To hate the school gate

(164 Posts)
littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 18:56:27

That's it I hate it!

everlong Fri 15-Feb-13 18:58:06

I dare say there is someone at school you could smile at/pass 5 mins chatting to etc.

They can't all be dreadful.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Feb-13 18:58:28

Could you give it a lick of paint?

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 18:59:10

I am only there once a week. Bloody tribal!

MyDarlingClementine Fri 15-Feb-13 18:59:30

I hate the school drive but cant do much about that, can you paint it?

everlong Fri 15-Feb-13 19:00:22

Once a week!

Yabu to let it get to you then!

What's up with the mothers then?

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Feb-13 19:01:49

You might have to tell us what the actual problem is eventually OP

I hate guessing games grin

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 19:06:31

Today was a good example I saw two mums today who I met on the walk to school we have been out together and spent time together. Today I was ignored and they were acting like I had the plague. They couldn't get away faster enough. I know one quite well and feel like sending a text to ask what is wrong. I am just perplexed

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Feb-13 19:08:16

Perhaps they were in a hurry?

Did you walk up to them and say hello?

Angelfootprints Fri 15-Feb-13 19:08:25

Whats the gate ever done to you?

everlong Fri 15-Feb-13 19:09:38

That's odd isn't it?

If I was ignored by 'mum's' that I'd been out with/spent time with I'd be saying ' oi lady what's the problem ' try it next time.

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 19:10:11

We were all collecting our kids heading in the same direction

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 19:10:21

We were all collecting our kids heading in the same direction

I broke the school gate the other week. I dont hate it though, i was very sorry.

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 19:11:29

We were all collecting our kids heading in the same direction

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 19:11:30

We were all collecting our kids heading in the same direction

FutTheShuckUp Fri 15-Feb-13 19:12:20

Work fulltime-I avoid all that shizzle


Feminine Fri 15-Feb-13 19:16:31

Some women use the school gate to make themselves feel better.

Well, not the actual gate obviously wink

But, I have noticed it. They are women with small minds. It takes nothing to smile and be civil...

Ignore them next time!

Floggingmolly Fri 15-Feb-13 19:20:06

Were you collecting your kids and heading in the same direction, by any chance?

Feminine Fri 15-Feb-13 19:20:56

flogg grin

Spinaroo Fri 15-Feb-13 19:24:12

I would say they were probably gossiping about someone And don't want to have to stop the conversation. Try not to take it personally

Godessinthemaking Fri 15-Feb-13 19:31:38

Used to hate it! Have to agree with everlong that if these people are your friends, then say something! I couldn't have survived without the mums that I knew and still know.

You've all got one purpose, to collect your child and take them home! I never got involved in playground/ school gate politics with people I didn't know, and really couldn't be bothered with it all.

If in doubt, put your big girl pants on, hold your head up high and stand on your own! As much as we all hate to admit it, we've probably been in a similar situation......and are still here to tell the tale

Good luck

clarycat Fri 15-Feb-13 19:32:37

I work in the school (also a parent of children at the school) and am so glad not to be part of any of what goes on at our gate!

MeSoFunny Fri 15-Feb-13 19:33:08

I don't understand what it is some people have against a bunch of randomly collected individuals standing around randomly chatting, or not, waiting for their kids to leave school. I am baffled by it. confused

Godessinthemaking Fri 15-Feb-13 19:35:05

Should have been- we've probably all been in the same situation

Maryz Fri 15-Feb-13 19:37:22

I'm also baffled by how many people seem to think that two people talking to eachother automatically means the deliberate exclusion of any other person who happens to pass by confused.

Go up and talk to people. They may know each other now, but they weren't born knowing eachother. They met, quite possibly at the school gate, and talked to each other.

And if anyone you go up and talk to turns their backs and walks away, that isn't a problem - you won't want to know them anyway. Talk to someone else.

A bit like mumsnet, in fact grin

coldcupoftea Fri 15-Feb-13 19:45:36

You know, because of MN I am now absolutely paranoid about making sure I say hello to everyone I vaguely recognise at the school gate, even if they just amble past while I am already talking to someone, even if they are mid-conversation standing the other side of the playground.

Godessinthemaking Fri 15-Feb-13 19:55:16

I agree with Maryz , but if your confidence has been shot to the ground, are you going to go up and talk to strangers?

I met mums by seeing who DD came out of school with, who she talked about at home etc. Then saw which mum belonged to each child. That way when you're waiting at the gate you can say, hi are you xxxx mum, my d is xxx and she talks about her all the time, I suppose she told you about, playtime, lunch, pe, etc

littlebillie Fri 15-Feb-13 19:56:40

Thanks for your kind support.

Crawling Fri 15-Feb-13 20:08:05

YANBU I hate it to.

Meglet Fri 15-Feb-13 20:12:31

Some schools are probably nicer than others. Ours is nice, even new parents have said it's a friendly school compared to where they've come from smile.

But there's one near here that just has an awful vibe. My particular group of mums are like a coven, smoking fags (while pregnant!) next to their 4x4's. It's like a MN sketch! So glad I don't have to deal with them.

WhateverTrevor Fri 15-Feb-13 20:13:30

Grow up people, why are people at the school gates so different to people anywhere else.
I have never seen all this gossip and politics and I have done the school run at many different schools.

Tee2072 Fri 15-Feb-13 20:14:37

I absolutely don't get these threads. I talk to people, I don't talk to people, they talk to me, they talk to someone else.

Why does it seem to be high school to some people?

Also, go later so you don't have to hang around!

Maryz Fri 15-Feb-13 20:14:45

I am supporting you, honestly I am.

