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Please help me clarify my thoughts around this Mother's Day Assembly...

(65 Posts)
CranberryCookie Fri 28-Mar-14 22:29:02

I'm a longterm lurker... need some advice...

I'm very much of the opinion that I should save my complaints to the kids' primary school for important things (I don't want to become "that mum") and it's mostly a good school.

But today has enraged me: Mother's Day Assembly, in a month where there seems to be something every week that I have to attend school for. It was at 2pm, finished by 2.30pm, and school pickup isn't until 3.25pm! So an extra 90 minutes out of my working day for a half hour assembly! But it's ok because they provided tea and coffee after so I could gossip with the other mums for an hour hmm (never mind that I work for myself and am basically losing money while I'm standing there). Can you imagine them doing that for a Father's Day Assembly (and I'm pretty sure there isn't a Father's Day Assembly).

I know I'm being a bit bah humbug - it was sweet - an event where each class in infant school sang a song or said a poem, but it just rubbed me up the wrong way. The song my son's class sang included the line "She may not have a degree, but she helps me with my homework, and that's what matters to me."

Actually, I do have a degree, as do lots of mums at the school (and the kids don't even get homework in infants!).

I just feel it's sending the kids the wrong message. Mum's time isn't important, Mum doesn't have any qualifications, being a wonderful mum is all you need to aspire to if you're a girl...

I really want to take it up with the head, perhaps informally as he's often standing on the school gates, but am I being a bit OTT?

I could do with some help to clarify my thoughts before I approach the head...

Biscuitsneeded Fri 28-Mar-14 22:43:02

I think you've got some valid points, that it would be worth raising. Perhaps you could begin by thanking the HT for the assembly, saying you enjoyed it etc, but you have been talking about it with your son to make sure he understands that women have qualifications and jobs and aren't JUST mums, as you felt that message did not come across as clearly as you might have liked. And you could maybe suggest that a few mums come into school and talk to the children about the jobs they do, just to put the record straight.

mum2jakie Fri 28-Mar-14 22:47:01

Same song at my kids' assembly too and I had the same thoughts. Especially as one of the other songs kept repeating the line 'She does all of the washing, cooking and cleaning...' Not bloody likely!!

VanGogh Fri 28-Mar-14 22:52:46

Sounds like that song was written in the 50's hmm

"She may not have a degree"
Fuck. Off.
That enrages me.

The time of day thing, for some reason less so, I guess they can't please everyone but women and mothers are more than degree less servants.

I'd mention it to the head. Informally. It's insulting.

BranchingOut Fri 28-Mar-14 22:54:50

Lyrics - awful, raise them with the HT.

Timing- school events generally happen at the time that works best for the children. Eg. special assembly followed by afternoon play.

It was close to the end of the school day so that it could be combined with pick-up, so I am not sure what would be better?

Nocomet Fri 28-Mar-14 23:03:25

We've had that on in church, very irritating.

Assemblies just daft, if mums want tea and chat it should be first and assembly just before hometime.

Innogen Fri 28-Mar-14 23:07:45

Dd knows I've got more degrees than dad!

Would have bothered me too OP.

CailinDana Fri 28-Mar-14 23:25:02

The timing thing is probably to do with school logistics sp not really worth raising.

However the song is ridiculous. Any song that reinforces stereotypes about any group of people should not be sung in a school. I would definitely raise it with the teacher.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 28-Mar-14 23:25:33

line "She may not have a degree, but she helps me with my homework, and that's what matters to me."

What the fuck??

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 28-Mar-14 23:28:09

Even "Degree or no degree" would be less shit, and scan better.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 28-Mar-14 23:28:55

That's the second thread tonight where I've seen that song referenced- wtf? Please complain if your child's school is singing this shite.

Presumably their degree educated (mainly female) teachers are teaching them it? hmm

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 28-Mar-14 23:32:59

Ooh, I've got another version:

"She may not have a willy, but she helps me with my homework and that's what matters to me."

CailinDana Fri 28-Mar-14 23:35:04

grin snatch

TheOldestCat Fri 28-Mar-14 23:36:30

Goodness! My job-share partner and I were discussing this today (how M's day assemblies/cards are all about 'mummy cooks my tea and that's lovely!').

