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Feeling out of my depth (even though I know its the right thing for my DD)

(23 Posts)
outofmydepth12 Wed 03-Sep-08 16:47:58

I've name changed for this as don't want to discuss finanacial issues under my normal name.

DD starts school tomorrow and I'm seriously nervous and feel I'm going to let her down.

I am split up from DD's dad. She and I live in a 2 bed flat and don't even have a car as I don't drive. Ex DP's dad died last year and left a trust fund for DD's education. There is a LOT of money - easily enough to see her through in private until 18 and probably to pay for a degree course. I was really dubious about the whole thing but when I started looking at the state schoools around here I was appalled so I decided to take the best opportunity I could for DD. Ex DP and I jointly chose her a lovely school. Its all girls, goes from 2 + 6 to 18 and has really good results plus loads of extra curricular activities.

I've gritted my teeth and got the uniform (over £200 to my horror) and went to the second hand sale yesterday to top up with a few spares. The mums I met there were really intimidating. None of them seemed to work and they all seemed ot know each other.

Ex DP and I will always make sure DD has the bits and pieces she needs and the trust covers school trips but I'm panicing I've put her into an intimidating situation and that she'll never want to invite friends home. She's going into reception by the way.

Feeling incredibly nervous and could do with some reassurance. I know this is right for DD as I wouldn't send my worst enemy to some of our local state schools let alone my child (one had a stabbing last term and this is primary), another is in special measures and a third has changed head teacher for the second time in 10 months.

Sorry this is so long didn't realise I felt so strongly.

AMumInScotland Wed 03-Sep-08 16:53:25

I'm sure once she and you get used to it, you'll find that a lot of the mums are really quite ordinary - the ones who already have kids at the school maybe do know each other, and TBH if it's the ones who are runnung the second-hand sale, they're likely to be the scarily-organised ones anyway! Once you meet the reception mums, you'll almost certainly find some of them don't know anyone either - some may have older siblings already in the school, but that won't be all of them.

squiffy Wed 03-Sep-08 17:17:04

It's only the loud trilling intimidating ones that you notice at first.

The feet-shuffling, don't-know-anyone, normal ones are at the back, feeling a bit embarassed, just like you.

I took DS back for his second year today and it was just the same - lots of loud braying and "how was cornwall?" yelled across peoples' heads..... this time round though I know a few other mothers. I work so don't see the other mums very often, so will never fit in wiht the cliquey group who run the shop/cake stall at fete etc etc. Couldn't care less. Most of the mums are nice as anything when you meet them one to one and my DS(4) is thriving. I'm not saying there isn't any snobbery but it is a tiny minority just like there was always the bitchy, cliquey group when you were a teenager at school. Ignore it and you'll realise that everyone else is kinda normal.

squiffy Wed 03-Sep-08 17:21:55

Actually, I should confess that I somewhat exaggerated my post to make you feel better in case that is what you isn't anywhere near like that where my DS is - there are a few mums who 'know everyone', but that's just becauase they have older children there. I found people are just pretty nice, whatever their background. Am sure you will find the same.

forevercleaning Wed 03-Sep-08 17:25:24

you can only try it and see how she gets on. I'm sure she will be fine, and you have made this decision on what you feel is best for her at the moment.

If things do not pan out the way you had hoped, you can always take her out.
good luck

LongDroopyBoobyLady Wed 03-Sep-08 17:30:55

I think you'd be feeling incredibly nervous even if you had chosen a state school - I've always found first days at school far worse for us mums than for the DCs. I've often been hooked in by feeling as though I am the new girl at school when my DCs have started (and I loved school).

Give it a couple of weeks and I'm sure you'll find the other mums are really not that bad.

BodenGroupie Wed 03-Sep-08 17:47:09

I had one of my girls at a prep school for a short time but they're both now in a state comp. I honestly didn't find the mums at the prep any different to the state school ones, but in both cases it's up to you to make an effort to mix. The only kid who's ever said our house was small was from a state school! I don't expect my kids to judge people on what they have or haven't got and think that most people would say the same. It's a lovely opportunity and I think you'll be surprised at the wide range of backgrounds the girls will come from. Hope you both settle quickly.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 03-Sep-08 18:52:15

You're reading too much into it!

This is one meeting with a few other women, that's all. You can't judge on that so don't project these worries and imagine your DD having a rotten time based on one meeting.

AvenaLife Wed 03-Sep-08 19:02:39

ds started his second private school last week. There will always be the ones that look down on you but these are few and far between. Most of the parents work all the hours that they can to afford to send their child there. They are your neighbours, people on the till in sainsburys. I ound it daunting at first, give them a chance though. There are some lovely parents and I'm sure you will fit in somewhere. Don't worry about your house, it's better to have a small house that you can afford then a big one and be seriously in debt. I don't drive either. I take ds to school on the bus.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 03-Sep-08 19:07:33

Totally sympathise about the cliquey mums - I was in floods of tears for weeks after DS1 started school, felt totally intimidated by them - this was a state school, so they get everywhere. there are a number of old threads o this topic, tho' not sure how ou's find them grin Oddly enough some years later he has just started at a private school with a snooty reputation, but the mums there are completely different , very nice, approachable and helpful to newbies. Very odd.