The thing is, if you collect children from school you are going to do the school gate (for a number of children) for up to ten years, or even more.

You can't spend ten years of your life dreading it - you have to grit your teeth, hold your head up high and just go for it.

motherinferior Fri 15-Feb-13 20:21:22

I bloody love the school gate. I have only just started being back doing pickup - and at the moment only once a week - and it's fab to be back.

If you don't have a lot of confidence it's pretty soul destroying to get ignored by people day after day week after week. The cliquey ness is unbelievable at times and I haven't come across such rudeness anywhere else. I ended up in tears after one turned her back on me when I tried to be friendly. Thing is, these are the parents of your dc's friends so it does matter and thats why it is pretty horrible sometimes but I have also had some nice chats with random people when I least expected it. I've got 4 dc and the youngest start school in Sept so guess I shall man up again! I think the smile at everyone approach is a good one smile

everlong Fri 15-Feb-13 20:34:42

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Go in with a smile on your face, talk to everyone not just those who you think you'll get on with, be friendly.

I've been doing ' school gate ' for 20 years at 3 very different schools and have never fallen out with anyone. Have made lots of friends. Always have had someone to chat with, go for a coffee or a glass of wine with.

I love the school gate.

SilverMoo Fri 15-Feb-13 20:44:55

I used to feel like this when DD first started school (she's now in year 3). I know realise that pretty much everyone feels like this... The ones chatting are just grabbing the opportunity to have a chat with friends who they have likely known from their DC's pre school/nursery, the ones that ignore you are just frazzled or shy!

JugglingChaotically Fri 15-Feb-13 21:15:13

FWIW I hate it too. And on DC3 so ought to have got over it by now but when DC3 went into reception I hit the snake at square 99 on the snakes and ladder board and went back to square 1!!!
So like others, I try and spot mothers of people DC3 mentions and to arrange lots and lots of play dates for DC (me?!). Then more to talk about and more to talk too.
At DC3 school if you aren't in the chat at the gate then the risk is DC gets excluded too! So Chin Up and onwards. It gets better. I know it will be fine soon - it will for you too.
And for DCs, we must lead by example.
Oh -so easy in theory!

jinsymaw Fri 15-Feb-13 21:23:57

littlebillie. please don't worry about what anyone else is doing or saying! You have to think about your family. I 'v spent the last 10 years worrying about things like I must keep in for DDs but in reality, they decide themselves who they want to be with! Please don't worry, it gets easier! J

WhatsTheBuzz Fri 15-Feb-13 21:36:57

I'm completely unsociable at 8.45 in the morning so never a problem for me.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 21:41:26

don't sweat schoolgate politics.leave that do the wags and gossips.they love it
they'll all fall in,out and gossip about each other anyways
trot in,trot out.ignore

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 21:48:39

some folk do love the schoolgate it's the zenith of their day,that and pta
schoolgate is vaguely comedic,best not given any brevity
same characters all gates.wags,gym bunnies,gossips,shy stare at ground folk

meltedcreditcard Fri 15-Feb-13 21:54:36

littlebillie, is your child sociable? I tend to chat to the parents of who they are friends with. I got to know them through birthday parties so guess it depends on how old your DC is.

Always made sure I have a birthday gathering for my DCs in their younger years as it was a way to get to know other parents.

I do not get on with some parents so avoid (my child fell out with their child so they made a complaint scenario) but I have made some lovely friends at schoolgate - I have 4 children btw so do feel a bit of a veteran on school gates!

FitzgeraldProtagonist Fri 15-Feb-13 21:54:59

Love school, not zenith of day tho, say hi to all, quick catch up with those closest, walk back to village with others, drop in on friend. Lovely!

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 21:56:21

fortunately I don't do schoolgate much,but still hear all the hoo haw

TomArchersSausage Fri 15-Feb-13 22:03:36

'Alright?'. Vague smile to left and right. Grab/drop dc. Keep moving. Out.

This has seen me through 10 yrs of problem free uncomplicated pick ups and drop offs. I must have low expectations from the whole exerciseconfused. I'm only there to deliver/collect.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:06:32

ah,but others there to gossip,brag how brainy wean is,check out who's wearing what
I think the drop off/collection is secondary to the other activities
big personalities at school gate usually tend to be PTA Types too

clarycat Fri 15-Feb-13 22:19:08

So true about the PTA types, scottishmummy. As a member of staff, I just don't want to be out there listening to criticisms of the school, parents whipping each other up into a frenzy over their issues with the school, etc etc. But I know there are nice people out there, too!

Maryz Fri 15-Feb-13 22:22:45

You know, sm, I hate to rain on your parade, but some people talk to others at the school gate because they like them and enjoy chatting to them.

When ds2 started school I knew the parents of more than half his class, because they had been to the same parent and toddler group. He is 14 now, and at least a dozen of his best friends he has known since he was less than a year old.

His friends' parents are my friends.

And, even though I knew a lot of people I was always happy to meet new ones. By the time he had been 8 years in primary school I knew pretty much every parent of every child in his class, through schoolgate/party/sleepover/sports.

I was never on the pta though.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:27:25

I'm nonplussed why would you think I'm bothered about your schoolgate life
it's functional,as I see it drop and hoo haw,no parade, plenty dreich rain
if it's becomes ones social network,good for's. not mine though

Maryz Fri 15-Feb-13 22:30:44

I'm just baffled that you translate "talking to people" as "gossiping, bragging, checking out clothes, getting involved in politics" etc.

Most people are just talking to other people.

Obviously you find chatting just as much of a waste of time in real life as you do on here [baffled]

DonderandBlitzen Fri 15-Feb-13 22:33:30

we have been out together and spent time together. Today I was ignored and they were acting like I had the plague.

