Seven Things I Hate About Back To School


This is by no means a complaint against teachers. I love teachers – they provide free babysitting five days a week so I can do housework.

  1. Alarms. I haven’t used an alarm in months. It’s been lovely. But apparently I have to get up before 7am now. And I say ‘before 7am’ so I don’t sound as lazy as if I said ‘before 9am’, which is more in line with recent daily routines. Thing is, I’ve just trained the kids to make their own breakfast and watch ABC2 and not come into my bedroom every single morning (read as ‘late morning’), and now I’m expected to get out of bed just after sunrise! I hate this so much.
  2. Lunches. This means some sort of planning rather than opening the pantry and trying to make sense of the ingredients. Who wants a ham and jam sandwich? Cucumber and lettuce? It was a rhetorical question. I don’t care.
  3. Uniforms. I will pick the least stained and hole-filled shirt for the first day of school so they don’t stand out amongst the other well turned out kids. After that they’ll look pretty much the same as last year. And if I need to buy a new piece of uniform, because other parents type ‘sold’ faster than me on Facebook when a school shirt pops up in my feed, just accept they’ll be way too big – they’re so expensive these days they need to last until they’ve finished grade 12.
  4. Timing. School starts at about nine but the pubs don’t open until ten. What’s the go with that? (joking) And school finishes at 3pm but most people don’t get out of work until 5pm. Who decided this stuff and why do they hate parents? (not joking)
  5. Stationery. Not sure you’re going to find hand sanitiser under the word ‘stationery’ in a dictionary. I had to buy some of those too, so I looked it up. Not there. Also, for a country with free mandatory education we’re certainly expected to dig deep into our pockets at this time of year. I really don’t mind too much buying exercise books and pencils, but tissues? Really? If you make the kids cry that much I’d question if you’ve made the right career choice.
  6. Homework. I’m convinced homework is about blame shifting. You’ve got these kids for about six hours – if you can’t get them to learn stuff in that time what makes you think we can do it between cooking dinner and showers? Think about it, we had them for the five years before they started school and still hadn’t taught them to stop picking their noses. Please stop trying to involve us in homework because we don’t have a degree in teaching. We’re still working on teaching them to make their bloody beds of a morning.
  7. Hats. Can they leave the damn things at school? You seem to place a lot more emphasis on hats than I do, so let’s remove them from my equation. I’m so sick of looking for the things and they’re usually in the school lost property box anyway.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • I agree Bruce! I had also trained mine to get up & get their breakfast. Now I need to get up & take them to school & they need hats lunches etc! I want longer holidays lol. Can I just add you made me lol with number 6 re: the tissues. A very good point you have raised ?

  • On the tissue issue: I would think it was obvious, but if you are unsure it’s because children are sent to school with colds and are constantly demanding tissues. Most schools don’t provide tissues. You should see the horrified looks you get if you suggest the student use some toilet paper instead.

  • You weren’t made to have children… If you were lucky enough to have them then all of the above is part of the deal. Complain about real problems ie sick children in hospital who won’t ever be well enough to attend school!

    • I find maintaining a sense of humour helps 🙂 Not sure you understand that’s what my blog is all about. I’m not complaining, just making a couple of observations

  • I agree on all of the above lol. Kids become so independent when on holidays only to slip back into mum does it all because we go to school.

  • I love this Bruce!

    I NEVER fight the homework battle! Well not yet anyway, i might have to start it this year with my eldest in yr 9. That said if he doesn’t do it there are consequences at school from his teachers and he won’t get the grades he wants and has been enjoying up to this point.

    I say this as a mum WITH A TEACHING DEGREE! It still isn’t my job to educate the kids! They don’t listen to me anyway! I can’t get them to pick their dirty clothes up off the floor so how am I ever going to get them to learn about the sustainable land management of the coastal environment in Australia and how man has impacted the environment! (I am a geo/history) teacher! Sure I have about one advantage over you that is the degree but the reality is i am not cut out to teach my kids anything!

    My son toilet trained himself because I used old style cloth nappies and left him in them until he wanted out! And my twins I had major abdominal surgery hired a nanny and got her to do it! So I didn’t even teach them to use the toilet.

    If I had wanted to sit down all zen like and do homework with the kids I wouldn’t pay bloody school fees and send them to school I would homeschool! I could save myself a fortune in lots of things! But I am not homeschooling so please don’t send it home unless it is necessary!

    Ahhh hats … I could care less if they wear them or not and frankly it is up to my kids to remember them if they don’t there is no dropping it up there by me! Well apart from that I can’t drive at the moment I wouldn’t anyway I have a life!

    Be thankful you are only buying hand sanitiser and tissues! I know of some people that have to supply loo paper as well! I just hope all the money the school is saving on NOT buying supplies like tissues, hand wash and toilet paper they are actually putting back into actual reusable resources like books for the school. (Hey when my dad grew up he had to use newspaper for the loo so perhaps we could do that at least it would be recycling.) lol

    Have a great weekend. Guess what the best news is we get to do it all again next week!

  • My daughter is supposed to start school tomorrow but I am so baffled by the school system in this country, and it irks me on so many levels, that I decided to leave her at daycare one more year (they follow the early learning program anyway) so I don’t have to deal today with the excruciating decision of sending her to school…

    See, where I am from, education is public (a good 90% of it, anyway) and free. Low income families receive a payment a couple of weeks before school starts, for books and stationery. There is no such a thing as (horrible looking, by the way. Who would dress kids or themselves this way if it wasn’t for school?) uniforms – everyone is free to dress the way they want and even express themselves through what they wear. There is no need for lunch boxes because every school has a canteen where, for between $2.5 and $5 per day (depending on the parents’ income), kids get a 3-course meal. School starts at 8.30, breaks for 2 hours for lunch (so kids can take the time to eat and digest and play and relax) and finishes between 4.30pm (for kindy and primary) and 5pm to 6pm (for high-school).

    How are parents supposed to work, in Australia, with such school hours? How parents can afford paying school fees and other associated expenses? How can parents teach their kids about diversity, if we make them believe that we all should look the same in order to live and to work well together? How are kids supposed to enjoy food and make healthy choices later on in life, if they are not taught to appreciate food, and have instead to quickly eat cold food (often the same boring, repetitive food) in the playground or wherever they can sit, without even having the time to digest before rushing back to “work”? I just don’t get it…

    That being said, no country is perfect: alarms and homework are very much a pain everywhere! 🙂

    Good luck everyone for the first day back to school tomorrow 🙂

    • I think school uniforms are fantastic. They engender school pride and prevent students from either a) overdressing or b) feeling bad/being bullied if they cannot afford clothes as nice as the other kids. Everyone is wearing the same thing. It promotes equality and unity as a whole group. If you can’t teach your kids about diversity just because everyone’s wearing the same thing, I think you’ve got a misguided definition of ‘diversity’. Also, re: lunch breaks, they are plenty long enough. At both my primary school and highschool, morning tea was about 30 minutes long while lunch was about 45 minutes long. That is heaps of time to eat, nobody is having to eat anything quickly. As for learning to ‘enjoy food and make healthy choices’?? We’re talking about 5 meals a week here! You have them at home for the other 16 meals a week, you teach them to enjoy food and make healthy choices. How is a meal bought at school any more likely to teach them how to make healthy choices than a home-packed lunch? And I’m glad I don’t live somewhere where I have to pay $5 every day for my kid’s lunch!

      Oh btw education is free in Australia too (unless you choose to send your child to a private school), so I don’t know where your comment about school fees comes from.

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