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