The Can Be A Good Mother at Times Guide to the School Run

I was reading Sally's The Bad Mother's Guide to the School Run and despite my smirk (totally not a self-satisfied smirk) I realised that Sally did sort of have a point about the School Run. So many parents dread it, not because they are bad parents (although Sally is a really bad parent*, she didn't even recognise her own daughter in a school photo!) but because they expectations they have of themselves and their children just are not realistic.

And so I present to you The Can Be A Good Mother at Times Guide to the School Run!

Tip One Don't allow time for things to go wrong. By planning ahead.

The morning is a rush. Everyone wants a few minutes extra in bed, everyone wants a turn in the bathroom and everyone needs to be out the door without losing any limbs. So plan. The night before make sure that everyone has clean clothes for the next day, make sure that buttons have been sewn on (or sent to Grandma's/the lady down the road who sews things up) and that party RSVP's have been text back. Do make sure that you have enough time to do everything, but as Sally says don't allow time for distractions or you will regret it.
Top Ender being distracted and playing with a dolls house before School

Tip Two Location is everything.

Everything in your house needs a place, you already know that and even my very cluttered house has a place for the hairbrush (Top of the fireplace), a place for coats (by the front door), a place for shoes (in the box near the coats) and a place for School bags (again by the coats). If everything is there then you won't waste time looking for lost shoes, bags or children. Oh and moving to be a few minutes walk from the School whilst drastic works for some...

Tip Three Eat on the Move.

I have no doubt that Flea is beyond the age where half her breakfast ends up on the car floor (Sally I'm not so sure about), but don't eat breakfast in the car if you can avoid it. We have a few foods which we rotate as breakfast foods, including cake (It's healthy cake, it has fruit and vegetables in it) and we find that sitting down at a table actually encourages our children to chew the food! I know, who knew right? Just remember that it is important to eat something for breakfast because Scientists have said so.

Tip Four Prepare your vehicle. By Vehicle I mean body.

If your child doesn't have a school meal then you need to make sure that their body is properly fuelled during the day. The best way to do this is to make sure that they have a bottle of water to drink during the day and a packed lunch. Buying a BPA free bottle that you refill is great, and even if you don't cook I'm pretty sure that washing a bottle out each night and filling it up with water is something you can do. Lunches don't have to be long drawn out affairs. Even the fancy sandwiches I have been making for Top Ender don't take more than five minutes to throw together. I normally make them whilst I am cooking dinner, I'm in the kitchen after all!

Sandwich Sushi

Oh and if you do drive on the school run, try to make sure you have enough petrol in the car.

Tip Five Don't raise anyone's expectations.

This is more to do with what you are expecting from the morning than teachers having neatly signed forms returned on time (but if you follow Tip One you will already have checked the School bag and filled in the form and if you realise you forgot then this is why School's have pens at reception). If you are expecting everyone to be Mary Poppins like in the morning then you are going to be disappointed. Be realistic, nobody not even *that* Playground Mum actually has a perfect school run everyday. Just breathe out with the bad and in with the good.

Tip Six Buy a hat. Or make someone else do the School Run.

I'm lucky that Daddy takes Top Ender to school every morning. We only live a five minute walk and so he likes to have these few minutes with Top Ender for one to one time. To chat about what is going on in Top's life. However if you can't fob off the School Run on to someone you are related to (Grandparents are great for this sort of thing) how about a neighbour? Sure you might have to take their darlings one day but you can come up with all sorts of excuses as to why you shouldn't!

If like me though you sometimes forget to pick up your children from school, then you should follow me and the School Run Tweet reminders from 2:30 every afternoon!

*Sally isn't really a bad parent, she is just erm Unorthodox.