Stuff like this is sometimes child related, ie. your child has upset there's. Could this be it?

DonderandBlitzen Fri 15-Feb-13 22:34:12


scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:35:05

Mary your being gripey,and bit goady.I'm not biting.too obvious
what I will say is you've not been to my school gate,so how would you know
numerous threads on mn attest parents find it cliquey,gossipy,braggy.because it is

Maryz Fri 15-Feb-13 22:37:06

Crying with laughter at you calling me gripey and goady sm.

I just have to mention pot-kettle-black


scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:41:30


quesadilla Fri 15-Feb-13 22:42:20

I occasionally fantasise about being a sahm and when I think about all this school gate bullshit I remember why I'm glad I'm not...
Life is too short to have to worry about crap like this...

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:44:10

indeed,it's a minor and insignificant part of parenting
keep it simple

weegiemum Fri 15-Feb-13 22:48:17

I'm so glad my dc go to a school where they (and most of the rest) get a bus! I can stay in my nightie till lunch (the bus picks them up from the end of the road) and as long as I'm in by 4, all is well!

DeepRedBetty Fri 15-Feb-13 22:53:29

I rather miss school gate now that ddtwins are at Big School. They're yr 9 now, I had my birthday party this week and six primary school gate 'mummy's' were guests. 'mummy's' as one was actually a daddy... I'm quite lucky, I think our primary was comparatively civilised at pick-up (although we did once have a bitch-fight, highly entertaining). DSis isn't having nearly such a good time with hers, different school in same area.

There were times in the earlier days when I really felt like everyone was in on a secret except me, but the outgoing PTA organised a post pickup tea-and-cake session which brought most of us together, about four weeks in, and after that I never looked back. They had a massive ulterior motive of course, they armtwisted about six of us new parents into taking on the PTA.

And we did exactly the same a year later grin!

DeepRedBetty Fri 15-Feb-13 22:55:07

And just to clarify, only one of the six who came to my birthday party was one of the PTA Chosen Ones, before anyone starts thinking I'm a Quiche.

LittleChimneyDroppings Fri 15-Feb-13 23:02:22

I pick up my dc from school, smile at the people nearest to me and start chatting if I can be bothered. They do the same. They're just people at the school gate, not best friends or anything. I dont get all the school angst stuff. If you are starting to feel bothered about someones behaviour try and step back a bit emotionally. You are just there to drop off and pick up your child. If you make friends along the way, great. If you don't, does it matter so much as long as your child is happy?

DonderandBlitzen Fri 15-Feb-13 23:02:32

There have been a couple of bitch fights at school but I always seem to miss them. sad It's so disappointing. They sound brilliant! grin There is quite a shy male teacher at the school and the poor bloke had to break one of them up by saying "Ladies! Ladies!" Why did I miss that? (weep)

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:03:03

our PTA meet daytimes,working parents couldn't participate as clash with work

depob Fri 15-Feb-13 23:04:53

Oh god I remember the tattooed ladies armed with fags and what seemed like 5 preschoolers each (just about possible I suppose). They grouped around the gate so had to push through and made snotty remarks whatever you said or did. So pleased we are at secondary school now and I no longer have to put up with it. They reminded me of the catty 13/14 year-old girl gangs when I was at school. Don't think they got round to growing up apart from learning how to breed.

MyDarlingClementine Fri 15-Feb-13 23:05:39

Its the dynamics of it that make it akward and difficult.
Having to walk there like on stage. Its like some churches at communion, the ailse becomes a fashion parade.
The problem is - once people do know each other quite well, they will naturally go and have a good chat with people they know.
It is hard if you dont know them!
If your a little shy and bit awkard, it makes the whole thing even more stressful, even more shy and even more akward and even less likely to talk to someone.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:08:20

haha,yes the parading about gawping at who's wearing what. peculiar

akaemmafrost Fri 15-Feb-13 23:16:25

The key is not to invest in it. I honestly don't allow myself to get caught up in it.

Some days I honestly can't be arsed to talk, just want to get my kid and go home. Some days I might be having a panic/anxiety attack (yes really) and all I want to do is drop off/get dd and get the flock out of there. Some days I am in the mood to chat but others aren't so I talk to dd instead who is a lot more interesting tbh. I honestly don't care if people are offish or unfriendly.

See the school gates as part of the dull daily routine as washing the dishes and you'll be fine.

theisleofsheppey Fri 15-Feb-13 23:17:51

turn up fifty seconds before school opens

time to the nanosecond

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 15-Feb-13 23:20:58

Don't be so fucking wet.

It's a place to pick up kids.

Chat, don't chat. He happy.

At most it's 10 minutes out of 24 hours.

Plus if you smile rather than skulk you'll get a better reaction.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:21:06

I do like being caricatured as rushes about working mum suits me just fine

akaemmafrost Fri 15-Feb-13 23:21:10

Oh there was a massive scrap at ds's old school. Two Mum's punching each other and hitting with shoes all over the playground! Next day they were going round to everyone trying to get their side of the story in and amass forces.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:22:49

why make it 10min when can skillfully get down to 50seconds.genius

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 15-Feb-13 23:24:14

Plus, my reason for being here is to see DS.

When I see him any conversation in having ends, as do other mums.

THAT'S the real reason for being there, no?

