How NOT to do The School Run

You might think that the trick of getting your child out the door and into school should be a relatively easy one right?

On the good days it can seem effortless to get everyone fed and dressed without too much whinging, out the door on time and deposited into school without any clinginess or crying. Then there are the more hellish weeks where everything goes wrong.


When I first started doing the school run a year and half ago, I found it really stressful and difficult because my eldest struggled with starting school. I wrote a post called Wine With Your School Run? Things have moved on. Alice has grown up a lot, she has changed schools without too much trouble, but on bad weeks, the school run can still be a nightmare. Here’s what went wrong for us this week:

1. The Alarm Did Not Go Off. I don’t usually set an alarm as I have an Eva that will come and wake me up anywhere between 6 and 6.30am. On Thursday she didn’t wake up until 7.20am – cue a big panic and mad rush to get ready.


2. Eldest Refused to get out of Bed. Despite begging and pleading, shouting and cajoling, Alice refused to get up and in the end I had to half drag her out where she then refused to get dressed. The problem other than tiredness was that school was “boring”.

3. Forgot to Make Packed Lunch for Youngest. Eva has to have a packed lunch every day that she goes to pre-school. I should know this by now. An efficient, organised mummy would have had this made the packed lunch the night before. My defence lies only on the fact that it was the end of the week, I was tired and I’d become engrossed with House of Cards Series 3 to bother making it and so had a mad rush to do it in the morning.


4. The Kids Do Not Listen. This is quite normal at the best of times, but for some reason in the mornings recently it’s like I don’t exist. I have to ask at least 10 times for them to get dressed and then end up shouting or “helping” them to get into their uniform.

5. Tantrums about clothes. In the midst of trying to get the pair of them dressed, the youngest will inevitably have a tantrum about what to wear or refuses to get dressed at all. Last week, exasperated after fighting to get some clothes on her, I sent her into pre-school in odd shoes at her insistence.


6. Forgot the Book Bag. Just as I’ve congratulated myself on getting everyone’s shoes on and out the door into the car, I remembered half-way down the road that I forgot to pick up the blasted book bag.


7. Kids are Fighting or “Too Busy” to get ready. Siblings! There’s been a lot of fighting between my two lately and they seem to choose their moment to carry out a lot of their scrapping in the morning. If they’re not tearing each other apart, then they suddenly find a lot to do. They choose 8am to go through their jewellery box or want to start colouring or empty their sock drawer to find a particular pair of socks.

8. They Don’t want to Leave You. Bizarrely even though I berate myself about the fact that I’ve been shouting at them to get ready for school or end up in a horrible showdown, they can still have moments of being a bit clingy about leaving me. The eldest is the worst for this and this week clung on to my leg proclaiming she wanted to come home with me.

9. Drank too Much Wine on Sunday Night. OK this is my bad. I started the week off the wrong way by having an extra glass of wine on Sunday night. I knew it would have repercussions and sure enough, when Monday rolled around, I was even more bleary-eyed than usual and not my normal efficient self. (Aherm).

Red Wine

Do you have any school run woes to add to my list?!



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Mums In Pyjamas


In the news last week it was reported that a head teacher had written a letter home to parents to politely ask them to get dressed in the mornings rather than turn up at the school gate in pyjamas and slippers.

Whilst many parents supported the head teacher, there was an outcry from some parents who were annoyed at being told what to do and in protest turned up to the school gates in pyjamas and dressing gowns.

I read this in a state of disbelief. How had a letter escalated into such an argument about Pyjamas?

Less than a Minute

I normally like to sit on the fence about such news stories and try to see both sides of the story, but with this, I have to say I completely agree with the school! Is it really unreasonable to ask that parents turn up to school in some form of clothes? Even if you can’t be bothered to have a shower or put make up on, it takes less than a minute to pull on a pair of jeans and a jumper!

I’m not meaning to judge anybody and don’t get me wrong, I know that we are all busy trying to juggle and manage everything in the mornings. I have had several months of utter hell on the school run trying to get my eldest daughter to school last term. Which, when you throw a feisty toddler into the mix, can be incredibly stressful. But I still managed to get through this all whilst wearing some clothes.

