The 12 lies you tell yourself at the start of term one.

I am your quintessential best-intentioned mother. No really. Every year, I promise myself, in fact I almost swear on something holy that I will not, I repeat, I will NOT, allow myself to slip back into my notoriously lax parenting, especially when it comes to school related matters.

I lose track you see. I have three children, all of varying ages and all of varying degrees of difficulty. They all go to different schools and therefore, (and if you’re a parent you’ll instantly understand the next sentence) receive a tonne of different weekly emails.

My question to all parents is: WHEN did this happen? The constant barrage of emails updates about free dress day and some guy from far East Africa coming to speak to the students and a delay in school reports and second hand text book sales and FAR out, all I can think is how the hell did my mother get through my childhood without this many updates? I guess she just read the squished, hot messy newsletters in the bottom of our schoolbags?

Bern with her husband and three children. Image: Supplied.

All I know is that as a mother in the 21st century, I struggle to keep up. And I tell myself a lot of lies as a consequence just to feel sane. Ones I don’t intentionally make to break, it’s just that they, thus far, seem to be a bit of a continuing theme. So here are twelve lies I tell myself I’ll TOTALLY be on top of in their first week back at school.

1. I will never miss another book week costume parade.


2. I will never again, send my child to school with taco shells as a substitute for a sandwich (I did this once okay, only ONCE).

3. I will volunteer at the canteen at least one time this year.

4. I will make delicious, nutritious and ecologically sustainable meals for my child daily. Okay, so no, I won’t be experimenting with quinoa rolls, eggplant tarts or kale tacos but you know, it’ll be better than a milk arrowroot and a cream bun. Let’s face it, it’s like a fancy lunch box arms race we parents are drawn into, and I’ll be honest, I don’t have to the time to devote to it. Especially when the reality is, most kids would prefer a tasty ham sandwich.

5. I will look inside their school bag each day when they get home and remove all of their school notices.

6. I will make sure that ALL of their homework is completed. On time.

This year, homework will always come before YouTube trawling. Image via iStock.

7. I will have their school uniforms pressed and ready Sunday evenings.

8. Breakfasts will not consist of a hastily thrown piece of bread into the toaster with Vegemite.

9. We’ll be on time to school. Every morning.

10. I will hold my tongue at the Parents and Teachers Association meetings when I disagree with something,


11. All the kids shoe necessities will be sorted out. Look, any parent knows this fact, children’s feet DO NOT STOP GROWING. I’ve grown wise over time and realised that I don’t buy school shoes until at least the week before they return to school. Otherwise I’m basically just throwing money away.

12. I will not lose my mind in the car on the way to school. Every parent understands this sentiment. I don’t want to be angry on the way to their school. But when I’ve asked for the fifteenth time for them to be ready before a certain time and I still have a dead eyed child looking at his feet as though he’s only just realised they exist, it’s fair to say, I get a bit cranky.

"When I’ve asked for the fifteenth time for them to be ready before a certain time and I still have a dead eyed child looking at his feet as though he’s only just realised they exist, it’s fair to say, I get a bit cranky." Image via iStock.

So, okay, I don’t pretend to be a perfect Mum. I do profess however to have the very best of intentions when it comes to my children. I think the beginning of a new school year feels like a clean slate. One you can write your own promises and examples upon. No, we don’t all get there and no, we don’t always follow through with most of these BUT we try and maybe, for at least at few weeks, our kids get the very best of us.

What lies do you tell yourself before the first week back at school?