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:25:12

a fight?yikes.the wags wouldn't wrestle their ugg opts off for no one
it's more the face and titte tattle over who said what about whom

DonderandBlitzen Fri 15-Feb-13 23:26:06

Ooh that sounds a bit more serious Akaemma. shock Wouldn't want to see that. Was thinking more of a bit of screeching and mild prodding. grin

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 15-Feb-13 23:26:51

Scotttish I admire your Ninja pick up skills. Do you do that with tights and a cape grin

whattodoo Fri 15-Feb-13 23:28:03

I agree with my darling. I'm shy and my (reception age) dd didn't go to the school preschool/nursery. So many friendship groups have been formed and its bloody hard to break in.

The reason I'm trying to form friendships with the other mums is that my dd is shy too and has found it difficult to from friendships with her classmates who went to preschool together.

I want to make mum friends so that I can get some play dates for dd.


scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:29:13

aha,no sheppey does the 50sec pickup not me
she's the master of skillful timing
50sec, that's swooooosh and in, oot

akaemmafrost Fri 15-Feb-13 23:29:25

It was funny when I reported it to friends and ex H afterwards, but not funny seeing it. Some kids were really scared, some kids carried on as if nothing was happening hmm, luckily mine had already gone in so I was able to hang around and watch the whole thing. I felt sorry for the one who only had flip flops on, she was up against big white trainers sad.

whattodoo Fri 15-Feb-13 23:29:30

In fact, I joined the pta in a bid to get to know others better.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:30:53

invite folk over for a tea what, smaller scale easier to handle for you and dd

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 15-Feb-13 23:32:36

The thing is, who you form a friendship with won't influence your DCs friends. Kids just don't work that way. And what happens if your DC falls out with your new BFF's DC?

Swallow hard, walk up to someone and just chat. Then do the same with someone else. Lather, rinse, repeat.

whattodoo Fri 15-Feb-13 23:36:01

Fair point enjoy. Its just such a hard slog!

neverputasockinatoaster Fri 15-Feb-13 23:44:25

I'm sort of on some kind of black list grin

DS was being tormented and retaliated. (Totally unacceptable I know I dealt with it)

One of the mums of the children tormenting him has decided I wasn't harsh enough children and will no lQueen Bee so I can be deep in conversation with another mum and then QB will rock up and other mum will tail off our conversation.......

Luckily the parents in DD's class haven't been copied into the memo so they still chat to me.

I work part time so do pick up 3 days a week and drop off one day.

neverputasockinatoaster Fri 15-Feb-13 23:45:25

My last post was drivel. I have no idea what it was meant to say!

scottishmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 23:49:23

heehee I liked the blacklist,then it went all surreal

neverputasockinatoaster Fri 15-Feb-13 23:52:48

I am definitely on a black list!

I think I meant that the mum will no longer speak to me as I have not had DS flogged. She is a bit of a Queen Bee so none of the other mums of children in DS's class are allowed to speak to me........

MyDarlingClementine Fri 15-Feb-13 23:53:08


Has joining the PTA helped?
I do feel you can miss the boat a bit if your not in there right at the start.
And on the rare days when I have had a chat with someone, I have said to myself after ' So My Darling, you were having a nice chat there, did you notice the parent standing alone anywhere or the person looking akward?"

It can be soul destroying, I admit I have one person in mind who lives near me, I can see we would never be close friends, but I have always tried to make an effort, smile, invited her over, and also lobbied on her behalf over a mutual problem, when I had a break through invited her to join me to see if it would help her, etc etc etc. I get " I ll pop in for coffee and see you soon".

I had never approached her in the play ground, but once went up to - update her about this break through I had had, and the lady she was talking to moved away for a moment, I said 'hi' and was told to step away and that she was still in the middle of a conversaton with someone else. the way she said it you would think I had done this a million times, she had so much firmness but also alot of patience in her voice.

Its just so hard having to walk past her everyday or catch each others eye as we drive by each other back to the same road. I just wonder what she ever thought i wanted from her, We live near each other the school is a fairish distance away we both have small children!

If she didnt live so close it wouldnt be an issue but we are in each others faces nearly every single fucking day!

DonderandBlitzen Sat 16-Feb-13 00:08:08

whattodoo I would do it the other way round to be honest. ie. Ask your dd if there is anyone she would like to have over to tea and then you will get to know the mum a bit when she comes over, even if she doesn't stay but just comes for a cuppa at the end.

theisleofsheppey Sat 16-Feb-13 00:09:31

I do like being caricatured as rushes about working mum suits me just fine

exactly grin

cluttercluttereverywhere Sat 16-Feb-13 00:17:21

This is scaring me. Do you really have to talk to other parents in the playground to get your DC accepted at school? Can't they just go to school to learn & have fun, without the parents having to worry about schoolyard politics?

Can't you just drop your DC outside the gates 30 mins before school, picking up 30 mins after school finishes? Is that not the done thing these days?

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 00:28:23

You do realize that when you think somebody is ignoring you so you don't talk to them are thinking that you are ignoring them so they aren't talking to you!

And what you see as a clique is actually 3 people having a chat.

Anomaly Sat 16-Feb-13 00:30:33

I think if you're involved in school gate politics you should probably take a look at your birth certificate to check you shouldn't actually still be at school. Or maybe you're just paranoid.

There is one lady I see everyday she often walks past me and her son and mine often have a chat. We have had the odd conversation but generally she and I don't talk beyond a hello. I don't take her reluctance to chat to me as some sign that I'm beneath her or that she doesn't like my child. She's just not a chatty sort unlike me who will talk to anyone.

superstarheartbreaker Sat 16-Feb-13 00:56:11

You see most of my true friendships were formed BEFORE dd started school so anyone I meet at the gates are just randoms I chat to. Don't see it as a way of making friends and you'll be fine.

anonymosity Sat 16-Feb-13 01:01:19

I hate it too despite there always being some really nice people to say hello to - I just don't always feel like dealing with it/ smiling / having to brush my hair to leave the house!