Why I Don’t Agree

Here’s why I sympathise with the head teacher:

  1. Kids will want to do the same. If your kids think it’s ok to leave the house in pyjamas then they will want to do it too. Back in November if I had left the house wearing pyjamas on the school run, I would never have got my eldest daughter dressed into her uniform. She would have argued the point that why should she get out of her pyjamas when mummy was still wearing hers. And that’s kind of a fair point!
  2. Getting dressed sets you up for the day. I think it affects you mentally. If I were to stay in my pyjamas all day, I would mentally feel in a relaxed mode and never get anything done. I work from home and whilst I know that other people can do this in their dressing gowns, for me, I would never be properly in the zone if I was sitting around in my PJs all day!
  3. Setting an example. It shows a bad example to your child for years to come. OK there’s plenty of days when I’m tired, I can’t bear the thought of getting up and getting dressed, but we all have to do it. At some point our children will have to go for a job interview and go to work every single day of the week in clothes. It’s one thing to laze around on a Sunday in PJs, but in the normal working week, it gives children the wrong impression about what they are expected to do. We might not like going to work, they might not like going to school. But we have to do it.
  4. Plain Lazy? Call me harsh, but as I’ve mentioned, if time is short it just takes a few minutes to pull on yesterday’s jeans and top.


Since the Argument

What has shocked me more than the inability to get dressed is that the row has since escalated with some parents removing their children from class and others directing “vile abuse” to the head teacher. How incredibly sad and shocking. It’s sad that a head teacher is no longer able to make a polite request to parents without receiving a barrage of nasty abuse. It’s even more outrageous because the abuse was directed at the teacher in front of the children.

How unbelievably depressing for those children. How distressing must it be for those kids to be witness their parents screaming vile insults at their teacher? What sort of message does that send to those kids? Surely after seeing such behaviour, those children will not only think it’s OK to leave the house in nightclothes, but they will also believe it is fair to act violently with anyone that doesn’t agree with their views.

Whatever you think about the initial argument, there can be no denying that this is a step too far.


Would love to know what others think. Are you a mum on the school run in pyjamas? Do you agree or disagree?


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Wine With Your School Run?

Wine on The School Run?

A recent article in The Daily Telegraph talked about how mums on the school run are now so stressed that they are turning to a glass of wine rather than a cup of tea to calm down. I read this with some amusement, whilst I’ve not (yet) cracked open a bottle at 9.30am, I can completely relate to the level of stress that the school run causes.

I’m a mere novice, I’ve only been on the school run for 7 weeks since my eldest daughter started school in September. However during that time I’ve often felt like I was going to burst a blood vessel. Here’s 5 reasons why I dread the school run:

1) The Battle – My daughter hasn’t exactly taken to school like a duck to water. She reminds me every morning that she’d rather stay at home. When it’s almost time to leave the house, she tries every trick in the book to avoid going. She runs upstairs and hides, she takes her shoes and clothes off, she refuses to get off the toilet, she cries and she throws a strop. And all the time the clock is ticking…..

2)  Late – No matter how early I get up or how early we start the routine, the daily battle and drama in getting to school    means we are always running late. If I’m out the door and in the car at 8.20am I’m winning. If it’s just 10 minutes later we’ve had it.

3)  Heart Break – Every morning on the school run my heart breaks a little more as my daughter sobs her way into the class room. The “How Could You” look she gives me as I turn to leave just kills me and the emotional upset stays with me long into the afternoon.

4) The Toddler – In addition to the battle with my 4 year old, I have to drag my feisty 2 year old in and out of the car 4 times a day. To be fair, she’s normally very good at getting ready on time, but at the school end she refuses to get in the buggy. So I often find myself trying to stop her running out into the road whilst coaxing and cajoling my eldest daughter to “keep walking.” The afternoon pick up can be fine if the toddler has had a sleep. If she hasn’t, it soon becomes a tired, argumentative, emotional mess.

5) Parking – Just to be clear, I never envisaged or wanted to use the car on the school run. Our local school is less than a 10 minute walk away and we were shocked not to get a place there (but that’s another story). So whilst I don’t like it, I’m getting on with the driving, but I still find parking an issue, especially if we are late. In 7 weeks I’ve only had 1 nasty note left on my car about parking but after the emotional trauma of the morning, it was enough to tip me over the edge.

It’s easy to see how parents are more stressed on the school run, the emotional, organisational and logistical trauma is enough to get the blood pressure rising all before 9am. I’m hoping things will get easier for us as the weeks go on, in the meantime, give me a cuppa and a biscuit to calm down, I’ll save the wine for when the kids are in bed and I can enjoy a glass or three in peace!

Do you suffer from school run stress? Have you resorted to or thought about wine in the morning? I’d love to hear how everyone else is getting on.


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