A back to school gripe.

It’s been 2-and-a-half weeks since Olivia went back to school.

I wasn’t sure how she would cope with the leap from Reception to Year One. Her school days are now more structured around lessons. Her teacher is more stern than the last.

I’m pleased to report that she has adjusted to life in Year One just fine.

I, on the other hand, have not adjusted quite so well.

Don’t get me wrong, we (Olivia and I) are coping with the increase in homework. We are coping with the expectation to read together every day (we do this already).

My husband and I are rejoicing at the option of free school meals.

What I am not coping so well with is the morning school routine.

It’s a strange thing; I loved having my children at home and being able to do so many things with them during the summer (when I wasn’t working of course), but part of me couldn’t wait for school to start. And now it has, I don’t feel ready.

Still don’t.

Let me explain, over the summer our normal morning routine went out of the window. Olivia knew she didn’t have school the next day so would push the boundaries at bedtime, doing her best to stay up late. William would obviously follow her lead and any quality time that my husband and I wanted to spend together evaporated.

It was chaos. And it was exhausting.

I know my husband couldn’t wait for school to start again, to give us our evenings back.

With both children back to school (Olivia at primary school and William at pre-school), bedtimes during the week are easily enforced. Olivia and William know they can’t stay up late because they have to be up early the next day.

That’s the good news.

What isn’t quite as good news is that I no longer have to get just myself up in the mornings.

No, I also have to coax Olivia and William out of bed – something that can prove challenging at times – and get them fed and dressed for my mother-in-law before I have to leave the house to catch my train to work.

You would think I’d be used to it after spending the past year perfecting our morning school routine, but the 6-week break from school has left us out of practice.

Our routine has also changed slightly this year. For example, my 5-year-old has decided she wants a shower every morning rather than an evening bath. So that’s more time I have to find.

We had our weekday routine down to a tee during the last school year. It worked well for us.

I still get school bags and clothes ready the night before – thank goodness I do – so that it lessens the load at the start of each day.

But with a few changes needed to our morning routine, as well as having a lot of illness in the family to contend with right now, our routine isn’t running quite as smoothly as before… yet.

We will get there again, of course we will, it’s just taking a little longer than I thought.

What’s your morning school routine like? Have you got it sussed or do you wing it every morning?

Or do you have a different back to school gripe?

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