It’s your child’s first day at school. What an emotional day filled with pride, excitement and apprehension. You look around at the other parents, as on this monumental day, you realise you are bonded together for the next 7 years at least. Everyone is full of friendliness and warmth until a couple of weeks in and the cracks emerge and you are back in that school playground. Forget all you knew about social groupings at school. Geeks, Goths, Grungers, Athletes, Chavs are all left in the 90’s. Everything changes once you have children. Let me introduce you to the complex world of school gate mums:
The Earth Mommas : Talk passionately about the fact their children consume no artificial colourings or additives. They raise their children on an organic, vegan, gluten free, diet and bake beetroot brownies and courgette flapjacks for school cake sales. Their clothes are 100 % organic cotton and they cycle or walk their children to school without fail.
The Nervous Nellies: Frown lines deeply engraved across their constantly furrowed brows. Jittery, nervous parents who are always holding the teacher up, on door duty, discussing yet more concerns they have. If you do engage in conversation with this parent you will be left questioning your own child’s safety and educational future such is the worry they instil in others with their unrelenting fretting!
The Do Good Society: This small selection of parents will co- create the class Facebook discussion group. They will organise the Christmas drinks and the teacher’s leaving gift. At school fayres and cake sales they magically have any other child care/work arrangements covered and are there holding the fort selling the 700 rice crispie cakes they made the night before. They call the teachers by their first names and laugh heartily during conversations with the head.
Active Wear Mums: You arrive at the school gate panting, sweat beading on your forehead from the 3 and half minute walk from the car. You look up and there she is… Active Wear Mum. Never seen not in lycra and running shoes she power walks her children through the gates, checks her fit bit and then effortlessly jogs away.
The Harassed Mums: Pushing a double buggy with a toddler on a buggy board clinging to the back whilst holding the reins of another child, this exasperated mother drags herself and her herd in each day. She has the “just out of bed look” down to a fine art. She rarely communicates but when you do meet her eye she gives you a look that says “save me.”
The Elusive: They always wear shades and drive large 4×4’s with blacked out windows. That is all you know and will ever know. You ask your child about their child and they have no answers. There is nothing more to say.
The Mean Girls: The only group that seemingly prevail from school. They have their clique and you are only spoken to if they wish to engage in conversation, usually ended with a sharp quip intended to make you feel inferior. “You can’t sit with us”
And finally lets not forget the remaining randoms; the “over familiar dad,” the “menopause baby” mums and the eccentric grandparents. The start of the school year is drawing nearer which one are you? Are there any different breeds at your school gates? Parents/Carers let us share and enlighten all those shiny new parents stepping through the gates in September!
*I hope you enjoyed this light hearted post. I welcome any other school gate stories. And for the record I am Harassed mum aspiring to be Active Wear mum!
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