be carried…because clearly i have enough hands to push a buggy and piggy back a very heavy child! Lol

  12. Top tip for the shoes thing … instead of me repeatedly asking/telling/shouting at them to get their shoes on, I have set an alarm on my phone aka, “the shoes alarm” which gives a clear indication of what is expected and when. The only problem is that they like the tune so much, they spend five minutes dancing round the kitchen and not actually putting their shoes on… I have set it 2 minutes earlier now!

  13. Gill Parkes

    And the day you repeatedly tell her not to forget her flute and school rings just as you get home to ask if you could please take it in. You find it waiting just inside the door.

  14. Brilliant made me laugh loudly. My other thing is thinking we’re really really late, then dashing down the road and realise you’re an hour EARLY!!!

  15. The day you show up late for pick up, is the day your kid is out early. (The ice cream man sits outside of our school. I bribe the children! If we have smooth school runs to and fro, they get a Friday Ice Cream from Frank. They can’t have bad reports from teachers, either. Most weeks we all get ice cream!)

  16. OMG this is me every morning. Laughing out loud as I read the list. No 6 especially true, yes we are all nasty mums for shouting, but the kids are never in the wrong for not doing as asked, oh no, God forbid, they are never wrong.

    So funny seeing it listed, but it’s so flipping frustrating trying to get out the door.

    Thank you. X

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