Meet the Scummy Mummies; comedy duo, podcast queens and bestselling stand-up act – who better to go to for very relatable parenting advice?
SCHOOL'S BACK: 7 celebrity exes who co-parent the school run
After months cooped up inside with the kids, some parents might be feeling anxious about their little ones returning to school next week. We discuss some of the best coping mechanisms here...
Comedy duo the Scummy Mummies are here to help
Ladies, what are your 5 top tips for preparing kids to go back to school?
"Give them fair warning. It's no good pretending it's just another trip to the park one morning, casually walking past the school and going, 'Oh look, it’s open, shall we pop in?' and expecting to be able to leave them there. We know, we've tried."
"Play up how much fun it will be to see their friends again. Point out how dull you are, and how enjoyable it will be to spend time with people who also think bogies and burping the alphabet are funny."
"Use bribes. Maybe promise them a Friday night takeaway at the end of their first week, or a bag of sweets on the walk home. Look, we're not saying these are healthy options, but now is not the moment to worry about vitamins. Desperate times, people."
"Get them to bed early. If you're anything like us, you'll have let bedtime slide over the summer from '8pm sharp' to 'roughly some point before dawn'. Might as well get back into the routine now. And that means you have more time for TV bingeing, hurrah! Google's Family Link tool lets you set timers on devices that help make sure your kids aren’t up all night on social media in secret too."
"Try not to worry too much. Kids are like sharks, they can sense it in the water. You're a parent - you’ve been through tougher stuff than this, whether that’s pushing a baby out of your front bottom, managing to form a sentence despite having not slept for two years, dealing with simultaneous cases of nits AND worms, etc. You can do this, and so can they. Everything's going to be OK. And if not, there's always wine."
Do you have any back to school rituals as families?
"We like to take one last wholesome walk in the woods, to collect leaves for a collage commemorating all the wonderful family memories we’ve made over the summer. LOL of course not. We go to the shopping centre to buy them new pants and socks, then we have a KFC. Everyone is happy."
The Scummy Mummies have a unique take on what back to school means
How has it been spending more time at home this summer?
"Every moment has been an absolute joy. We definitely haven't had endless rows about eating vegetables, putting sunscreen on, leaving towels on the floor of every room of the house, or spilling milk down the back of the radiator. OK, so there might have been some tricky moments. But it's also been lovely to spend time together. Especially when it rains, so you can close the curtains and put a film on instead of going to the bloody park again, guilt-free."
PARENTING HACKS: 7 brilliant back to school sleep tips for kids
Can you share your advice for managing kids' screen time?
"Honestly, screen time can be a big issue in our house. We've found the key thing is agreeing on a schedule with your kids at the start of each day, so they know what to expect, and don't whinge on too much when it’s time to turn the screen off. Google's Family Link app is great for this - it lets you set time limits, and also manage apps and in-app purchases.
"We also like the Be Internet Legends programme, which is all about learning how to use the web safely. And they're all free, which is great. We're always up for tools that make parenting a bit easier - we’ll take all the help we can get..."
Scummy Mummies are involved with Google's Summer of Little wins campaign to help parents look after their families digital wellbeing over the summer holidays. Follow #SummerOfLittleWins on Instagram.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.