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To think there is some weird school gate culture I am just learning about?

(94 Posts)
Sweetpotatocurry Wed 11-Nov-15 16:50:20

I have a ds in nursery, and we just moved to Scotland in the summer. Ever since he started nursery I have noticed some kind of weirdness with some mums. I always do my best to be friendly and say hello, smile etc, even if my baby is screaming at drop-off etc, I am pretty friendly by nature anyhow, but am also conscious I might be seeing these ladies for many years to come, so of course I make an effort. A couple of mums are friendly and quite 'normal' but others blow really hot and day they are all chat, the next they don't even say hello. Some are very cliquey and ignore me if I say hi, and I know they see me, and very few will bother introducing me to others. I know everyone is busy and might be under pressure, but I asked an old friend and she said that this is typical of the nursery/school gate mums. My ds has been behaving well as far as I know, so don't think it is that. I haven't had the chance to offend anyone! I lived in London before this and most mums at nursery were fairly consistent (friendly or otherwise!) So is my friend right?

laffymeal Wed 11-Nov-15 16:55:13

It's not a "Scottish" thing op, you get good and bad playground experiences everywhere. On the whole mines were very positive and I'm still very close with a few people I met from dcs primary school, there were a couple of oddballs too.

x2boys Wed 11-Nov-15 16:56:45

i find the best way to deal with it is to be polite and friendly enough but i have never tried to cultivate friends at school ds1 has been there since nursery and is in yr 4 now i smile and chat but leave it at that.

EnaSharplesHairnet Wed 11-Nov-15 16:57:04

I found it depended on the school. One was exceptionally friendly and one school gate was downright weird and the others were in the middle!

Then I have to say the only time I remember being spectacularly blanked (by someone I had been introduced to and spent an evening with) was at the super-friendly place! But because everyone else was so welcoming it wasn't upsetting in any way, just odd.

WotNoLoobrush Wed 11-Nov-15 17:15:24

I think inconsistent behaviour that you describe, op, is common IME.

I'm so glad playground politics is behind me. Hope things improve for you and you meet some nice people soon.

OrianaBanana Wed 11-Nov-15 17:17:43

I have experienced this - I swapped numbers with DS's friend's mum, she texted me with kiss, since then completely blanked me confused

icelollycraving Wed 11-Nov-15 17:24:51

Ds is in reception. I only do the school pick up twice a week. There is quite a divide of the quite posh mums & the younger ones. They both have their own cliques. I'm not in either. I find school gate bit quite uncomfortable. I am very confident at work but have few friends (long story) & so don't push myself forward.

Ineedtimeoff Wed 11-Nov-15 17:29:21

Completely normal at the nursery school gate unfortunately. I think you just have to accept that it's not you but the environment. Eventually you will make friends with a few mums that will always be nice and friendly and you can form your own clique!

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Wed 11-Nov-15 17:31:24

I've been blanked in the playground a fair few times! I think I don't fit into any obvious clique (as icelollycraving said it seems to be the "posh" mums in one and the "young/ not posh"mums in the other) I have made a few nice friends though (from both cliques) but I am happy to stay a bit of an outside. It's literally like school all over again !

batshitlady Wed 11-Nov-15 17:33:29

We're always on about 'cliques' aren't we? Isn't it just people who have met each other, chat who might be a bit shy and not even sure if we want to talk to them? School gate, office, Bus queue, we're all different.

StampyMum Wed 11-Nov-15 17:43:23

I live in Scotland, and this happens to me as well. I've actually made quite a few friends among the playground mums, but they still sometimes blank me, and I probably blank them too by mistake. We're often distracted by looking out for the kids, there's a lot going on. I don't take it personally, I know they like me. But I do sometimes feel like a bit of a lemon in the playground! Not for much longer, though - DS will be walking to school by himself very soon. So yeah, OP, don't take it personally, just keep smiling and you'll probably find you settle in soon enough.

I've never thought much about the clique thing, but it strikes me that I'm probably in the posh, older mum clique confused

mrspuddleduckie Wed 11-Nov-15 17:54:23

Sometimes, if I've had a rough night with the kids, or am stressed out with work or feeling blue/down, I try and get the school run over asap, so I can go and pull myself together at home.
Some days I make a big effort to be chatty and some days I just can't manage it. It's nobody else's fault, but sometimes, on a day when I feel low, I just try not to make eye contact.
I hope nobody thinks I'm blanking them/blowing hot and cold/being mean - they don't know I've been depressed before, but I don't know them well enough to share. But I suppose they might think that...
It may not be that people are doing it on purpose - just one way of looking at it smile

Crabbitface Wed 11-Nov-15 18:01:30

Is it an inner city nursery? Ther reason I ask is that my sons first nursery was a bit like this - I only ever spoke to one mum but that was only because our boys also went to the same wee music group out of nursery. People who came to the nursery came from all over that side of the city and the children would all be going off to different primaries. We moved and the next nursery was in a village and was completely different. We all know our kids will be going through their entire school lives together and i think it makes you make more of an effort with the other mums. There are few groups, but no bad uns who would blank you.

katemiddletonsothermum Wed 11-Nov-15 18:03:21

I've had this. DS changed schools last year and I spent 9 months being friendly, chatty and open - only to be completely blanked time after time after time. One time, I was even blanked in my own home during DS's birthday party.

