To ask for strategic tips with pushy class mums

(47 Posts)
Threelittlemuppets Wed 15-Jul-15 09:19:13

I have the impression that every class has one (or more) of these. In our case the mother makes up what she doesn't have in terms of social skills and manners and brains with talking very loudly, always shoving her dc into the classroom first squeezing in in front of you, ignoring everyone but the 'inner circle' of class mums and generally being aggressive in her body language.

We are at a quite nice school and although her behaviour stands out she is buddy /buddy with the teachers (she stormed the doors of school on day one to volunteer) and she has made herself part of the 'inner circle' for lack of a better term.

I am afraid of her because she seems volatile and playing a political game where she is. Involved in everything at school. I worry that if she talks badly about me to the other mums I will be ostracised. confused.

I have no issues with other social spaces (work for example) but some mums at school really seem all about pushing in and taking control.
How can I survive the next many years of primary school as I get really stressed out by people like this.

Am I bu to worry and ask for wise MNetters's top tips to survive the plYground? blush.

ZetaPu Wed 15-Jul-15 09:22:26

Keep your distance but be smiley and polite if you need to be.

Only1scoop Wed 15-Jul-15 09:23:17

Bright breezy and stealth....

Pleasantly avoid

ghostyslovesheep Wed 15-Jul-15 09:25:31

I've never ever been anything but polite to other mums - and that's all

keep your distance and don't get involved in any gossipy shite

but also stop making assumptions about the behaviour or motives of other parents - you seem to have decided this woman is the devil incarnate - which is unfair

howabout Wed 15-Jul-15 09:26:30

Let her knock herself out and save you from all the volunteering. With any luck her input will be more positive than negative for everyone and if you just do not engage she will have nothing to say about you. If she turns out to be a real PITA for all then you will be able to be the independent voice of reason.

kewtogetin Wed 15-Jul-15 09:27:29

I wonder how much of this is in your head? As far as I can tell this woman has done nothing wrong? So she is pushy and wants to be involved in school life, what's wrong with that?
Maybe this 'inner circle' of mums are all friends, maybe they know each other through older children or from when they were babies.
You sound paranoid and bitter, I suggest you let it go if you want a stress free time school run wise.
Maybe you're actually angry at yourself because You'd like to be more involved but you lack the confidence? In which case the only problem you have is with yourself but you're projecting these feelings of negativity onto this woman, maybe because she's doing the things you'd like to do?

wigglesrock Wed 15-Jul-15 09:27:56

I'll be honest I think you're really overthinking this and attaching far too much importance to the 5 minutes you drop your kids to school or pick them up. I've 2 in primary school and one starting in September, yes there are parents both mums and dads who are right pains in the arses but I don't bother with them, infact most of the other parents, grandparents, childminders have a mutual eye roll and ffs .

With the best will in the world, relax, stop panicking about being ostracised and looking for coping strategies and just drop your kids to school. Mumsnet seems to operate on a completely different reality to the real world when it comes to what is for most people a fairly simple drop and run exercise in the morning.

Heels99 Wed 15-Jul-15 09:29:13

I know of nobody like this at our school!
It's kind of her to give up so much time to volunteer in school.
I don't think there is anything you can do about her body language or ignoring you. I just wouldn't pay her too much attention. Maybe she has SEN maybe she is just rude maybe she is very shy, who knows. Focus on the pleasant parents, don't worry about the ones you see as being the inner circle. There are 30 kids in the class so presumably plenty of pleasant people on the periphery to chat to. It's one parent put of 60 whose behaviour you don't like.
School and PSA always need volunteers so if you can help,out then you may find she has a good side and isn't as bad as you think,

Threelittlemuppets Wed 15-Jul-15 09:30:30

Thank you Zeta. I have so far tried to make friends with some mums but the 'inner circle'is unpenetrable. I'd rally like to get over this and over myself (the fact that I am 34 and bothered by nonsense like this doesn't make me feel great).

Keeping one's distance seems good advice but how do some mothers manage to quickly and solidly establish their own 'top mum' circle? Why am I not able to that as well or be part of it? I am fr duly with some mums who are also at the periphery. With this particular mum I definitely want to keep my distance she seems aggressive and unpredictable. However why then are other mums who seem rally quite nice good friends with her?

I don't understand the dynamics of this social situation. At work, I get respectd for my professionalism; with friends I am liked for who I am. At the school gate there seems to be something else going on a sort of political game where some mums seem to want to be and get to be the 'in-crowd' who are close to the teachers. It makes me nervous. blush confused.

Euphemia Wed 15-Jul-15 09:31:25

I don't understand these schools where parents are in the classroom/right at the classroom door. In my schools, they drop children off at the gate and go to the school office to ask to speak to the teacher.

If the Head won't change the drop off arrangements, I would leave my child as far away from the other parents as was sensible, then leave.

FenellaFellorick Wed 15-Jul-15 09:32:30

Take your kids to school, smile and say hi to people as you pass them, drop the kids and leave.

Really, that's as much as there needs to be.

When the kids are old enough, wave them off at the school gate. Then the end of the road.

