7 days. We are 7 days into the school holidays and already I feel like I should be sewing name tags into PE knickers*. OK, I get it. I know that as parents we’re responsible for kitting the crew out ready for the first day of term. I know it makes sense to just get it out of the way as quickly as possible, weeping into our ever-emptying purses as we go.

(*Pah, ha, ha AS IF!! I’ll be using my trusty Sharpie to scrawl initials onto washing labels like every year!)

We’re all used to seeing ‘Back to School’ signs in-store before the kids have even broken up for the holidays, I’ve already seen a few blog posts on the subject too but I’m sticking firmly to my usual Head-in-Sand technique. Is it too much to ask to just NOT have to think about school for a while? School-runs, PE kits, fundraisers, parents evenings, homework, packed lunches, random costume requests, assemblies, sports days, sick days, school trips, Nativity plays, birthday party politics, Harvest festival, after-school clubs, lost property, show and tell and the endless list of things that make up the school year – please can we just enjoy our holidays happily in denial that it’s all there waiting for us again in a few weeks time?

This will be my fourth year of ‘doing uniforms’ so I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be any different this time round. Here’s my personal method to dealing with the back-to-school prep (I’m not suggesting it will work for everyone):

  • Read emails from M&S advertising 20% off uniforms in June. Make mental note to take advantage of this offer saving time and money before the holidays start. Completely forget (mental notes are no longer a reliable form of reminder, make pointless mental note to write everything down, or even better set reminder on phone so I can’t forget to read it.) Remember the day after the offer has expired.
  • Ditto Startrite.
  • Spend 5 weeks not thinking about school
  • Plan a quick trip to Clarks to get the kids feet measured.
  • Approach the clipboard wielding member of staff and add your name to the waiting list (page 7) along with the entire population of Bedfordshire with children under the age of 12.
  • Have the mental ‘Should I pop next door for socks/water bottles/hair bobbles while I’m waiting?’ debate. Decide not to risk it.
  • Follow 5yr old around putting sparkly shoes with flashy bits back on the shelf, explaining why they’re not an option for school shoes and trying to ‘big up’ the lovely plain black, tat-free pair.
  • Thank God for 7 yr old boys who just want to get any pair and get out!
  • Purchase 2 pairs of ridiculously expensive school shoes, safe in the knowledge that after one day in the playground they will resemble something Worzel Gummidge might wear.
  • Momentarily feel victorious before remembering you still need to buy uniform!
  • Rifle through rails of uniform in the hope of finding anything other than age 15-16 polo shirts.
  • Feel a bit sick
  • Spend the rest of the day online sourcing the required items/sizes (speedy delivery obviously) and hoping everything fits.
  • Hunt out old school bags – containing homework form to be completed over the holiday! Quickly Google stuff. Print, cut, stick while child reluctantly labels things.
  • Bath, bed, book, lights out.
  • Wine.
  • Set alarm.
  • Make mental note to be more prepared next year.

Like I said, my way may not be the most pain-free approach to Back to School, but somehow, every year I manage to present the kids at the school-gate in a shiny new, grossly oversized uniform, ready to be adorned with biro, grass stains and a number of unidentified mystery stains in the coming weeks.

Ironically I live just around the corner from the official school uniform supplier and walk past a lovely display of embroidered badges and printed logos on a daily basis – it literally couldn’t be easier for me. Maybe I’m just a bit ‘homework on the bus’, maybe I should be a sensible, organised, responsible grown-up but actually we’re far too busy learning to ride without stabilisers and chilling on the paddling pool while we can!

