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are your school gates like this?

(49 Posts)
ilovesushi Tue 23-Jul-13 14:54:42

I've had a year of drop offs and pick ups at the school gates now and I have come to the conclusion that there is a very weird, tense, cliquey, almost bitchy atmosphere. It's odd as at the pre-school up the road mums are friendly, chatty and smiley. I am getting to the stage where I arrive at the last minute to minimise my gate time. I thought people would thaw as the year went on but my smiles are still met by bitchy glares or blank faces. Quite a few other mums have noticed the same thing and lots sit in their cars or wait around corners so they don't have to attend the ice party. Are all school gate like this? What the heck is wrong with these people?

TwasBrillig Fri 26-Jul-13 20:04:07

I felt like that about nct groups and under 1s, also apparently where you meet the best friends of your life. We were in wrong place, wrong time and its hard to maintain relationships when we kept moving!

ilovesushi Fri 26-Jul-13 19:50:46

We're in a largish village so I expected there would be a good community feel but it seems that pettiness and small mindedness and sometimes even downright nastiness reign. Not amongst everyone obviously but that is the general school gate ambiance. I suppose I am disappointed because we are relative newcomers and I had heard from friends with older kids elsewhere things like "I met the best friends of my life at the school gates." I guess I am a bit disappointed but not unduly. Am perfecting the art of the speed pick up. Very jealous of the majority of you at friendly smiley school gates. x

funnyossity Thu 25-Jul-13 19:49:36

Oh Oblomov, I'm sorry, that sounds miserable.

I think some of it is luck in finding other parents who are also looking for friendship. If you live somewhere with a lot of incomers for example. Those with first children are less jaded too!

In the friendliest school I've known the kids were jostling to be paired with my newly-arrived child, invites home followed and I received a lovely welcome too. I've just realised I'm on primary school gate number four shock and that easy fitting-in hasn't happened anywhere else so I don't believe you've gone wrong at all.

Oblomov Thu 25-Jul-13 09:52:33

I loathe ours. I find it cliquey and bitchy. One mum was really nasty to me and it has tainted my whole view of school-mums and playground politics.
The people in these cliques seem so happy. I wonder where I went so wrong in me not managing to be involved in one. One mum told me that her clique were her best friends and it continued past secondary school and they are still the best of friends. I wish I had the social skills to have managed to maintain such level of friendships. But it seems I am totally inept.

I forced myself to go to the end of term picnic yesterday.
Last night, I had a tiny tear, at how I should have enjoyed it, but actually really didn't. sad The only saving grace was that the boys loved it. So I will continue to do such things, for them.

libertine73 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:37:04

It's over!!! For 6 weeks!! Have had some horrendous 'extended' pick ups, what with sports day, and end of school disco, have had a gut full.

here's hoping next year is better!

hamab Wed 24-Jul-13 17:13:07

Mrs Buttercup I can't wait for that day! Am currently working on dh to do drop offs in the mornings. It will mean chasing him out of the house with a stick as he's always late but am thinking it's about time...

MrButtercat Wed 24-Jul-13 13:35:05

Oh and op don't feel bad.I thought it was just me however I have some very confident friends and over time have found out they feel exactly the same.

MrButtercat Wed 24-Jul-13 13:33:42

Oh yes.

Op do you live in a small town?The very worse place to be in a school for this imvho.

Not going to be my problem next year as all 3 want to walk on their own- woo hoo!

Towanda Wed 24-Jul-13 12:07:59

There's a few cliquey little groups at dc's school. I talk to some of the mums from one of them with dc in the same classes as mine but there is so much bitching and backstabbing going on that I'm glad I'm not part of their group.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 24-Jul-13 11:35:51

Totally different picking up from after school club Rocky.

rockybalboa Wed 24-Jul-13 11:32:50

Oh god. Dreading DS1 starting school in Sept because of precisely this. Am on maternity leave at the mo so will only be doing 'normal' school hours until March and presumably there is no school gate issue when you're using breakfast and after school clubs. I hope...

