Big Kids

Nails and PE gear: the madness of back-to-school with a tween



A mum to three daughters, a step-mum to two sons and fiance to Josh, Rachaele Hambleton writes shares the "best and worst" of being a parent and partner via her ever popular Part-Time Working Mummy blog.


And recently, she wrote of the struggles of the back-to-school season when you're parenting a pre-teen.


Taking to Facebook in a post that has now garnered close to 40K reactions, Rachaele's laugh-out-loud recount will strike a cord with just about EVERY mum of a tween…


"Today Betsy went back to school…a day before her 4 siblings…for anyone that doesn't have a pre-teen I've decided to help you out, to inject a bit of reality of exactly what you have to look forward to…" reads the hilarious post. 


"Rewind to about 4pm on the 16th December when she trotted in the door from her last day of school and I asked her if she had any homework. No, she 100% did not have ANY homework, she categorically stated NO, three times in fact – followed by the words 'My teachers are all 'sound' and they know I need some time off to relax……'"



"Last night (around 5pm) – she miraculously remembers she has to do a full homework project on Henry the eighth. She isn't sure exactly what the project has to cover; but considering she managed to cock up her last one when she had to research one of his wives & she chose Anne Boleyn, only she did absolutely no bastard research so managed to write up a full 8 page project on 'Amber Lynn'," wrote the frazzled parent. 


"Anyway, she tells me she took a picture of the whiteboard in class so the homework instructions were on her phone, only she got a new phone for Christmas and updated it all so she needs ME to find the homework picture 'in the cloud'."


"Seriously, I struggle to find a really important picture I screenshot yesterday for a friend off my own bloody camera roll let alone find a picture of some scribble on a whiteboard in the shitting cloud."



"Next I tell her she isn't wearing a bindi to school; she is obsessed with the Indian dress. She's had one stuck on her forehead for the past fortnight – she tells me its now her culture so she will be wearing a bindi, and henna…ideal," said the stressed out Mum, who's teen clearly hasn't heard of the whole cultural appropriation thing.  


"Then I instruct her to remove the disgusting purple chipped nail varnish off her fingers – I tell her to get her school bag packed with her PE kit & have new uniform ready – she leaves the kitchen to do all of this."


Unfortunately Betsy's beauty routine takes over: "She has now decided her main priority for school is curling her hair so she sets her alarm for 6am and takes the huge bathroom mirror off the wall and into her squat…"



"This morning at 6am her alarm goes off, everyone in the house hears it – apart from Betsy," said the mum. Standard tweenage behavior. 


"I have no idea what tune she picked but it basically sounds like a rave with Haddaway. She wakes when I go into her room, turn it off and excel myself in the shit parenting stakes by absolutely losing my mind by seven minutes past 6 half naked."


"She rises, the rest of the house has another hour left in bed…but she basically sounds like a hand grenade so by 6.18am I am up, wide awake rage mopping the kitchen floor and necking cups of tea that are burning my throat."


"She finally comes downstairs, kicking off she looks like a moron as her new blazer is too baggy (???). She's lost her phone case so 3 minutes before we leave she's turning the house upside down in a fit of rage…"



"I drive her to school, roasting her the whole way about how she needs to sort her life out and I've decided its a 'new year new me' so I am not putting up with it any longer…she continues to look at her beautiful self in the passenger mirror at her perfectly curled mane not giving a shit as we both know I repeat myself every January with the same lecture, meanwhile I'm trying to remember if I've put a bra on or remembered my debit card as my fuel gauge is on empty."


"As she gets out the car I notice she hasn't removed the horrific nail varnish, she has a sparkling bindi in the middle of her forehead and is strutting into school thinking she's the mutts nuts with her brand new iphone in her hand with no case on."



"I drive off whilst continuing to lose the will to live to myself and she starts calling me; I answer and get her bellowing through the handsfree "Hi Mum, I promise I listened to everything you said and from tomorrow I will sort my life out but I've forgotten my PE kit, any chance you can you drop it in quickly before you go to work?" wrote the mum, describing the ultimate final straw. 


We've all been there Rachaele, we feel your pain. 

Search results for
View all