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5 Things I Won't Be Doing When The Kids Return To School

I wrote this post a couple of years ago and each year I revisit it just to give myself a heads up of what I won't be doing.  It's a timely reminder to focus on the things that are important in raising our kids and the things that are not.

The 6 weeks holidays have flown by, as they usually do and this year things get changed up a gear as our eldest starts senior school.  This brings its own challenges in terms of getting everyone to school on time (the girls go to a primary school in the complete opposite direction).  Other families seem to manage so I'm sure it's not an insurmountable problem but something that's currently playing on my mind.  We don't live far enough away to get free school transport (we're like a hundred metres too close, annoyingly) and I'm not sure about bus routes yet.

Anyway, the following will all still apply whether the kids are at high school or not.

Not that I ever have, but Pinterest is making me feel like a bad mother that I'm not creating grape Olafs and Hello Kitty cucumber slices.  In what world do mums have time to do this in the mornings?  I'm hoping that English mums aren't into this trend and make my girls feel bad for not having star shaped strawberries in their lunch.

A screen grab of nightmare proportions!

In fact I'm not even sure whether they'll be taking a packed lunch.  Australian school lunches are very different from English, in that the schools have a canteen to buy hot food from, but not every day, and there's certainly no "dining hall" with knives and forks and jugs of water.

I've worked out that the cost of school lunches will be around £28 a week and I'm not sure I can justify that!

Surely this is what our kids need in their lunchbox?

Now some of my Aussie friends do actually create incredibly imaginative hairstyles for their daughters before school, but not me.  A plait, maybe even a fishtail is the most creative we manage before school.  Maybe it's because my girls have hair so similar to mine that it is impossible to brush in the morning let along manage anything other than a ponytail.

A ponytail?  Of course, darlings!

In Australia I had a large seven seater car which was at once the best and worse thing I ever did.  It stopped my children arguing over "elbow space" on the back seat but it also meant that we had plenty of space for bring home other people's kids.

I love having their friends over to play but when they want to have them over every night it gets a bit much.  Particularly when I feel like I have to have produced some home baked goods for their afternoon tea in case their mum quizzes them and they reveal they ate chicken nuggets and Frazzles for their snack.

Chocolate cake is healthy when it's homemade, right?

My car is now small.  The eldest is big enough to sit in the front seat which minimises the arguments in the back seat about who has the most space.  I'm hoping that this year (I think I hope this every year) they'll be mature enough not to whine and whinge about who's sitting where, who's opening the doors, who's turn it is to choose the radio station.....the list goes on.

This year I vow to not lose my temper with them and deal with the daily battles in a calm and controlled way.  I will facilitate this happening by ensuring I have made myself a large skinny latte before I leave the house.  Sorted.

It sounds great, doesn't it, unloading your wallet to someone who will entertain and enrich your child for an hour but what it actually boils down to is this:
  • drop child off at after school activity after ensuring you packed all necessary accoutrements before picking them up (don't imagine for a minute that they will do this for themselves)
  • find a park where the other two can play for an hour
  • after ten minutes, the other two are bored and fighting and asking for more snacks than I brought with me
  • I drive to Costa Coffee and we spend an inordinate amount of money on milkshakes, or we walk end up in WH Smiths spending money on stationery that we don't need.

This year they'll do one activity each.  That's it.  That's plenty, hey?  When I was little I did ballroom dancing (I KNOW!) on a Saturday morning and that was all, and I haven't turned into a pot-smoking waster or an axe murderer.

What won't you be doing when your kids are back at school?


  1. Great post. I only have one daughter left at school and she is going into Year 11. I will not be getting up super early do get it all done. V x

    1. Wow, year 11! I guess that brings its own challenges
      Though I'm guessing she can do her own ponytail lol.

  2. My oldest boy is just about to start school- I am one off those mums anxious about how it will go and how our mornings and after school activities will go!

  3. I like your style! I follow very similar guidelines. Always have. I cop an earful about the one activity each but not from my girls, mainly other mothers who think I'm in someone holding my kids back. I like to think that I'm teaching them to embrace boredom and make the most of what is in front of them. Which to my mind, is a lot.

  4. Oh this was so good Vicki!
    Only my son does anything not related to school and that's footy. during winter. with his dad!
    Miss 13 does nothing other than go to school as anything to do with sport is completely foreign to her or lame!
    So yeah, I make their lunches still but that's about it! This year I'm putting my foot down and making Mister 11 get his own bloody cereal honestly it's not rocket science!
    M x

  5. great post! I just have a toddler and you would be shocked to see the elaborate snacks the other kids take to daycare. So glad I have a little boy and I don't need to worry about elaborate braiding - I'd be stuffed!

    1. Haha, thanks Tory! I've not time for putting eyes on cherry tomatoes - I mean, really??

  6. Totally agree with the one activity only per child theory. You know, I'm still not even sure what those bento things are, so don't feel too bad.

  7. So glad my kids are past school age!!! I'm with you though, we did the one activity per child thing. I've seen too many other mums run themselves ragged driving their kids all over.

  8. I'm hoping I won't be drinking as much alcohol. The again.. Who knows

  9. Oh well-done you! I hope these are being laminated right now and applied where everyone gets to see them. As for the after school and Saturday stuff I am pleased to read of someone saying NO..enough! We can get ourselves too caught up in pleasing every little whim of kids these days. I applaud you! Denyse

  10. This is awesome - I'm so with you on these points Vicki!

  11. I don't ever remember doing many activities as a kid! Sure, one or two but not too many and I have a feeling they were seasonal.

  12. I won't be wasting money on taxis when the school really is walking distance from our house. One of the mum's from D's school upgraded her car a couple of months ago and she ended up putting name tags on seats to stop the fighting.

  13. Mine only do one activity each. Gymnastics. That's enough for them and me! I am hanging out for some routine to return our days though, am starting think one less week of school holidays would have been perfect!

  14. Good luck Vicki!!
    Living about 70km out of town helped Mum say no to us when we requested to participate in an afternoon activity! lol...


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