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Frustration being a dad on school run

34 replies

Chrizh · 10/01/2018 19:31

Hey there, new here! I wanted to find somewhere I could get something off my chest and I guess see if my experience is mirrored by others. I'll keep it short and to the point. You'll have to bear with me as it's not directly parenting related. Hmm

My wife does the pick up and drop off most of the time but several times a week I'll do one or the other myself. There are a number of other parents that me and my wife have become friends with over the last few years. We've all attended birthday parties and get togethers outside of school in the past. One or two I suppose we've become good friends with either through our children or because one or both of us gets on well with them. In these group environments things are fine. Smile

But something strange happens out of that group setting and I'm really starting to worry if it's me or I'm just looking in to it too much. Confused

Basically, on the days I'll do the drop off or pick up, it's as if I've put on an invisibility cloak. What I mean is I'll be friendly to other mums (rarely dad's) and say hello but sometimes that'll go unacknowledged. Now that could be deliberate or unintentional, I don't know for sure but it happens a lot and it's frustrating! Sad

I don't really understand it as mum's will happily chat to each other but it just seems too awkward or uncomfortable maybe to include a dad in conversation.

I might be overreacting to this as I have been diagnosed with social anxiety recently which I've suspected I've had for majority of my life and I've worked hard on improving that in recent months and come along strides. This experience though makes me question that improvement.

Do any other dad's experience the same? Like you're almost ignored by others on school run? And if it's not just me, then what about you mum's then!? Is there a reason for this? Is it just more awkward interacting with us dad's?

Thanks for reading. Wink

OP posts:
OverTheParapet · 10/01/2018 19:33

My DH recently said he was ignored by the most the mums at pick up even tho they talk to me and obviously know him

violetvendetta · 10/01/2018 19:38

Not a Dad but my DP does the school run 9/10 and has the same experience as you. If I do pick up once a week I have swarms of unwanted women wanting to gossip with me.
Defiantly sad as DP would love the gossip and I can't think of anything worse, next time I'm there I'll make a conscious effort to try and chat to a Dad though.

Muddlingalongalone · 10/01/2018 19:44

Not a dad but this was on active. There are 4 or 5 dad's who I see on the school run and i always talk to them same as i would with the women. However, i normally drop off at breakfast club and pick up from aftwr school club so don't see the women any more than the men if that makes a difference??

IvorBiggun · 10/01/2018 19:44

I have a similar experience to you and I’m a mum. I think it’s an issue in my locality generally with rude people being rude rather than due to my sex. I do most of the pick ups and drop offs.

Incidentally when my dh does the odd pick up and drop off people say hello to him who haven’t even looked me in the eye never mind returned a friendly hello or a smile for the last 3 years 🤷🏼‍♀️

Chrizh · 10/01/2018 20:33

Thanks for all the replies. It's equal parts good knowing I'm not alone, and sad that I'm not alone!!

OP posts:
user1471596238 · 11/01/2018 22:11

Hi Chrizh, I'm a SAHD and consequently do the school run 99.9% of the time. Fortunately I have never felt ignored by the mums and there is a small group that I chat to every day (and a few dads too). I don't think that it's necessarily a dad talking to mums issue but in the situation that you have described, so much as it sounds like a lack of courtesy on their part. No excuse not to acknowledge a simple 'hello' at all. If I were you, I wouldn't let it bother you, it's their issue not yours.

grasspigeons · 11/01/2018 22:16

My DH complains of this - says only a few people talk to him. They won't let him do play dates either. Obviously a few do, but only half the number that talk to me and leave me in charge of their children.

turboturtle · 22/01/2018 22:59

My DH used to say the same thing when he used to do the drop off. He changed jobs last year so no longer does the drop off.
It took a while before the other mums spoke to him. I think it changed when we got himself DBS checked and went on a few school trips. As the other kids got to know him and mentioned it to their parents that xxx's daddy came with us on the trip, the other mums began to speak to him a bit more. There are now some mums who I have difficulty getting a smile out of, who will always greet my DH when he makes an appearance.
I've now began to make a conscious effort to say hello to the dads that I see on the school runs

Foolish1 · 29/01/2018 11:55

Similar experience to you tbh, ignored by most mums and cut dead by some I have previously spoken with when they are with their female friends. I assume they get some sort of power kick out of being rude. I think it shows how they are as people so it is a good thing in a way. I notice the other dads get the same and mainly stay in their cars until the last minute to pick up

Childrenofthestones · 20/02/2018 00:43

If you think this is fun wait until you start taking them to parties.

Cavender · 20/02/2018 01:23

The psychology of school playgrounds are interesting if you stand alone, people won’t move out of their groups to talk to you but will
Generally be quite happy to chat if you walk up to them/join their group.

Try making eye contact with another parent you already know, perhaps with some pretext of organising a play date etc you’ll find it easier to join their group again another day.

Umakemefeellikedancing · 20/02/2018 01:29

Sometimes I am happy to talk to the dad's but get a bit shy around men sometimes, silly I know. I grew up without a brother and only really had my dad present so not much testosterone around.

