It’s just one week into the new school term and I already feel like I need a holiday. BB only went back to school mid-week and I already feel like I’ve been knocked for six on the routine front.

I don’t know where the time between pick-up and bed time goes, but what I do know is that I seem to have been racing from one task to the next without pausing for breath.

Speedy school night hacks

Of course it always takes a while to get back into the swing of things when you’ve had a break from the usual state of play. I’ve been thinking about how we can make things easier on school nights and speed things up, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

Speedy school night hacks

1. Don’t bother ironing. There’s absolutely no point slaving over an ironing board when the chances are they’re going to have creased their clothes before they’ve even left the house in the morning anyway. Given that most school uniforms are ‘crease-free’ too, just show the collars the iron if you really must.

2. Don’t bother cooking. I don’t mean don’t feed them, I mean get someone else to prepare it. There are some great healthy ready meals out there and we’ve recently been sent some of Little Dish’s new range of pots and pies to try out.

They come in single portion containers with ‘easy peel’ film lids which really do come off in one swipe – no shredding plastic at all. All you have to do is stick them in the oven and set the timer.


The range includes cottage pie, fish pie, pasta Bolognese and chicken and veg risotto (currently £2.25 each in Sainsbury’s, £2.30 in Tesco and Waitrose or 3 for £5 in Asda and Morrisons and 2 for £4 in Ocado) which are all fresh, nutritionally balanced and have at least one portion of the recommended five-a-day.

They look just like you made them yourself, except you didn’t. Which is a win win in my book.


3. Get them to do help with the housework. I’m not suggesting child labour here, I’m merely suggesting multi-tasking. For example, my two love using the hoover nozzle, so while I’m clearing up the tea things I get them to hoover up all the bits on the floor.


4. Brush their hair and teeth in the bath. Why is it that hair and teeth brushing can take so long? BB has really thick hair, and by the time it’s been washed, dried with a towel and then rubbed around a bit more in the whole getting-into-jim-jams-and-having-a-story process, it can be in a right tangly mess. I find brushing their hair in the bath before they get out is much quicker. Ditto teeth.

5. Take the edge off. A bit like my back to school essentials you didn’t know you need, take the edge off all of the above with a little sip of something. On bad days a very good friend of mine opens one of those pre-mixed cans of G&T as soon as she gets home from the school run and secretly sips it through a straw in the kitchen until bedtime. Genius.

Do you have any tips for making school nights easier? I’d love to hear them!

We were sent a selection of Little Dish’s new pots and pies free of charge for the purpose of review. As always all opinions are my own and based on my own honest experience.

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