Here's literally what every school parent is thinking before Term 4 ends.

Thanks to our brand partner, OfficeMax

Well hello, fellow strung-out parents of school-age children. It’s finally term four and we’re on the home stretch, staggering toward the end-of-year finish line through the inevitable concerts, school assemblies and catchups, thinking – are we there yet?

Well, I’m not even close. I’ve done zero Christmas shopping and I’m not sure I’ve even put my holiday leave in yet.

I know I’m not alone here, so as part of my coping strategy I’ve done a rundown of what we’re all facing as the year wraps up, a couple of things we all can look forward to and some tips to help you get ready ahead of time for the next school year so you can kick back and enjoy the hols, stress free…

Current situation: Eat. Sleep. School. Repeat.

The kids are frazzled by exams, my partner and I are zombies, and even the dog knows the morning routine so well he stands at the back door ready to go at 7.30am every single morning. Sound familiar?

Another concert? Can’t wait!

We have already been to two end-of-year concerts and have another two to go, plus a school musical to help with. Sport and school presentation days are upon us, and next Sunday morning I’ll be up bright and early for yet another one. I’ll probably see you there!

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    Drama Club have been waiting for this moment all year. Image: GIPHY.

Thank you. And you. And you.

The “thank you” presents have begun. I believe teachers are worth their weight in diamonds and I’m always happy to contribute to their thank you gift (ditto coaches and volunteer team managers). But why does every other assistant hanger-on who’s spent five minutes with my kid this year (and been paid to do so) need a $20 donation towards a thank you present? I might sound like a tight-arse, but it’s getting expensive!

But the good news is, there’s plenty to look forward to once we get over that finish line. Keep the faith, good people, the best is yet to come.

No more school lunches!

Surely, we’re all counting down to no more school lunches. It’s safe to say my kids have had more than their fair share of the ham sandwich and apple combo. I’m bored of making it, and they’re bored of eating it. I’d love to be one of those mums who makes carrot flowers and smiley-face cream cheese and smoked salmon wraps for their kids, but I don’t have the time or, frankly, the imagination.


Less traffic = more sleep

If you live in a city like Sydney, you’re all too familiar with the difference school holidays makes to peak-hour traffic. I can take at least half an hour off my morning commute in the holidays because there’s significantly less traffic on the road. And when I catch public transport to work in the holidays I get to sit down. Every time. All the way to work. Luuuuxury! But above all else, both of these options mean the best thing of all… half an hour’s extra sweet, beautiful, lovely sleep. And that stuff’s priceless.

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   Not me when it’s school holidays! Image: GIPHY.

Every day is pyjama day!

When school breaks up, getting dressed for the day is entirely optional (unless you actually have to leave the house. We do have some standards). Mac and cheese is a totally acceptable lunch. There are no morning alarms, no set routines and we can just take days as they come. Is it Tuesday or Thursday today? WHO CARES!

A word to the wise: the booklist! Don’t forget the booklist!

The only problem with school holidays is that time flies, and eventually they come to an end – and this can sneak up on us. To really pull off a relaxing break does take a bit of forward planning. There’s one hot tip that can take some of the back-to-school pressure off before you kick off your shoes for the holidays, and that’s getting your kids’ booklists done early. I learned this the hard way last January.

Oh, maybe I’ll just do it in January…

No. Just no. Last year I chose to ignore the booklist until the last possible moment. This turned out to be a very bad idea. I ended up running around three different stores the day before school went back trying to get everything my girls needed to start the year. And let me tell you, when you’re on your third store trying to find a protractor at the last minute you’re in a dark place, emotionally. Any hard-earned relaxation I had from the holidays evaporated in one crazy afternoon, and I learned my lesson.


Can I do it online?

Yessiree! This year I’m jumping on it early and ordering before Christmas. The kind people of Officemax have set up a special parent portal that makes it super easy for parents of primary and secondary school kids to order everything they need in minutes.

All you have to do is go to the OfficeMax website and enter the name of your school to see if your school has uploaded their booklist. Note: The school needs to be signed up to OfficeMax for it to work.

If they are, it’s only a couple of clicks on your phone, tablet or laptop as you grab what you need, whizz through checkout and forget about it until it arrives on your doorstep. No parking to deal with, no running around and no night-before panic. It’s back-to-school made easy.

If you order now (Zip Pay is available too), delivery is free and they’ll also guarantee delivery before school starts so they’ll be good to go on day one. Plus, when you shop with OfficeMax you automatically go in the draw to win the cost of your booklist back (and who wouldn’t love that around Christmas time?).

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The dream. Image: GIPHY.

Holidays, I’m coming for you!

Now I’m feeling super organised and massively relieved that I won’t have a school to-do list hanging over my head all holidays. In fact, I’m feeling so smug I’m wondering what else I can do to make my life easier… maybe I can wrap up the kids’ stationery and pass it off as Christmas presents?

I’m also contemplating making all of term one 2019’s lunches in one day and freezing them in advance. What could possibly go wrong…


OfficeMax is here to help you get back to school sorted so you can enjoy the holidays without their booklist hanging over your head.
If your child’s school has signed up to OfficeMax you can shop everything online for back to school from stationery to lunchboxes and textbooks. And by shopping with OfficeMax, you’ll instantly go into the draw to win the cost of your booklist back!
Click here to find your child’s school booklist.

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