So are you a super-organised Smuggy McSmuggerson or a bit of a Last Minute Larry like me??? Either way I hope you are enjoying the holidays so far! x

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  1. For us school actually starts back in a week. Although my little bear is only two I work for an alternative school program and am so not prepared. I’m definitely more like you in the last minute department. Oh my goodness your back to school list is making me nervous about when mine starts school. #ForTheLoveOfBlog

  2. This is so good! One of those posts that you just nod and laugh out loud to. I’m so like you…on actually everything! We get to the school gate at the same time on the first day as everyone else, but just with a very different story to tell. I know. (nods) Alison x #ablogginggoodtime

  3. Found you! He He! This is brilliant…And Oh so familiar! We do continue to live spookily parallel lives methinks!
    I am definitely not Smuggy MacSmugface…Last year Emily had to wear black trainers for her first day back at school because I foolishly thought her Worsel Gummidge shoes would still fit! I may have made some homemade cushions for our study but she had a button missing on her cardigan for most of the year. I’m juts glad they sell school uniforms in Morrisons now so I can throw a few oversized polo shirts in with the spinach and ricotta (do we have to have this every week, Mum) Tortelloni.

    Great read as always #Fortheloveofblog

    (P.S. I did a vlog of me singing about my chin hair to My Way but it was after a bit of Merlot so I don’t know if it will ever see the light of day…Well maybe after the voting closes of the Interior Blog Awards (DIY and Craft nominee)

    1. See? I listened re short titles! 🙂 Ha ha I think you may even be worse than me. Ironically I was in a huge ASDA today and actually bought uniform and PE trainers for both kids – does that make me Smug Mum now or does it not count if it was unplanned?? 🙂 🙂
      OMG the world needs an ode to chin hair- give it to us! Where’s the link so I can vote Mrs?

      1. I have just watched my chin hair vlog again and I may need to move to the Outer Hebrides if I ever release it. I think it would have to be a podcast rather than a video of my gurning face trying to hit the higher register! Voting doesn’t start until next Monday with the interior awards and there will be a blog post from moi begging for votes….I don’t know whether I’ve got any chance but hey ho! You only needed one nomination to get through to the voting stages and mum rang all of her mates to make sure.

        I was saying to Emma at IslandLiving365 that I would blow everyone out of the water if there was a Blog award for Best FAFFER….Actually, I think Flea Enterprises need to have a FAFF100 and I would totally trounce A Mummy Too and Tiger Lilly Quinn. He He.

        I am now going to zoom over to Twitter and DM you as I need to ask you a blog related question which doesn’t fit with this blog post comment….To be honest, I’ve completely forgotten what your post was about now because I have waffled on about chin hairs and awards…

        RIght. I’m going now…DOn’t try and call me back 😉

  4. Hah! I loved this as it’s totally me too. I absolutely hate the Preparation for the New School Year and I will wait right till the very end of school holidays to start! Shops are crazy and I always cannot find that one type of pencil or pen they need to have. My trick to the school uniform shopping is I always buy them in the last couple of weeks in the school year – no queue and no fuss. But I am so happy that my elder two are in High School now, so I simply pass them the money and they buy it for themselves but yes, I still “sharpie” every single school item because if it can go missing, it will! Hope you make it to the start of school. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  5. Personally I am just thanking my lucky stars that all that September is bringing for me this year is a return to our lovely friendly cosy little nursery for my eldest. She is September born so I get a whole n’other year with her before the whole school nonsense begins, and as she was two weeks overdue I am thanking the Lord of Stretch and Sweeps that she stayed defiantly in situ as long as she did 4 years ago! However…. next year lovely I will be relying on you to guide me and teach me with your words of wisdom. I will neeeeeeed you!! 😉 Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

    1. Aww it’s a big deal when they start school. Spud is Sept too which I think is great for them when they do start, that extra year makes such a difference. Flump still seems so babyish to me (March baby) and she’s going into Yr1! Thanks for hosting xx

  6. Oo good – not just me then. I do have ONE smug friend who is always the carrier of wet wipes, always has back up plan spare knickers (kids obvs), always knows where the loo’s are, who is super organised re:school too. But it takes me all my might to not trip her up/splash her with Ribena/poke her in the eye. I can cope with just one friend like that. (She works in admin btw) The rest of the time I like to surround myself with like minded, last minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-(unironed)pants girls. We’re more fun at parties 😉 #friendforlife

