Do I need to tow the line for my child to do well?(18 Posts)
The mothers at my DC's prep were generally monstrous I avoided them like the plague. This has never had an impact on my DS's ability to get onto the next school and now at senior although admittedly a boarding school we barely know or see the parents and it doesn't make any difference to how he's getting on.
If they want to be "class mum, trying to get on the board of governors, or to get on the PA" let them and count your lucky stars that you're not likely to be asked!!
I'd try my best to find a mum with an outlook similar to my own. If you distance yourself you're less likely to find one. On the whole I think most people are generally decent, so I expect you'll meet some nice parents soon.
[apologises for unhelpful comment]
Are they mostly at the international school because their husbands work in this country, though it means that the mums are unlikely to find work of their own? It sounds like these women have a lot of time on their hands and they need to channel their energy somewhere. You do not need to be one of them, or to get involved. However, if you distance yourself too much, you are unlikely to find other mums who are much more like you.
It really does sound ghastly. It sounds like all they are interested in is status. I would worry that this competitive and superficial attitude would also be pervasive within the school amongst the children.
I used to work at an international school and then lived in other countries as an expat surrounded by mums of international school children. Your description sounds fairly typical unfortunately. Many of these women have given up their own careers to follow their husbands and now find themselves with a lot more time on their hands and nowhere to direct their expertise and energy so they turn their child's schooling into their life's mission. Another group of mums were the ones who had never been outside their own country before (usually the US) and the excitement of an expat lifestyle with schooling and housing paid for in many cases went to their heads and they began to act like minor royalty around the school. You have my sympathy.
However, not all mums are like that and you just need to find the normal ones - they will exist! Don't distance yourself completely from the coffee mornings etc as otherwise you will struggle to meet them, just keep trying and you will meet like-minded people. Otherwise, could you meet people through something like the International Women's Club or the gym? Some of those people will have children at school too but you are likely to have something more in common that fretting about whose child is on the higher reading level?
Hah! Cross-post, promise I hadn't read your post about the reading levels when I posted but it's just so typical of the script of these situations!
This exist in schools regardless of whether its international/private/state etc.
It wasn't any different at our unremarkable state primary. No tiger moms so no academic bitchiness but apart from that .... There was a bit of 'fun' when a couple of girls didn't get into the newly formed netball team. Their mums collared the teacher and demanded why x was selected over their DDs. Classic.
I confined myself to the periphery of it all during my time there. Apart from swapping 5 min of gossip now and then at the school gate and at birthday party drop offs/pickups I didn't have much to do with the moms. It wasn't an issue for me since I wasn't a stay at home parent so I didn't look to the school moms as being essential to my happiness.
Not working I think is the key here. Most of the mums at my DS's prep didn't work and they were all to a woman eye wateringly wealthy. These women often had successful careers before giving up work and have now channelled their drive and ambition into their children/school/coffee morning etc etc. There will be some "normal" ones out there the question is how to spot them? one really nice mum I knew at the prep always stood on her own on the side of the pitch avoiding the hideous ones! Watch out for the ones that don't seem to know everyone else I found hereditary peers, nothing to prove and too worried about the rain coming through the roof of their stately home and foot rot in their sheep to worry about the PTA, Sunday Times rich lister again nothing to prove and becasue we're in the UK foreigners more normal!!
Oh yes, it's the same here [hollow laugh].
Like the others say, too much time on their hands. I found that once I decided that I didn't want to play the game, our children were actually better off and happier as I felt more relaxed about school life. I know the sort of mum who is so involved in school life they can hardly have any time for their children - probably why your children are doing so well (well, that and the fact they may just be brighter to begin with).
Do you see your ds staying in the same school long term?
I ask this because you do have a choice about what school you send your dc to. My parents couldn't send us to international school when we lived abroad as children, so we went to the local school. It had its own challenges, but we came out speaking the language and have not suffered educationally for it. However this was a temporary posting.
From a teachers perspective we would welcome parents who don't engage in silly stuff outside the classroom and let us get on and do our jobs!!!
That sounds ghastly OP. My DS is at a UK prep, but I can honestly say I only know of one other mum like you describe. Thank god!
If you have to fit in to this nightmare for your DC to do well, then it sounds like the wrong school to me.
Dunno, but it's toe the line, not 'tow.'
God it's tiresome, i get lots of " can you not come to our meetings, help out more ....."
Well no, i don't want to :-) i pay to send them to school and i have no desire to give my self to the school.
Don't worry just keep smiling.
We returned to the UK a couple of years ago and previously we had DD in a kindergarten attached to one of the international schools where we used to live courtesy of DH's employer.
It wasn't so bad at that level but I certainly did hear some gossip about similar behaviour from those with older children.
I don't know which country you're in, but the country we lived in it was quite common for people only to stay there for around three or four years at most before moving on - we certainly did that.
If it's the same where you are then it's likely that a fair proportion of these mums will have moved on anyway within a couple of years.
I'd also like to echo what annh said above
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.