IsThatTrue Sat 16-Feb-13 01:26:36

Just talk to everyone I was really shy when dd started nursery/school and didn't make any friends, felt I was being ignored and looked down on (I was 21 when dd started school, you do the math smile ). But with ds1 I just spoke to absolutely everyone and realised the problem was me. Now I'm probably seen as a crazy lady because I talk to parents of children in other years too! I say good morning to everyone I walk passed on the way back home too, as I see them every morning why not?

anonymosity Sat 16-Feb-13 01:49:36

But sometimes thats the problem - you don't feel like saying hello to everyone, its exhausting!blush

giraffesCantFlipPancakes Sat 16-Feb-13 01:55:37

I love the school gate, get to have a gossip with friends. If no one I know to chat to will stand in peace and browse MN or FB. Or make small talk with someone depending on my mood.

everlong Sat 16-Feb-13 08:36:07

Jesus SM I'm glad I've never had kids at schools like yours.
' bragging, wags, bitching, gossiping ' etc.

Thankfully it's normal at ds's school wink

everlong Sat 16-Feb-13 08:38:15

anon you don't have to chat to everyone!
A smile costs sod all.

I don't get some of you. You sound hard work.

Cat98 Sat 16-Feb-13 08:42:22

I'm usually only just on time so no chance to actually chat to people grin

Cat98 Sat 16-Feb-13 08:42:55

I smile at anyone I recognise and say hello.

wonderingsoul Sat 16-Feb-13 09:08:01

at ds old school it was horrid. there was a clear queen bea. you could watch from a distance and be a 100% sure on who they where slagging boffins as they'd point. throw daggers speak loudly.

ds new school... it's lovely.. there's still groups that stand together every morning.. but everyone says hi or smiles ... no school yard feelings at all.

I heart it.

I relize this isnt helpful to you but uanbu

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 09:14:03

As I said. This is in people's heads. Grow up.

<in a "tell it like it is" mood today>

harryhausen Sat 16-Feb-13 09:15:49

After I got really stressed out by the school playground when dd started, I've now completely relaxed and when ds started I was really chilled.

I was lucky enough to find some really close friends at my original ante-natal class, and nearly 9 years on we're still close even though all our dcs go to different schools. I thought when dd started school I would find similar. I didn't. I felt fairly out of place.

However, I stayed friendly and chatty and a few years on I have actually found some good friends at the school who I see socially. They are not my closest friends but they are fun, friendly and generous. Half of them are not from my dd year let alone her class!

My dd has 'chosen' some friends who I don't know their parents at all. One boy she particularly likes is the youngest of 4. One day at a party I found his mum and made myself talk to her. She was really nice. She said she couldn't be bothered at all with the 'school gate' as she'd been through it 3 times before. She just slips in and out with minimal fuss. I liked her attitude.

The school gate is what you make it. Some days I'm standing in a group talking to my friends. Maybe people see it as a clique? It really isn't. It's just a group of friends. We would never turn our backs on anyone.

Other days I stand on my own or talk to someone new if the chance takes me. It really doesn't bother me now.

As others have said. Smile. Be friendly. Just do your own thing with confidence. Believe me, people are too busy to care too much or notice how you may perceive things.

TotallyBS Sat 16-Feb-13 09:39:38

The school gate is like a work piss up. You chat to one person. Later you/they spot someone else. You/they engage that someone else while the other person does likewise. Transfer that to the school gate then you got a bunch of ladies going on about being excluded or bitchy mums turning their backs on you to talk to another parent.

Sorry OP but I find that the moms bitching about school gate politics are the problem as opposed to being observers of the problem.

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 09:41:34

if you agog at my school,read the other posts they're way scarier
seems pretty standard that schoolgate provokes a string reaction on mn
for this of you of have serene walk by and collect, well done you're in minority

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 10:04:48

one can only subjectively tell it as it is,from their experience
if it's a)torturous or b) peachy c)no biggie then that is how it is fir that person
I wonder if the mums who think it's great,no problemo aren't in fact the problem.seeing they seem seem to have such a great time

everlong Sat 16-Feb-13 10:13:07


No I think that you have to go in to that whole situation without a chip on your shoulder. Be friendly, don't gossip, don't continually moan about your ' shit ' have a smile on your face.

In all my 20 years doing the school gate thing it has never been an issue for me. I'm not particularly outgoing or in the with in crowd. Just me. I've never had to stand on my own, or be made to feel left out, or talked about.

Imo it's made out to be far worse than it is.

Pagwatch Sat 16-Feb-13 10:20:36

I want someone just one day to post
'aibu to be annoyed that women outside my clique try to talk to me at the school gate'

If there are whole schools filled with women who snub just one poor mumsnetter you would think one would occasionally turn up on here.
I have read 'bloody schoolmate mums - they are all so rude and ignore me' so often yet never ever ever read 'I just like totalk to the people I approve of and don't like outsiders or new people so I just ignore them'

It's almost as if there is a complete misunderstanding of what is happening somewhere along the line.

It's really tough to feel self conscious and on the outside and it can make you feel left out. But actually convincing yourself that every other parent at the school gate is snubbing you is unlikely to be true and not really going to help matters at all.

If iturn up and there is no one I know I may say hi to whoever is nearest or I might just stand on my own. But even if I feel aware that a bunch of women near me might be chatting gaily I recognise that they are not intending to exclude anyone else. They are just chatting.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sat 16-Feb-13 10:21:23

I hate it too. Not because folk are unfriendly, but because they are too bloody friendly and I never get to stand on my own, in a sleep deprived haze, ignoring everyone.
Someone always wants to chat and I'll look like a miserable bastard if I don't, but it's such hard work. I always go away and worry about what I have said.

