A Day in the Life of a Typical School Mum


That would be me! If you’ve ever wondered what parents who aren’t working do all day while their children are at school, or if you do know but would like a peek into my non-working day anyway, this is for you.

Yesterday was the first one back at school for my three eldest kids. We had a great holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the break from our usual hectic routine.

This year we have children in Year 6, Year 4, and Year 1, and the two littlies go to preschool for a couple of days a week. When I dropped off my son to his classroom this morning a teacher told us mothers, “You should take yourselves off and have a coffee with your pals, you need a treat after that long school holiday”!

“I’d love to ,” said one. “But I have to go and clean my house!”

I didn’t feel free to celebrate either. I still have a few years to go before I can think of killing time without any children on a weekday! Still, it was a good day.

We all got up early, because my husband wanted to take some photos and I wanted to walk my son to his classroom.

8.30am. I brought the little ones home after the school drop-off and they played while I did a speed clean of the bathrooms, quick tidy of the house, and vacuum of all the floors. I made today’s school lunches (sandwiches) and popped them into the fridge.

10am. Morning tea was biscuits and fruit, then we hopped into the car and went to the shops.

10.30-12pm. Did some browsing, bought some groceries and lots of contact to cover all the school books that will be coming home for the next few days. Our two-year old fell asleep in his stroller and got his nap that way.

12-1.30. Came home, cooked up two-minute noodles for the boys lunch, heated leftover pasta for mine. Played a few games of Pop Up Pirate, the boys’ current favourite, and musical chairs and hide-and-seek, which are perennial favourites.

1.30- 2.30. Turned on the TV for the boys, did a little prayer, checked in with a friend whose eldest child started kindergarten, started this blog post, did some dinner prep, and started decluttering a cupboard I’ve been eyeing off all holidays.

2.30-3.30. Got the boys ready to go out again, picked up the big kids, found out all their news over afternoon tea, and started collecting lunchboxes and drink bottles, reading notes and signing diaries.

The children had no homework or after-school activities, and my husband came home a little earlier than usual so it was a fairly relaxed afternoon and evening. Next week will be more typical in those respects!

And so it has begun! Another school year. I was really happy that I had time in the evening to do some core muscle strengthening exercises (which some of the children chose to do with me) and go for a 30 minute walk. That’s something I haven’t really done regularly or at all for years. I hope I can keep it up!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenny O'Neil. says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    Lovely to hear about your day!
    However, with the greatest respect I must challenge your use of the terms “my non-working day” and “parents who aren’t working”!!!
    Yes, I am being cheeky and I know that you are using these terms lightly. Nonetheless, I feel so inclined to sing the praises of mothers after reading your informative article.
    I have the greatest respect for the unpaid “work” of mothers, especially mothers of young children. As your article indicates, you never stop!
    In moulding little ones, you are performing work that no pay could justly reward and there is so much more that I could say about this topic.
    I will limit my discussion to one aspect; you are on call 24/7, with no set breaks and you work 365 days a year. Furthermore, you work alone; rain, hail or shine and irrespective of your health, you are on duty!!!
    Quite simply, mothers are heroines.


    1. Ah Jenny, you got me! Yes, I’m sure I could have phrased it better. I used them as shorthand to refer to not being in paid (monetary) employment, and I was being a little bit cheeky myself. I can’t believe anyone could sincerely observe a mother or father with a baby and/or young children for any length of time (unless we’re talking about a situation of neglect or abuse) and not see that they are constantly ‘on the job’!


      1. Jenny O'Neil. says:

        You are very kind, Marilyn. Thank you.
        Thank you for being such a good sport and for not taking any offence at my initial comment. I’m not sure that I am worthy of your kindness!
        I so agree with your comment, Marilyn.
        Susie O’Neill (who, as you know, won gold medals at the Olympics for swimming) has said that looking after two young children is much tougher than all the work that is involved in training or performing as an elite athlete and there are no gold medals at the end of the day!
        I would love to see Mums getting gold meals, they deserve them!


  2. You make it sound so put together!!
    I truly envy your breakdown of time and accomplishments.
    My day is a whirlwind of…well, lol, busy! Funny thing is, I feel I never get anything done 😦
    Thanks for sharing’n


    1. Thanks, it was a good example of a typical day. Things don’t always go so smoothly! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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