School mum

At the tender age of 30 I became a school mum, no longer smug booking term time holidays at bargain prices. I’d heard so many horror stories about the dreaded school gate. A year in, what would I tell myself?

BBC’s Motherland, a comedy based around a group of school mums is actually quite depressing as it’s remarkably accurate, apart from the abundance of wine at children’s birthday parties.

So far that hasn’t materialised. The cliché characters really exist. It’s worse than being 15 years old in an all-girls school, with hormones almost visible as they float down the corridor. Bored school mums can be meaner than the Year 11 captain of the netball team. The worst part is, they will be nice to your face. Just blanket smile at everyone, it’s the safest option.

The school day is ridiculously short. It’s not really worth your while leaving. Why lose your parking spot, a mere 25-minute stroll from the gate after-all? Any trips you do result in a stressed and rushed commute back.

The image of your lonely child, last to be collected, assuming you’d forgotten them impressed on your mind. You’ll shout profanities at slow and leisurely drivers, praying they aren’t repeated at teatime by your two-year-old. Me: “Well they didn’t hear that from me?” Two-year old: “Mummy you said the old man was a sh*t driver.”

You can buy 30 pairs of navy socks and you still won’t be able to find a pair when you are running late. Note, it’s always these mornings that your child tells you they need their PE kit, blazer and library book but can’t possibly find it all themselves as they have to pick a ‘pocket-toy’ that will inevitably be lost in the playground, or launched over the fence. It was always a dare, never original thought, apparently.

Skive work for assembly. Watching your child spot you at the back of the hall and grin from ear to ear will make you want to sob uncontrollably. The guilt at missing one will be huge. “I looked for you mummy, but I couldn’t see you.”

The best part though is you will click with a few school mums and feel like you are 15 again, discussing boys in a hot tub. Only the boys aren’t boyfriends this time, just mini people who stole our hearts the day we brought them into the world.

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