And then there's people trying to poke my baby, or carry him when I don't really want them to, or trying to take my older ones for playdates which I then feel guilty about as I can't reciprocate.


So count yourself lucky being ignored!

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sat 16-Feb-13 10:23:08

(disclaimer - I love all these people. They are great, I'm just SOOOO TIRED)

<goes to look on rightmove for caves in the arse end of nowhere>

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 10:24:08

well as many,numerous threads on mn attest schoolmate politics is a biggie
in your subjective experience not such big deal. but not the definitive experience
clearly it ranges,from school to school and how it impacts.I smile,walk,wave

don't get involved but I've been told of the shenanigans that go on. I see the carrying on.I suppose it depends if you want be more involved with school mums,or perhaps if one is a housewife it has bigger impact as you do it daily and see them?

Pagwatch Sat 16-Feb-13 10:26:40

<<pats poor overly popular Rooney>>

When I used to turn up with DS2 his behaviour was so bizarre I would clear a whole space around me like a little exclusion zone. You could have stood with me.


Dancergirl Sat 16-Feb-13 10:37:40

I'm amazed at all these people who would rather be talking to a random group of mums than chat to your dc who you haven't seen all day and are trying to tell you about their day.

And why do people think it's ok to interrupt a conversation you are having with your child?

seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 10:42:39

<clasps Pagwatch to bosom>

Absolutely! People at the school gate are just people! they aren't a different species. And I hate all this "clique" talk. A group of people standing together are not a clique. They are people who happen to know each other. And they got to know each other by talking- not standing around thinking "well, she needs to talk to me first- I'm not talking to her, the stuck up cow"

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 10:45:12

lol,don't be ridiculous I dont immediately cease every,any conversation in case I miss any precious interaction with my dc
i acknowledge dc,finish off what I was saying.I don't terminate all other interactions
but given I used nursery ft from 6 mths I don't sweat it about what precious moments I may have missed whilst they at school

MyDarlingClementine Sat 16-Feb-13 10:46:39

I agree Pag, its not so bitchy its just people chatting.
However it is hard when people do know each other quite well. They look out for each other and naturally want a bit of a catch up.

But having said that, I did over hear some rather questionable ladies really laying into a lady they thought was a little above herself because her job required her to go to New York.....

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 10:48:35

oh aren't some of you touchy!why it's so hard to bear there are some odd uns at school
this is the online equivalent of never happens at my school,so can't be true?
thats just willfully choosing what one will or will not accept and going la la la

MyDarlingClementine Sat 16-Feb-13 10:50:04

And they got to know each other by talking- not standing around thinking "well, she needs to talk to me first- I'm not talking to her, the stuck up cow"

agree Seeker but especially where we are most of the mums seem to have already met at other things affiliated to the school pre school.
When you go to a party and a room is full of people, do you naturally make your way over to your friend who you can see, or do you randomly chat?

You may randomly chat and indeed shag much later on, but when you first walk into the party, your much more likely to seek out your friends.

everlong Sat 16-Feb-13 10:53:46

SM I'm not saying it doesn't go on. I'm saying in all my years at school it's never been a problem for me

maybe cos I'm not highly strung or paranoid

Maryz Sat 16-Feb-13 10:54:38

Well I'm glad to see a few more normal attitudes on this thread now.

I was beginning to wonder was everyone living in the bizarre world of sm, where we are all words on a page and invisible figures at the school gate confused.

I love the suggestion, seeker, that people at the school gate are just people - obviously a fact that has gone above a few peoples' heads.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sat 16-Feb-13 11:00:50

Pag grin It isn't that I'm popular. It's that our class 1 teacher is always the last to come and fetch them in in the morning, and the last to bring them out in the afternoon so we're all bloody stuck there for 20 minutes with nothing else to do.

I quite often don't really want to chat but everyone is so nice, it's hard not to. I can't wait till it is over, though - as soon as ds1 was old enough to be left at the gate, his brother started reception - and when ds2 is old enough, ds3 will start. Argh. But I cannot complain, it's not like people are horrible - I'm just a completely antisocial cow!

Pagwatch Sat 16-Feb-13 11:04:28

Yep. I am touchy. Being touchy is all i have todo all day once the lemon drizzle cake is made grin

I am sure there are horrible people out there.
I would just rather a mum standing on her own was able to think/recognise that she isn't being ignored or snubbed. That must be so awful - to genuinely feel deliberately excluded.

It's much more likely to be just people gravitating towards those they know best and, recognising that, is much easier on the old self esteem and more likely to help a person often standing alone to try and make a connection with someone if that's what they want.

If my dc went to school and said 'all the other kids hate me and are horrid to me' I would hope I would say 'I don't think that's likely to be true so let's try and figure out what is going on and see if we can help you get to know some of them ' rather than saying 'you're right. They are a bunch of cliquey shits. Fuck em'

Pagwatch Sat 16-Feb-13 11:08:31

grin at Rooney .
They will get to secondary eventually then you can stay at home.
I know what you mean.I have been known to spend 15 minutes texting anyone I can think of on an antisocial day.

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 11:09:30

lol,passive aggressive say something arsey but too cluck cluck to not strikeout
of course op,others are making it is a hugathon of housewives and lurve
in my short primary time I do find it all v peculiar,but hey ho don't do it daily so what the he'll

Maryz Sat 16-Feb-13 11:11:14

But sm, how do you know?

You keep saying yours were in nursery from 6 months, so how do you know that everyone at every school gate in the whole country is gossiping and bitching and being generally obnoxious?