    1. I have a super-organised friend too, she’s so clued up on everything from the school syllabus to local events for kids and always has emergency snacks/tissues/wet wipes on hand too – she’s amazing at all that stuff! I’m definitely more from the ‘suck it and see’ school of parenting!! 🙂

  7. Hee hee – this made me laugh – I am very definitely – it’s summmmmmer, we don’t want to think about school yet (I’m a teacher too!) #BigPinkLink

  8. Oh crud I have so much to get still ha! Luckily I have recently worked with M&S who have kindly provided a lot of the uniform for me, but they both need new this that and the other apparently and tweens do not have cheap tastes…. wish me luck 😉

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  9. I was reading this, thinking this is going to be me in 2 short years. My son currently goes to pre-school and I am so disorganised, there is always something I’ve forgotten to do or pack! I’m a nightmare. Great post – really enjoyed it! #ablogginggoodtime

  10. I’m a last minute larry like you (I’m pretty much last minute in every aspect in my life). I am just not organised. I will and have picked up a school jumper (with 20% off) and think should I buy it but then think nah its too soon!! I would save myself so much stress and money if I was organised – but its just not how I roll. #ablogginggoodtime

  11. Oh we are so not sorted with this! My stepson is 12 and we still have the yearly battles reminding that bright turquoise trainers are not acceptable school shoes…but I’m with you, we need some time before worrying about all of this! Maybe until at least the last week in August? Love this post xx #bigpinklink

  12. My eldest is starting school in September and I have to confess I’m ignoring the back to school things everywhere at the moment as I’m still a bit in denial! We do have her uniform though and I still have loads of the sticky labels we used for preschool – just need to get around to actually labelling things! #ablogginggoodtime

  13. What a great post! You’ve prepared me for all the in organisation that I’ll be facing next Summer!! I always kick myself after discount offers end! Oh well I’m sure your kids will look great in whatever they turn up to school in. Good luck!!! Enjoy that Merlot X #brillblogposts X Sunita

  14. Do I need to keep being organised and prepend when they get older. I find sorting out just the nursery bag every day an arduous task. The shoe thing would definitely annoy me, I have heard they are expensive too (I’ve not looked). You’re right I’ve seen so many posts about dreading the 6 week summer holiday, we should enjoy it and not enjoy the worries of not having to adhere to the usual routine. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Have a lovely summer school holiday. Claire x

  15. Oh Goodness your title alone makes my skin prickle with fear. As a kid I used to HATE seeing those dreaded Back to School signs up in shops in July, and not much has changed now I’m an adult! This will be my second year of going to school in Sept and I’ll think I’ll be a little bit more relaxed than last year. But I’ve still got mental notes flying around my brain of all the stuff I’ve still got to buy. Mental notes don’t last long in my brain either! I agree, school holidays should be a complete break for all of us so carry on enjoying your paddling pool. I’ll be joining you in Clarks at the end of August for the long queue for feet measuring! #BloggerClubUK X

  16. I actually just sat this morning and have ordered all the kids uniform and school coats. I have it in my planner that on monday we are out buying school shoes and trainers and then that is it we are done 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

      1. Its crazy isn’t it lol. Mine are all tiny so school uniform is still cheap and they wear what I buy… I’m going to miss that in a few years when the stuff I want them to wear isn’t “cool” anymore haha

  17. Feel a bit sick…haha lol loved that bit..they day they broke up I bought 2 packs of Sainsburys polo shirts as all the sized go..and two drinks bottles…then I felt really bloody proud of myself. I will ignore the shoes, labelling etc till the day before when my smugness will wear off and I will panic shop and cry in Clarks…:) #ablogginggoodtime xx

  18. My son starts pre-school in Sept and I’m already feeling the pressure to get his uniform sorted and he’s only going three mornings a week! Love your strategies 😉 #bloggerclubuk

  19. I am in complete denial that school will be starting soon. That we have not done one iota of shopping (frugalista’s). That soon the sun will set earlier and we’ll stop having after dinner walks and ice cream. Wait, I am the adult here, right? Oy vey… M’wah! <3 <3 <3 #fartglitter

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