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waiting at the school gate

(54 Posts)
invisibleme Wed 10-Oct-12 13:27:51

I loathe it.

Because I'm not......

super-popular Mum
alpha Mum
busybody Mum
chatty Mum
scary Mum
powerful Mum
opinionated Mum
know-it-all Mum
young glam Mum

No, I'm nearly-invisible Mum, with little small talk, and no wish to throw my (not-inconsiderable) weight around. Has anyone got any tips for surviving the regular ordeal of the school gate, with all its invisible (but still undeniable) currents of expectations/pecking-order/power struggle/unspoken mutual judgementalism? Or am I just being paranoid......

MouMouCow Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:02

OP, I'm dreading the school run too... DC is more popular than I and I feel awkward around other mums sometimes. On the other hand, who cares what they think? Surely your DC will make friends, be invited to sleep overs of play dates and you will have an opportunity to connect with a small number of these dangerous creatures over time? Don't beat yourself up. Smile, look pretty, that's all you've got to do with them mums... ;-)

HairyGrotter Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:19

My daughter started school 3 weeks ago, I haven't spoken to one other parent, and I feel fucking marvellous for it haha

I have no desire to communicate/join in/be part of a group/or anything within that environment. I have my life outside of being 'mum' so I'd rather concentrate on my child and my life, than feel intimidated/pressured/unworthy by a bunch of insecure ninnies smile

I'm a confident sort, but long struggle to get here, just be yourself, and don't care what others think or don't think.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 13:37:08

You're being paranoid. smile I was mostly spared the school gate as we used after-school clubs (gawd bless 'em) but used to find a combination of briskly cheery banalities and a look that said I was lost in thought worked best. Either approach a clump of mothers with a big smile and an effusive 'Lovely weather! How are you today?!' or gaze into the middle distance.

RunningWithSharpScissors Wed 10-Oct-12 13:39:32

Wow, don't often feel moved to post, but you sound a little bit judgemental yourself :-S
I can't advise you on this because I was 'working mum' thus rarely at the school gates, but when I was, I was almost totally ignored. I hated it too. BUT I very much regret not having had the opportunity to make friends at that time and I wish I'd made more effort, but I'm hopeless at small talk and find it very difficult to make friends sad. There WILL be other mums that feel as you do and I urge you to take the opportunity to get to know people, they will be with you for at least the next 5 years.
Good luck!

Nottigermum Wed 10-Oct-12 13:41:34

You people make me laugh. Just have a chat for goodness sake. Say hello. Smile. It's really not that hard. And we all, yes all of us, have a life outside of being a mum. But some of us do have friends that we have met at the school gate, and you know what, it's not a big deal. Sometimes people do make friends.

HairyGrotter Wed 10-Oct-12 13:44:21

What if someone doesn't want to make friends with them? There is no harm either way smile Each to their own etc

I like NOT speaking to other parents, it's nice

thestringcheesemassacre Wed 10-Oct-12 13:47:08

Agree with nottigermum. FGS smile, say hello if you want, be polite and go about your day. All this angst is ridiculous.

ladyintheradiator Wed 10-Oct-12 13:48:33

There are some mums who might tick one, some, or none of your list but will still smile and say hello to anyone.

BeckyBendyLegs Wed 10-Oct-12 13:49:31

Oh that's quite sad. I'd talk to you except that I'm pretty shy too. I have my little group of friends now but DS1 is in Year 4 so I've had plenty of time to be talked to (rather than talk to). I don't think I'd fit into any of those categories in the first post. I think I am seen as 'dippy mum' - the one who is always late; the one who forgets when it is swimming; the one who's youngest child is always trying to escape; the one whose children arrive with their shirts handing out, collars tucked in, hair all over the place; the one who wears wacky charity shop clothes and big boots.

discophile Wed 10-Oct-12 13:49:43

You're probably not being paranoid but you are taking the whole thing a little too seriously FFS. Agree with Nottigermum. And if you really, really can't speak to another human... take a book and read while you wait. People will probably leave you along then. And if that's what you REALLY want.....?!