This term I've been rude, stand offish, glared at everyone and couldn't give a shit. Bizarrely, the school mums and dads have been very friendly.

I've no idea what's going on. It's them. Not you. Be yourself and fxxx the lot of them.

batshitlady Wed 11-Nov-15 18:30:11

Exactly katemiddletons. Who gives a wank? Life's too short, so be yourself and be friendly, it's up to them if they are twats, to carry on being twats.

TheDowagerCuntess Wed 11-Nov-15 18:37:49

Please don't take it personally - it's really not you.

I'm sure I blank people from time to time - it's entirely unintentional - I'm a bit short-sighted, in a rush, might be preoccupied about something - could be anything. It's genuinely not a snub (I would never do that), but I've no doubt walked right by someone I know/vaguely know, and it's been perceived as such by them.

School Mums aren't a separate breed of people, more or less inclined to behave in certain ways - they're just humans going about their business.

Narp Wed 11-Nov-15 18:45:19

Mums are just people, and despite having 9mostly nice0 kids, it doesn't make them any different from anyone else. I think it took me a while to get my head around this.

It's annoying when people can't even manage a basic level of politeness, but some are not invested in making friends, some a very stressed, some are depressed, some are just horrible.

A colleague of mine says she has definitely noticed older mums being uninterested in her (she had her first when she was 20 - the average around here is more like 32)

I found the school drop-off and pickup a bit of a trial

mawbroon Wed 11-Nov-15 18:47:59

I probably appear to blow hot and cold at school time.

Some nights I don't get in til 2am and I feel like zombie in the mornings and just want to go home to bed!

Other days, the kids have been fighting since they got up and I just want them deposited so I can go and drink gin get on with my day.

Then there are the days when I am fine, not in a hurry and happy to chat.

I am also particularly bad with faces and I probably unintentionally blank people I have previously chatted happily to.


Sweetpotatocurry Wed 11-Nov-15 18:48:59

Thanks for your replies! I am glad it seems there are blankers everywhere. I didn't mean to suggest it was a Scottish thing, it just happened that we moved here recently, and I had not experienced it before. I will keep being nice, and actually in fairness one lady is absolutely lovely, and I guess that is plenty! I totally understand how some people might be completely sleep deprived, i have been there too, and sometimes I am quite spaced myself. But sometimes they stare right at me and just blank, then talk to one of their pals. Maybe I am just feeling a bit sensitive as I know hardly anyone, but equally have no intentions of being a clingy desperado, so will move on and just stick to the consistent ones ??

Narp Wed 11-Nov-15 18:51:55

I once became friendly with someone who blanked me for years before. She just did not seem interested in people unless someone else she was friends with introduced you to her. I think it was based not being bothered to cultivate a relationship unless she knew it might be worth it

katemiddletonsothermum Wed 11-Nov-15 18:53:26

That's awful narp - the "what's in it for me?" culture? Why can't she just smile and say hello?

Narp Wed 11-Nov-15 19:00:10


Yes, I know what you mean, but she's not a bad person. I just think, a bit of a rigid idea of who she might want to hang out with. And at the time we all had small children and she had 4 of them.

But yeah, smiling and saying hello doesn't seem too much (unless you are depressed)

eddielizzard Wed 11-Nov-15 19:08:05


and no, it's not just because they're terribly busy. some mums i've known for 7 years quite consistently blank me or are friendly based on some incomprehensible algorithm they run in their heads. other people manage to at least lift up a corner of a mouth in recognition. that is good enough for me...

incredibly rude. awful behaviour.

Narp Wed 11-Nov-15 19:10:17

'based on some incomprehensible algorithm they run in their heads' grin

yes - too old? too young? wrong accent? wrong clothes? wrong gender of child?

hibbleddible Wed 11-Nov-15 19:15:53

I don't have this experience. A lot of the parents are very friendly, and most of the ones that aren't is because they don't speak English, so they only speak to those who can speak their language. I haven't seen any deliberate snubbing. I have been positively surprised by how friendly the school gate has been.

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