Beetroot Wed 03-Sep-08 19:10:29

I have a friend who's son goes to one of the most expensive schools in the country. She lives in a tiny house and has no money - she pays for fees out of a fund similar to you.

The boy gets on really well
His best mate is a multi millionaires son who comes round to their house and gets on really well with he family. the son also get invited on holidays to New York and other places...

alot of kids at private schools have two working parents, are on bursaries to help pay for fees and do not go on mega holidays.

elastamum Wed 03-Sep-08 19:19:55

Dont feel intimidated, a lot of the parents are just ordinary mums. You will always find the ubermums in this type of school and you tend to notice them first. The rest of us are just cowering under our umbrellas wink The kids dont ever seem to notice or care whos got what they just like who they get on with

lingle Wed 03-Sep-08 19:38:03

Squiffy: LOL at "How was Cornwall".

Sadly, my DS1's best nursery friend started talking about how they had a Merc and how few rooms we have when he was just five. A nice boy spoiled.

outofmydepth12 Wed 03-Sep-08 20:24:03

Thank you. I think I've got a bad case of pre-school nerves LOL. I know DD is bright, friendly, funny and beautiful and will fit in just fine. Its just me I'm worried about.

She my one and only and I just want the very very best I can give her. I can't give her a huge house but I can try to give her confidence, love and help with her homework!

tonton Thu 04-Sep-08 17:53:11

I really sympathise. i felt very isolated when dd1 started state primary - mainly because I seemed to to be the only one working (well a few part-timers). They all seemed very cliquey and coffee-mornings-ish. But I've met some nice ones over time. Of all lifestyles and backgrounds.

Like the OP i may be getting access to a trust fund (from a relative) to pay for my dc's education, so they may be going private at some point. I find the thought terrifying. My nightmare is that she'll go somewhere where there will be loads of non-working boden-istas (or prada-istas!!) and I'll feel like a freak. Oh well. It's for the kids after all isn't it? And bodenistas can be lovely I have learned!!

Flowertop Fri 05-Sep-08 11:21:14

Hi we started our two DS's at private school last year - 7 and 9. I truly believe that times and attitudes have changed and in today's society you don't just get the wealthy going private. In my experience most of the mums work; lots of second hand uniforms; many camping holidays and I think if they are wealthy it is embarrassing to declare so. My lot are lovely people (and I was worried) and just the same as the local state. You are doing it for your kids and if you feel the need and have the resources to fund it then go for it!
Good luck.

p.s. Most of them don't live in mansions and the house sizes/types are very variable.

snorkle Fri 05-Sep-08 12:28:03

The parents become more normal (or a greater proportion of them are more normal) after age 11 in my exerience. Before that there was a much higher proportion of 'landed gentry' but they were mostly still quite friendly if & when you get to know them. You dd will be fine I'm sure.

LadyThompson Fri 05-Sep-08 12:48:59

Poor you. You sound like a super Mum and your DD will not go wanting for all the IMPORTANT things by the sounds of it, so don't you worry. A big horde of new people IS intimidating, so break it down and start slowly: as time goes by and you drop her off, just smile at those people with friendly faces, or say hello. After a while, try a few words of conversation. As long as YOU always look smiley, people will probably chat to you too. It's a lovely opportunity for your DD and you should try to enjoy it as much as her. Don't fret. I'm sure there will be some tossers but just remember there are at EVERY school gate, private, state or otherwise! A swish of an expensive coat and a Prada handbag doesn't make you a better person (or a worse one); so hold your head up and smile!

Madlentileater Fri 05-Sep-08 12:57:42

confidence,love and help with homework=all any child needs, really, the rest is frills, so it doesn't matter what 'more' others are able to buy.

rebelmum1 Fri 05-Sep-08 13:14:03

Don't forget it is you that feels intimidated, it's your unease. It's your perception, so what if you don't get on with the mums. Nothing makes them any better than you. You're daughter wont have the same hang-ups as you. Be proud of who you are not what you are. You're doing a mighty fine job if you ask me. I will be at my dd's private school gates in my beat-up bio diesel and I'm not going to give a damn grin.

Scarletibis Fri 05-Sep-08 13:20:00

It sounds like you are doing the right thing given the circumstances - your personal background should make no difference in this day and age..

Whatever school your daughter goes to there will be Mums you do like and ones you don't and IME it takes a while to get to know people so don't fret straight away.

outofmydepth12 Fri 05-Sep-08 13:26:56

Thank you all so much. I took her yesterday and just smiled. Today I managed to talk to another mum and she was lovely. There were also a lot of girls on the bus and I managed to speak to another mum there who I liked too.

DD was very happy to be going back for a second day and woke me at 5.45am to announce "mummy I put my uneeform (yes that's how she says it) on and I want to go to school now". Her polo shirt was on top of her sweatshirt, her shoes were on the wrong feet and her coat was buttoned up all wrong but her enthusiasm was more than clear!

LadyThompson Fri 05-Sep-08 13:31:38

Excellent smile

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