MadameCholetWasMyFavourite Wed 10-Oct-12 13:50:12

I am probably one of those Mums that potentially fits into several of your catergories in the OP (not 'young glam Mum' unfortunately) But I'm actually 'just like you Mum' who has just realised it is better to overcome inititial shyness (even with a bit of an act that may get intepreted the wrong way) to make some contacts that will definitely make the school gate sitiuation more bearable and just might lead to some life long friendships. Steel your nerve and Good Luck.

peachypips Wed 10-Oct-12 13:50:35

I think we can sometimes 'overthink' things. You don't know that all the other parents are all naturally chummy and chatty. They've just made the effort to get to know people. The only way to make friends is to be proactive and approach people and talk to them. Sometimes we need to say 'no' to our insecurities and how we feel and just get on with it! Sorry if this seems harsh.

discophile Wed 10-Oct-12 13:50:35

alone, not along.

tenlittlebuns Wed 10-Oct-12 13:50:38

Turn up as the bell is ringing or, ideally, just a little later, and then all you need to do is breeze into the playground, smile at a few other mums, pick your children up, and go home. Works great for me.

PiratesKnittingTreasure Wed 10-Oct-12 13:53:47

What a very weird attitude Hairy hmm.

I will chat to anyone and have lots of very nice conversations with other mums at pick up times. I'm not trying to make life long friends, just pass the time of day with other human beings who all share a common bond of having kids in the same class.

HairyGrotter Wed 10-Oct-12 13:57:41

Not weird, some folk love all that, others don't. We are all different in our approaches to what makes us happy smile

I will always be polite if I'm spoken too, or smiled at, but I won't go further than that. I'd much prefer to be invisible.

OP, how long have you been doing the school run? Is it new or is this an old issue? If it's new, I guess you'll build up to it, do you have a secret for the invisibility? ;)

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 13:58:11

I have had to make a huge effort to speak to other Mums at the gates....I am HUGELY shy and socially awkward. But I knew it might affect my DDs if I didn't make any effort.

My efforts have made a difference...some Mums have asked me out to have a drink...others to join them for coffee...I haven't BEEN...I'm too busy and work but I tell them that and always have a's so much better when you have someone to talk to.

Just smile at someone...say that one day and then next try a passing comment...I will usually ask someone a question as an icebreaker...a fact based one about a school trip or something. People like to be helpful and then you can open the convo up....

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 13:58:46

But if I could drive I know I would hide in my car until the last minute!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 10-Oct-12 13:59:01

You are way over thinking this.

I chat in the playground, mostly to a couple of mums I already know through preschool, but also to the mums of children I know DS plays with.

IfI you don't want to talk to anyone then don't, but don't assume that people are horrid just because they are talking to each other but not to you!

Smile, say hello, be pleasant. For the sake of your child if nothing else.

Rooble Wed 10-Oct-12 14:01:00

You're being utterly paranoid. I don't fit into any of your categories as far as I'm aware - except possibly someone who doesn't know me might imagine I do, who knows? - and at our school there is definitely a clique of parents with children further up the school who have known each other years and would like to chat to each other. But they're not a clique because they're nasty, it's because they're a group of friends (if you see what I mean). And if you look beyond that group you'll see there's a whole load of other adults standing in ones and twos and threes who, if you're prepared to acknowledge them, will be only too happy to be nice back to you.
Stop over thinking it.

EnjoyVampirebloodResponsibly Wed 10-Oct-12 14:01:04

I honestly, honestly do not understand why people get their knickers in such a twist about this school gate thing.

I stand there, occasionally people speak to me, occasionally I speak to them but if they don't I don't stand there and give them a snippy little label. You're picking up your kids, not figuring out which ones to invite for bloody Christmas.

How about being stand with a smile on your face and you might get a better response mum.

Maisydaisy34 Wed 10-Oct-12 14:04:30

As peachy said you don't know that all the other mums are chatty,
I'm naturally quite chatty but I get nervous about meeting new people but I've made the effort to gve a smile or hello to everyone
on dd's first day I judged a lot of the mums and actually most of them are really lovely, I've had offers of potential play dates but I'm happy to smile and have a quick chat and then get back to my life
There are some mums who are a bit competitive etc but it is the same in any environment (think people at work etc)
Just remember its Nice to be nice and a smile can make someone's day

TheMightyRubester Wed 10-Oct-12 14:05:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

weegiemum Wed 10-Oct-12 14:10:20

I'm so glad my dc get the school bus. No school gate!

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