Looksgoodingravy Wed 24-Jul-13 11:22:29

Oh and I've also started to time the pick ups so that it looks like I'm dashing in just in time to pick up ds!

TwasBrillig Wed 24-Jul-13 11:17:48

Oh I agree there's people who do it. I do worry sometimes that people think I'm ignoring them when I'm not though as few people know I struggle with faces! Especially people I don't know well. I expect I'll be doing pta things in the future, its not as uncommon a trait as you'd think (there's been tons of threads on it). But yes school playgrounds are a weird mix. Everyone says its a good place to meet new adult friends. . .

Looksgoodingravy Wed 24-Jul-13 11:16:19

I can totally relate to this OP and can I just say I LOVE the 'labrador' moment described by Hamab.

I find the drop off easier, thankfully only have to pick up twice a week. I'm older than the other mums in dc class so think this may have put me at a disadvantage initially, I don't think they mean to come across as cliquey, they just get so engrossed in their own conversation that they don't noticed billy no mates standing alone at times.

Don't get me wrong I'm always smiley and friendly and I get 'hello' back and there are a few other mums whose dc are in other year groups who make conversation.

My one big worry is that this will effect ds remotely, in some way but then again once they head off to high school things all change again.

Only another five years to go confused

Laura0806 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:54:16

being faceblind, of course, is a different matter. I suspect the 'PTA/ organising comittee who are in charge of the playground haven't got a members who is faceblind amongst them! You have to laugh, its only for a few years though in reality and then your children go in and out by themselves

Laura0806 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:51:26

ha ha, hamab, Im not laughing at you but with you; that is definitely a mystery; the parents who talk to you when theres noone esle around but in the playgroudnd., its as if theyve never seen you before in their lives!! I used to try and befriend everyone and now I think lifes too short. there will be some really nice folk in the playground, just find them and rise above the game playing nonsense!

Chumble Wed 24-Jul-13 07:01:01

The school gate is a bizarre place as it brings together so many different people who happen to had a baby within a certain time frame.

It is easy to become paranoid about things. People I have assumed are good friends know each other on a surface level only. When you really need a friend chances are you will not find them at the school gate (well not for the adults anyway!).

I remind myself when people ignore me or talk over me ' It is my kids who are here not me......'

There are nice people there, they tend to be standing quietly in the corner!

libertine73 Wed 24-Jul-13 02:04:39

I can't wait for school to break up,I hate the whole playground thing.

RussianBlu Wed 24-Jul-13 01:58:50

Happy smiley friendly school gates meet us every day, unless I am oblivious to what's really going on.

hamab Wed 24-Jul-13 00:58:25

Everybody knows who everybody is pretty much after 4 years. They just don't talk to one another, unless it's someone from their friendship group or unless they want you to give money for something.

Someone on here once described as a "labrador" moment - when you go in all smiles only to be knocked back.

TwasBrillig Tue 23-Jul-13 23:40:38

Heh I might not recognise you at school if I'd seen you at swimming. I'm faceblind and would need reminding who you are!

funnyossity Tue 23-Jul-13 23:34:01

It's international then!

BabiesAreLikeBuses Tue 23-Jul-13 23:30:32

I got called funnyosity in Yorkshire in the 80s...

funnyossity Tue 23-Jul-13 23:24:31

spiderlight thanks, that widens the geographical spread!

hamab it's not going to be you, maybe it's the tension generated by standing by the snidey and fighty types. (I love extending a dodgy theory!)

hamab Tue 23-Jul-13 23:00:10

Ours is a bit like the op describes. I flit in and out as fast as possible. I think though it's mainly that once people have a group of friends they really can't be bothered with anyone else. There are a few really nasty ones who pick fights with other mums over nothing. Then there are a group who openly make comments about what other people are wearing. But the ones I can't make out are really nice and friendly if you meet them at a swimming lesson or something, but won't say hello to you in the playground if they're standing right next to you. It's a mystery to me. I just assumed I must be weird.

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