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 11:18:46

I can only definitively speak of my schoolgate experience,as can others
no one here can extrapolate that their experience is the isn't
I,as have others have observed some unpleasant behaviours,iknow. that there are cliques and carry ons. however, because some one else has not had this experience doesn't mean it isn't so

everlong Sat 16-Feb-13 11:19:26

Maybe folk were just scared of you SM wink

At the school I'm at now we even have nights out, end of term meals for the dc, meet up in the holidays!

Maybe my school is just full of nice people.

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 11:22:53

meals,kids parties,yes me too I've never had problems with anyone.not there enough
maybe you're one of the scary mums but don't know it,maybe you're a queen bee mum?

everlong Sat 16-Feb-13 11:31:21

Queen Bee? Lol that's funny. Far too lazy for that accolade.

No, I just treat everyone the same and somehow it works.

One of my fave people to chat to is a grandma.. she's lovely, we have a right laugh.

MyDarlingClementine Sat 16-Feb-13 11:36:59


My school does that too, but I couldn't bring myself to go, I am pathetically shy. And I know the ladies who go along as said many times before already all know each other quite well.

Its the same at the parties now - they all know each other really well.

It not impossible but it is hard. If your already a little stressed about other things, or tired with young babies etc, it is hard.

Having said that I am also quite defiant. A Queen Bee mum was organising teachers presents and set a money limit, it was too much for us at the time, and I didnt like the teacher. She was quite rude about our offered contribution.

It would have been easier to contribute more but we didnt, and we hold our heads high. At the end of term I shall be choosing - if I want too my own gift for the teacher.

scottishmummy Sat 16-Feb-13 11:39:27

scary?lol,that funny,far too nice for that accolade

Mumblepot26 Wed 20-Feb-13 08:08:42

I collect twice a week, very often rushing...or appearing to ignore mums I know really well, have got drunk with, had round for Sunday lunch, done play dates with, basically that i really like. It's NOT personal, just in a bloody hurry to get to ballet, home for tea, to the shops....blah blah......

Mumblepot26 Wed 20-Feb-13 08:14:33

Ps. I really want to get to know the 'shy' mums, so come along to the drinks get togethers .....etc you might be surprised to find we are human, and have the same tendency to bitch or not as any other group of women....yes there are some stupid queen bee, small minded mum's, but in my experience they are in the minority....

penelopepissstop Wed 20-Feb-13 10:42:19

I have to agree. Some women seem to regress back to their 12 year old selves in my experience. It took me a while to work it out but now I just stick to the people who appear to be decent. Even they can be funny if they're feeling that way out. The GP getting involved threw me for a few days but she was OK, nay, great when I saw her at the surgery the other day so, even that showed me how much the school gate/playground can affect people!

maisiejoe123 Wed 20-Feb-13 18:13:42

Its funny, at drop off I literally drop off at the 'drop off place' and then drive off. The home time varies depending on whether DS has an activity or not so it isnt a mad scramble where everyone is at the gate at 1600.

However I often work at home (trackies and no make up). Well, I picked up DS a few months ago straight from work. One of the Mum's (not english I have to say!) said I looked fantastic and had I had a facelift!!

So, you think you have issues.....

libelulle Wed 20-Feb-13 18:40:13

What I really hate about these threads is the smug superiority of those who imply that worrying about school gate politics is somehow small-minded and insignificant. They don't worry about it because they have much more weighty issues to deal with in their life.

School is a major part of your child's life and when they start off, getting to know other parents is a perfectly reasonable and sane expectation/desire. The school gate is a key part of that process. It's neither petty nor ridiculous. It is irrelevant if you work or not - most parents at DD's school do work but still find 5 minutes to chat before the gates open.

By the by, god forbid that anyone join the PTA and actually seek to improve their local school. Why is participating in local life somehow something that is acceptable to sneer at so nastily on MN? The chair of our school governors has been a SAHD for 20 years, and I reckon he's contributed a hell of a lot more to society than the person merrily swanning off to their oh-so-important job in IT procurement or garden centre middle management or whatever, which apparently means they MUST be in and out of school within 50 seconds, and certainly couldn't possibly spare 5 minutes out of their busy, busy lives to talk to other parents. Depressing stuff.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 18:50:27

You reckon the househusband is mover shaker cause he does PTA.haha
Schoolgate is a bigger deal if you're housewife as is bigger part of your mileu
I hear and see the carry on fortunately I keep clear.and PTA are the same queen bee type as school gates

libelulle Wed 20-Feb-13 19:01:33

No I don't think he's a mover shaker, whatever that means. I just reckon he's done loads to make DD's school a better place, and sneering at that just makes you sound like an incredibly unpleasant person.

I work, and I have a strong network of friends that have nothing to do with DD's school. I still want to get to know the parents of kids in her class because school is important and it's also helpful to have people who can help out and do pick-ups in an emergency.

You know, paid work doesn't in itself act as any kind of measure of a person's value. To me, the fact that you work is of far less significance than the fact you think it's ok to sneer at other people because they don't...

Springdiva Wed 20-Feb-13 19:06:26

I think it's because it is an artificial social group. No one plans a social get together with people not of your choice where much of the conversation can be heard by others who may or may not be in your group.

Even if I stood with people I knew well the conversation was a bit boring to say the least.

Also the obvious subject would be the DCs, teachers etc and naturally that is a complete nono as there is a risk of competition with the DCs or criticism with the teachers which would be heard by others so not acceptable.

So upshot is there is buggar all to say, it is a bit uncomfortable, and that brings out the snotty cow in certain of the group.