I was worried I was over-thinking this, but it makes me cross - and I agree with Lottiedouble, presumably the teachers at primary school are overwhelmingly female and have degrees.

I am crap at cooking tea, but I'm alright at putting bread on the table.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 28-Mar-14 23:39:47

I've mentioned this at our school too. It's completely run by women. You'd think one of them would have changed it but I seem to be the only one that's even noticed, let alone made an issue out of it.

They sing it every year. I don't know if I'd dare say anything to a teacher. I said something to one of the TA's and she very sweetly tried to explain that it didn't really mean anything and it was just a song. hmm

It does reinforce a stereotype though doesn't it? I'm glad I'm not the only one that's noticed.

Perhaps we could suggest some changes next year?

SavoyCabbage Fri 28-Mar-14 23:44:38

That song is outrageous! I also agree that it is unlikely that they would hold an assembly for fathers at 2.30.

I've worked at a school that had 'Father's Day Breakfast' where they dc and fathers came before school started. Perhaps you could suggest something like that for Mother's Day next year. I didn't notice if the school did a Mother's Day one as it was before I had DC and organised by the parent's committee and therefore off my radar.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 29-Mar-14 00:00:10

Tbf my school does father reading sessions at 1430.

NigellasDealer Sat 29-Mar-14 00:03:23

"she may not have a degree"? just wtf? not to mention she might to support her family and not be able to make it to their twee little assembly.
I would mention it yes, it is bloody awful.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 29-Mar-14 00:29:05

"she may not have a degree"

Fuck that! I have a degree, and I'm a sahm thank you very much. How insulting - which ever way you look at it!

Yeah - I thought the 15 mins was bad - my dc school tends to do 2.30-3.00 stuff, then you hang around 'having coffee' until 3.15 chucking out time. It's just so....I don't have words - but have taken pictures for many a working mum friend that can't make it, in the past... it's crap- but I don't know what the solution is.

BikeRunSki Sat 29-Mar-14 06:40:16

I was going to start a thread on this last night, but tiredness got the better of me.

My eldest is only in a Reception, so yesterday was my first Mother's Day assembly. It was the same format as described by the OP, with the degree song and the cleaning/cooking song and others of a similar ilk.

I was too stunned to be cross at the time, but I spent all evening mentally composing my letter to the headmistress! I was amazed that none of the entirely female staff had ever raised how dated and sexist the songs are. Hardly aspirational for the girls!!!

I asked ds what he thought of the songs. He said they weren't fair on Dads because they did cooking too. So maybe DS recognises the songs as boloney.

I still want to raise this with school. Would Parent's Evening next week be appropriate?

EirikurNoromaour Sat 29-Mar-14 06:50:58

That's awful! DS had one but it was a 3 minute song and ten mins before school kicked out and the song was all about listening to their mums and doing what they were told! The lyrics of that song are outrageous. What the fuck? I have two degrees fuck you very much. I'd be apoplectic if I had heard the children sing that.

Roshbegosh Sat 29-Mar-14 06:55:26

Well just think of the children there either in foster care or without a mother and you can be sure they will feel worse about the whole shite thing than you do.

mummytime Sat 29-Mar-14 07:00:52

They shouldn't be having Mother's Day assemblies IMHO (fortunately DCs school never has). There are too many children in "unconventional" family set ups, for whom it would just upset. Never mind the "mummy has an important job" and can't get time off for every assembly.
(Or even grumpy SAHM like me, who really still have better things to do with our time than trapse into school every week).

OP I hope you ask them about what their aspirations are for girls, and how these are re-enforced through the songs they sing.

meditrina Sat 29-Mar-14 07:00:54

It's less likely there would be a Fathers' Day assembly, because unlike Mothering Sunday it has no roots in the Church.

I'd ask why they have chosen this time (first thing after drop off, or last thing before pick up strikes me as more suitable). It would definitely be worth making the point that, whilst you acknowledge that there is no perfect time which suits everyone, you hope that times will be varied so that it isn't the same group which faces difficulties every time.

Goblinchild Sat 29-Mar-14 07:21:57

I've never heard of the song, but how fitting that it is from 'Out of the Ark' publishing. Because it has a very outdated view of the world.

Yes I'd ask how it fits with their policy of equal opportunities, and high academic expectations for girls.

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