So let’s be real – I’m disorganised. I’m busy. I work. I have two small children and I am also hopelessly disorganised in my personal life. I need a personal assistant with super powers to come in and “Japanese Fold” my personal life into a beautiful, colour coordinated spreadsheet.
This endearing disorganisation means that I often double book friends (they love that), turn up to children’s birthday parties on the wrong date (sorry Sophie) and that our family regularly plays Russian roulette as to whether we have any consumable milk in the house (“Mummy the milk has chunks in it”).
However, it has become apparent as my eldest child has started Kindy, that I need to develop some serious strategies to cope with the demands of modern schooling if any of us are going to survive these formative years without developing a nervous twitch.
So here is antidote to the Instagram lunchboxes – how to survive school as a disorganised parent.
1. Befriend a super-parent
I cannot stress the benefits of this strategy enough. Find an organised, details orientated, ‘got it together’ super mum. They’re fairly easy to spot. They and their children are impeccably groomed – braids, starched socks, ironed shorts. Their belongings all have personalised, professional name labels. I’ve used this technique for most of my parenting to date – I saw a girl with a good blow dry when Madeleine was 6 weeks old and made a bee line for the chair next to her at our first mothers’ group. Claire has helpfully guided my through development – ‘we’re doing solids now’, ‘have you taken the kids to the dentist?’, ‘its time for 12 month immunisations’. She is baffled by the chaos.
2. The What’s App Group Chat
Suggest that as a community experience you start a class What’s App group. There are bound to be some wonderful over achievers reminding you about Book Week/Teddy Bear Picnic/Easter/It’s Monday.
Who said an old drink bottle can’t be your ‘Show and Tell’? Work with the limited stock you have available. If using this strategy regularly be prepared for pushback from your small human – they don’t always want to go as Mary Poppins for Book Week just because you have a broken umbrella in your car.
4. Bring the kitchen sink
If your child is convinced that its superhero, library, excursion day why not bring it all to school. Last Friday I was so terrified of missing a necessary item that I took the library bag, show and tell and a superhero costume only be told that she only needed her lunchbox.
5. Teach self-reliance
I’m currently trying to teach Madeleine the requirements for each day of Kindy. “Now remember it’s Monday and that’s library day’. I’ll be honest, there may be a touch of hoping to blame share with my four year old when we both forget.
Jokes aside – I wish I was more organised. I try to be more organised but regularly lose my keys, phone and the kitchen sink plug (this is actually a real issue in our house). I don’t love my kids any less. It just sometimes takes me 2-3 trips back home before they’re ready and equipped for the day.