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Zen and the art of the morning school drop-off


Zen and the art of the morning school drop-off

Sami Muirhead is sick of starting each day frazzled and has put a call out to other mums for advice on how to manage the morning mayhem.

Our mornings are not exactly Zen. I want to be all Angelina Jolie in her UNICEF ambassador role as we start the morning. I dream of calmly sending my cherub offspring into the world to find wonder in every beautiful step. However, I am more like Angelina when she went through that weird crazy stage of wearing a vial of blood around her neck. You know. A bit possessed or something. On some days, I look like a banshee complete with spinning head and gurgling noises of panic.

The morning mayhem and school scramble leave me swearing I will do it better tomorrow. Because I do not like hustle and bustle. I adore my kids and I want to be a good parent and lead the way by example by being present and calm. But the morning rush is my damn kryptonite. I know I will miss these frenetic years, but they are a little stressful.

“Clean your teeth. Now! Teeth! Now! Teeth! Teeeeth!” can pretty much be heard down the entire street in my efforts to get the three kids out the door before the school bell rings. “Go! Go! Go! Now! Go! Go! Go!” is my next chain of command to try to shove them into the car. “Ruuuuuuuuunn. Just ruuuunnn!”are often the final words they hear as I drag them across the car park as the bell is ringing.

The kids of course find every excuse under the sun to not get ready for school and think the morning is the perfect time to start to read a book or tip out the entire tub of Lego or insist on porridge for breakfast. The other sock can never be found. The sports hat is missing. The backpack has gone. And the bread is all too often mouldy or I plain forgot to buy it. One friend I shall not name (Maya) asked me once if I put maca powder in my kids’ smoothies each morning. Smoothies? Mine get burnt toast with a scrape of butter. On a good day.

In an attempt to gain some calm into the cocoon, I asked my friends for some advice. The response was overwhelming. Preparation is clearly key. For the achievers, they all said having the uniforms laid out is a must, a ban on iPads and TV is in play, the lunches are made the night before and a visual chart helps a lot.

But here are some of the funniest responses from my dear friends. Samantha wisely told me, “Just have stronger coffee”. Kellie suggested wine for breakfast. Bec recommended putting the wine in a traveller mug so everyone thinks it’s coffee. Lisa the rebel is late every day, but literally dances across the school car park in a bubble of bliss with her teenage son and says we should enjoy the most important meal of the day with our kids and just don’t stress about missing the roll call. Life is too short.

Thank you wise mums for your advice. I will start with baby steps, a new attitude, and a gleaming traveller mug.


Sami Muirhead is a radio announcer, blogger and commentator. For more from Sami tune into Mix FM.

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