There is also the question as to why everyone feels they must be there. Prob because of belief that DCs must see beloved parent waiting for their appearance out of school therefore said parent is bestest ever and DC will feel secure and confident (regardless of parent's confidence being in tatters).

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 19:13:53

Fact is you're in a complete strop that I'm not whoop di doop about PTA and a househusband
if you have so little disdain for work,who/what fills your fridge?pays the mortgage?
Thing us you've said sneery twice now why are you touchy that schoolgate isnt highly significant to me

Angelfootprints Wed 20-Feb-13 19:16:48

Libeluee already said she does work.

Epic fail.

libelulle Wed 20-Feb-13 19:19:56

Blimey, there's someone who is being stroppy on this thread and it certainly isn't me!

I don't care if the school gate is significant to you or not, but I was calling you on the fact that you are belittling the very idea that anyone could care about something so 'insignificant'.

And I don't disdain work - I do it so I can pay the mortgage and fill the fridge. Unlike you, I just don't think it says anything about my moral or social worth.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 19:25:59

You can call me (as you colloquially put it) as you wish.Naturally I dont agree,
I do care about education,the rapport and communication between parent/school
the school gate,the PTA,it's simply froth,with no significance to me

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 19:33:08

Libe,re-read your own Ill tempered posts to me
2sneery's, 1incredibly unpleasant person
I haven't called you any such names.I fear it's you who's stropy

Nicnocknoo Wed 20-Feb-13 19:40:47

I don't enjoy the school gate thing. I know most of the mums and all of the staff but sometimes I prefer to stand alone and not speak to any of them. I won't join a group already chatting but am quite happy to stand and wait for my dc. The groups that have formed no longer upset me like they did in the early days.

I arrive as close to doors opening time as I can usually.

I sometimes think people see me coming and avoid me (in case I ask them for something) although friends have assured me it's not the case.

I am the Chair of the PTA and have been for the past three years but I'm not a dominant type at the school gate.

maisiejoe123 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:47:33

I have to say, not the centre of my universe tbh. More things to worry about in life.

libelulle Wed 20-Feb-13 19:49:41

Well, actually the first comment wasn't particularly aimed at you, it was aimed at everyone who comes on a thread about someone worried about school gate politics and says, in essence, that anyone who cares about such things must have a small and sorry life. It happens all the time, not just on this thread, and it's Not Very Nice.

Likewise it IS unpleasant to say 'chair of PTA you think that's a mover and shaker hahaha'. I'm not calling you names, I'm calling you up on what I see as you belittling others and their concerns and choices.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 19:55:38

Re-read your own posts, 2sneery, 1unpleasant person,by you to me
Not mightily bothered mind,but dont seek to make out you're only saying,and I'm stroppy

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 20-Feb-13 20:01:15

My DS is only 2 so obviously isn't in school yet, but I have a 7 year old DSD who I pick up sometimes.

One mother there really has it in for me, always saying very loudly "that's just her STEPMUM." (Yep, lovey I am. Problem? You seem to love pointing that out. Although really I am not her stepmother I am daddy's partner, but go ahead and try and drill something in to me that I already know lol.) She glares at me every time I am there, and without fail will have sly digs about something or other. His ex thinks she is a loony too.

I never feel like I have a right to be there as she seems to think I am trying to play mummy when really, I am definitely 100% absolutely not.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 20:08:59

Heehee you need to act like pantomime villain step mum then,crank it up
As you pass her, pause and say pat butcher style,yea and its the cellar for 'im
High comedy, don't sweat it seeing you'll never be friends but do have fun

Springdiva Wed 20-Feb-13 20:13:06


libelulle Wed 20-Feb-13 20:15:39

You misunderstand me - I'm actually reiterating what I said to you. It isn't stroppiness, I actually think it's quite important not to sneer at others. And saying 'hahaha PTA chair, mover and shaker?!' is unpleasant and sneery. I stand by that.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 20:18:30


SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 20-Feb-13 20:47:34

Scottishmummy that is actually not a bad idea lol. I'll make sure DSD knows the floors need scrubbing as me and DSD walk past her lol.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 20:48:57

Yes this mum making the oi stepmum comments you could get lots of mileage out that
How v v funny of her,I'd definitely camp that one up,big time
Have a ball,the jokes on her

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 20-Feb-13 20:55:39

The joke really is on her I'm telling you smile It's quite funny because none of us retaliates so she just looks like an idiot lol.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 20-Feb-13 21:03:30

Here is what I do:
First, be a bit late-as you rush past everyone do a big shit-eating grin indiscriminately at everyone you pass, and a queenly wave.
Second, say "morning!/afternoon!" at everyone, throwing in " awful weather!" or somesuch.
Thirdly chat inanely to anyone who wants to.
Er. That's it. I don't really care if someone I normally chat to is ignoring me/talking to someone else.
I don't assume they have a well worked out plan to snub me. I am friendly, and assume everyone likes me.
I may be deluded. I don't care.
Plus, about 40 % of our school gate "mums" are dads, and I don;t think they notice any school gate politics either.

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 21:17:54

I do a Kate winslett,smile wave,walk for dear life like it's the baftas
Works every time

Ilovexmastime Thu 21-Feb-13 09:24:24

I have no problem at the school gate, it took me a couple of years to make some 'proper' friends there but before, and now, I would just smile at everyone (so I can't be accused of being a snooty cow) and talk to whoever I was stood nearest to.
However, from reading this thread, it would appear that our school is nice and friendly compared to others. I would hate to have to put up with people judging me loudly on what I wear (if they do it quietly behind my back then I don't mind because I don't know about it).
I do wonder about the whole clique thing though. .. maybe someone could explain to me the difference between a group of friends and a clique? Genuine question...

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