It's just taking your children to their school. It's not important (for you I mean. Socially. Obviously it's important to take them to school grin ). Don't let it occupy head space. In-Drop-Out. That's the way to go.

yummumto3girls Wed 15-Jul-15 09:35:40

Just don't get involved and dragged in, if that's what she wants to be like let her get on with it, trust me, other people will be thinking the same. Please don't let your paranoia ruin your primary school years with your children. Just be polite keep your distance and make friends with mums that you have more in common with.

SoupDragon Wed 15-Jul-15 09:40:11

Tbh, you don't sound very nice yourself. Crossing stuff out doesn't mean you haven't just called someone thick, it just makes you look snide.

Having had children in the school system for 11 years, I've never some across the sort of person you describe.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jul-15 09:41:37

It's always a good idea to be absolutely sure that this isn'ta misreading of the situation- "inner circle" could mean "women who already knew each other from play group" And what on earth does "stormed the doors of the school on day one" mean?

DawnOfTheDoggers Wed 15-Jul-15 09:42:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Only1scoop Wed 15-Jul-15 09:45:51

A little rude to imply lack of 'brain'

Maybe use yours Op and use the available space for something a little more important.

LithaR Wed 15-Jul-15 09:49:14

I'm one of those peripheral mums, I don't involved in the various circles or cliques. I just be polite and friendly as an example to my ds. Don't think I will ever consider becoming mates with any of them since when they move up the children will gravitate to their own circles. But then I see the school run as part of my ds's social life and not mine.

TheHouseOnBellSt Wed 15-Jul-15 09:49:35

I've never been good socially but when I read posts like this I usually think there is an element of jealousy OP. I don't want to be mean or rude but I really think that your feelings are based on the fact that YOU would like to be part of an "inner circle" and involved in everything.

Be very honest with yourself and if it's true, then get more involved in volunteering etc.

Threelittlemuppets Wed 15-Jul-15 09:53:22

Ok so I am bu to ask for school gate survival tips. I am a single mum and have moved recently to this area so maybe that's why I am more sensitive touchy about this situation. I was hoping to build up rapport and be part of a community. The mother I described up thread seems pushy and I feel threatened by her behaviour. But it's probably all in my head.

AlanPacino Wed 15-Jul-15 09:53:32

Another poster here who isn't sure why you're bothered. You say she is unpredictable but you haven't actually given any examples of her behaving in a way that is of any concern to anyone. She sounds like she is popular, and likes to get stuck in. Maybe you are quieter and that's fine too. Why do you feel the need to be in the 'inner circle'. Most of the mums are just dropping off and leaving. Do you want more people to talk to at the school gate or do they have to be the popular ones? You're scoffing at it and wanting it all at the same time. ' I hate the clique' 'oh please let me be part of the clique'?

TiggieBoo Wed 15-Jul-15 09:55:37

I've got 2 DCs in primary and I know about 10 mums to say hello to and about 3 to ask "how are you doing/how's work". I've got no idea who's pushy, who's annoying, who's nice, who hangs out with whom, who's friends with the teachers and I don't care either. It's not important for my wellbeing. I don't need other mums' seal of approval. School is for the kids, not for parents to socialize. I've got better things to do.

AlanPacino Wed 15-Jul-15 09:59:04

Maybe she reminds you of someone from your own school days and that is bringing up feelings of being socially vulnerable and rejected? I understand that, but this popular woman has no control over you and has as much ability to affect your life as that old codger who lives on the corner of your road who you never think about. I'm involved in a lot at school and would feel hurt if someone saw me as playing out some conniving Machiavellian drama. Like me, and like you she is just doing her thing and has her own issues and problems.

Heels99 Wed 15-Jul-15 10:01:02

These mums may have known each other since pre natal days. Naturall they will hang out together but there will be other parents on the periphery seek them out.

ZetaPu Wed 15-Jul-15 10:05:45

They may be friends because their children are friends.
I get on quite well with the mums of my childrens friends. We usually organise trips to the parks, picnics abd other activities that include the children and the mums.
Sometimes we ll organise evenings out. That's how I made friends.

It is all in your head. You don't need the 'inner circle'. Just be friendly and smiley and I'm sure you'll make friends.

Have you tried meetup.com? You can find groups in your areas that do things you're interested in. You might make some friends independent of the school run from there.

QueenofallIsee Wed 15-Jul-15 10:07:30

Why is it the responsibility of other parents to ensure you have a network? You build one yourself. You say you are friendly with some mums but not the 'inner circle', by whose definition are they that? yours? You don't seem to be thinking 'great, I will foster these friendships with friendly Mums by putting the time in and building a rapport' instead 'well, i want to be in the in crowd, how very dare they not notice me and invite me in'. If you are new, its on you to make friends, not on them to make sure you do. It bugs me as I overheard a nasty remark about me being 'cliquey' said by a woman that I don't know, have no kids of same age and hadn't come across. Turns out that she was new.and she thought I should have taken the time to get to know her (no idea why me) whereas I just sort myself and my kids out and then bumble home.

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