Christmas had to come to an end some time, and yesterday marked the dreaded return to school for many of our little ones. While the comedown from the hype of the festive season is difficult for the kids, we’re sparing a thought for you poor mums who are now back to the school run. You will no doubt be able to relate to these six stages of the dreaded back to school routine.
You’re still in that magical, Christmastime buzz, and refuse to believe that the most wonderful time of the year is over. Those two odd weeks of excited children on their best behaviour, late afternoon lie-ins and lazy days are about to end for another year, but you’re not ready to let go just yet. Your solution is to hound into the leftovers of the Roses and throw on Love Actually – it’s still Christmas in your head.
Eventually you realise that you can’t put it off any longer, and by midnight on Sunday it’s clear that there is no escaping what is coming the following day. Reluctantly, you tear yourself off the couch and trudge into the kitchen to make the lunches and iron the uniforms. The holiday is over, and in a couple of hours you’ll be back to tearing tired, cranky kids from their warm comfy beds, and 8am traffic jams. You’d reach for the chocolate to help you through the dread, but you’ve eaten it all.
3. The snooze manoeuvre
You’re nesting in your cosy, warm bed, dreaming of George Clooney, when all of a sudden an annoying ringing sound disturbs you. Eventually you open your eyes, only to realise that it’s the alarm, it’s 6:30am and it’s time to get up. You revert back to your eight-year-old’s tactics and say ‘Just 10 more minutes’, hitting snooze on the clock. After repeating the process at least five times, it’s up to your little one to come in and pull you from the bed. The snooze manoeuvre can only delay the agony for so long.
4. Breakfast-time tantrum
You’ve managed to make it downstairs to where your lifesaver, the coffee pot, is waiting to help ease you back into this hellish routine. However, no sooner have you set the cereals down before your little darlings start to kick up a fuss. Yes, back to school also marks the return of the breakfast-time tantrum. The six-year-old’s milk is warm, the eight-year-old is begging for his first taste of coffee, and the 10-year-old is wondering why the ‘chocolate for breakfast’ rule is suddenly redundant. Ah yes, it’s good to be back.
5. Traffic hell
It sounds dramatic, but when you’ve sat in a traffic jam for forty minutes to the sounds of Let It Go and the little darlings tearing each other’s hair out, you begin to think that hell is a place on Earth. The worst part is knowing that if you had managed to drag yourself out of bed five minutes earlier, you would now be kissing the kids goodbye at the gate and maybe even on the way home to sneak in an extra forty winks.
6. The calm before the storm
When you finally get home, it’s time to address that mountain of washing and breakfast clutter. So much for sneaking in a power nap! You find, however, that some caffeinated sustenance and your favourite CD – teamed with an eerily quiet house – makes for a peaceful morning, and before you know it you’re appreciating being back in the old routine. As you sit down with a cuppa to catch some midday TV, you can’t help but smile with relief; this is a precious moment, and come 2:30, you’ll be caught up in the madness once again!