Things can get catty in the schoolyard – and we’re not talking about the kids.
You think you’re done and dusted with school once you graduate Year 12, right?
Wrong. The next time you pass through the school gates, with your offspring in hand, you’ll be right back at square one. You see, the school pick-up mums often have more cliques than the kids.
It can be like being on the film set of Mean Girls, where cliques included the Plastics (ultra A-list), the band geeks, the wannabes and the burnouts.
I chatted to some mums about the so-called ‘school pick-up’ cliques and they shared their experiences, as below…
- “When waiting outside for your child, if you have no ‘friends’, there you stand forlornly with your toddler waiting behind your sunglasses for your school-aged kid to emerge from the classroom.”
- “You end up dreading the pick-up and wait in the car pick-up zone and gesture to your child to hurry up and get in rather than mingling with the cliques!”
- “There are those mothers who are present at every excursion and school assembly and on every committee and give working mums the guilt trip.”
- “Certain groups have been together at playgroup, kindy and so forth, and are up to round three of a child going through school, so don’t have the time for newcomers.”
- “You get little gangs of mothers who are still standing outside the school gates at 9.45am talking, when school started at 8.45am. They’re complaining about this and that instead of going inside and listening to their kids read.”
Then there are the schoolyard trends.
- “If you don’t have full makeup and the latest trends on you feel inferior.”
- “Gym gear for the slender yummy mummies is essential, so they can head off straight after school drop-off, but, of course, let everyone know about it first!”
- “4WD and SUVs are a must.”
- “Taking kids out of school for a family holiday during the school term is the norm, with cries of ‘Oh, we’re off to Bali, Phuket, Fiji or the snow, etcetera’.”
- “At the children’s disco at the school hall recently, one group of parents decided they would sit outside, on the school grounds, with their red wine and cheese platters and get tipsy – the principal sent notes home to all involved, saying the behaviour wasn’t acceptable!”
Caught up yet? Yep, it can be a minefield. The best way to deal with it all? Rise above it, ignore the cliques and treat everyone the way you’d want to be treated. Hey, you’ll set a better example for your kids.