Monty27 · 20/02/2018 01:34

Just drop the children off and be on your way. Most people hate the school yard crap. I am a woman.

SnowsInApril · 20/02/2018 02:16

I think some women may not want to be seen talking to men on their own as this will ignite a lot of school gate gossip about flirting and fancying other women's husbands. It can make women unpopular with each other when they appear to be 'fawning' (ie: just innocently chatting) over every man that pops up at the school gate. They just don't want to be gossiped about.

Also I suspect many are just uncomfortable talking to men. I know I am. There could be many reasons for this. They may not trust men after having bad experiences. They may even question a man's agenda. Or they may just be uncomfortable for no particular reasom at all. It's the same kind of reason why many women prefer to see a female doctor or hcp. I am one of these women.

This of course is not the case for everyone, but I definitely think it accounts for some of it. Not every woman you meet is just being rude for the sake of it I don't think.

I do agree it shouldn't be this way at all. But I can't completely understand why it might be.

SnowsInApril · 20/02/2018 02:18

^ That should be I can^ understand, sorry.

SnowsInApril · 20/02/2018 02:19

Italicise fail. I can type, really I can.

TwoFingerTyper · 23/02/2018 21:12

It's not just you! I am the main carer for my four year old boy and have had a variety of classes/school runs where I am blanked/shunned.

It's not all other parents, but it is a startling majority.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig · 23/02/2018 22:12

I think some women may not want to be seen talking to men on their own as this will ignite a lot of school gate gossip about flirting and fancying other women's husbands.

Really? What kind of infantile parent group do you have the misfortune to mix with? Can’t imagine any of the parents at our school doing that. Mind you we’re a fairly mixed bunch with parents in all sorts of occupations so get a fair number of mums and dads. Lots of company owners, self employed etc that can make school times. Quite a lot of dads.

Op this might well just be your anxiety making you blame their lack of social graces on yourself. As they say, it’s not you, it’s them. You might have to try and work on your confidence to help yourself approach people rather than wait for them to talk to you. Smile

Munrow · 04/03/2018 20:32

I don't think it's anything you've done or said. I reckon it's down to the mums and how comfortable they are interacting with you I guess.

It sounds as if there are lots of mums and a few dads? Do you think people have s comfort zone type of thing? Easier for mums to talk to mums?

That said, most of the mums ignored me st pick ups and drop offs but we're all over my oh for a good chat.

I realised I had horrible awkward body language and didn't look like I wanted to engage. Staring st the floor whilst walking or messing in my phone didn't help either.

I had to consciously make sn effort to say hello and ask people how they were and remember their names and names of all of their children etc etc

Now I'm usually the last one to leave the car park because I find myself speaking to majority of mums. My oh is now the outcast

Toadinthehole · 11/03/2018 02:25

I'm past that stage now but my experience was the same. I hate to say it, but it's one of a number of reasons why I've become quite cynical about gender gaps of various kinds and mutter "hypocrisy" to myself when I read about yet another one. There are comments on this very thread that while I accept are real enough for the women concerned strike me as silly and over-sensitive.

JustNotImportant · 14/03/2018 16:10

Although not the primary school runner, this also happens to me. I probably do the school run three or four times a week and get completely ignored each time.

outabout · 16/03/2018 20:25

I suppose I was fortunate that when I was doing primary school runs there was usually 1 or 2 other dads and a couple of mums who weren't in the 'fashionable clique' would talk with me.
Just looked at some of the earlier posts, are women so pathetic that they can't accept a couple of minutes idle chit chat about weather or whatever and turn it into into 'flirting' or something sinister?
No wonder there are problems!


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sv650 · 17/03/2018 11:05

I've been doing school runs professionally for last three years. I work part time for a company that has school contracts in Essex. Mainly special needs or disabled. Although some not in that category. Like the contract I have now. I take a ten year old girl to school every day without any. Drop her in the morning, watch her go inside, then back to my taxi and off. In the afternoon wait outside the classroom for her to come out like other mums and dads.
Been doing this run since September last year, and always see the same parents waiting for their children to come out. Some talk in groups, others like me stand alone. And that's both men and women. When I was on special needs/disabled contracts, usually other taxi drivers to talk to? But not on this contract. Only me.
However, doesn't bother me in the least no one strikes up a conversation. Probably most parents come from the same locality and are familiar with each other?

I wouldn't take it personal other parents don't talk to you. I certainly don't. And I wouldn't approach any ladies as some husbands may not be too pleased if I did. Only one dad waiting to say hi to. Saw him wearing a bus HiVi for a company I once worked for.

MyFavouriteChameleon · 17/03/2018 11:12

I think some women may not want to be seen talking to men on their own as this will ignite a lot of school gate gossip about flirting and fancying other women's husbands.
This ^. People can be awful gossips and it brightens up some peoples presumably boring day to infer things.
I know it happens, because I spoke to the lone pick up dad, just to be inclusive a few times, and heard it back from a bloke at work that I seemed over friendly with him. His wife worked at the school...and it was apparently top news that week among the staff!).
Its pathetic, but it does happen.

MyFavouriteChameleon · 17/03/2018 11:13

So don't take it personally OP, its not you, its them Grin

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