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The Friday Rant Club – down with the politics of the school gate!

I’m so lucky.  Full time working has meant that I have totally missed all the school gate politics.  I mean if you only turn up to drop your child off twice a year nobody gives a rats whatsit about who you are or what you are wearing.

Trouble is that from today I am going to be more involved and I am going to be doing the school run.

Which means I’m going to encounter school run mums.

From everything I’ve read in the blog-sphere it seems that my first impression is going to be key – will I be defined as yummy or slummy?  Will they hate me based on my handbag or shoes, will I break unspoken rules because I haven’t spent the last year working out the dynamics amongst the various groups?

But let’s take a step back – what on earth is going on? 

Why am I worrying about what I’m going to wear to drop off my child?

I mean seriously – standing on a stage presenting to 100+ people, yes check you don’t have a VPL but 5 minutes of handover of small child whilst carrying the other one – eh?
Now this may all be my fault because I’ve not been in the loop this last year but seriously people – some of us like to wear make up, some of us don’t and yes I probably will turn up in smart clothes.

You see in my world, with minimal sleep, I have perfected my morning routine and I am up, made up, dressed, accessorized and out in 15 minutes – yes dressed, make up and accessories because I’m sorry – 15 years of training are hard to drop and I like my necklaces and I like a slap of quick make up and yes I am sorry but I have trained my children that they help me in the shower and whilst I get dressed – forgive me if you will, on working days chats whilst I’m throwing on clothes are the mainstay of our time together.

Did I mention we also have a start of term get to know each other picnic tomorrow.  On my first Friday off.  Except that all the other class 2 mums will know each other.  



The Friday Rant Club is a chance to get those niggles, those irritants, those things that make you want to throw a toddler-stylee tantrum off your chest before the weekend.

Go on, let it all out and if you feel like it there’s a rather nice little button over there on the right to show you that you like a bit of a rant


I’m looking for some guest ranters – if you’d like to get something off your chest send me an email or mention it to me on Twitter. Any subject, just has to be something that has really got your goat.

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16 comments to The Friday Rant Club – down with the politics of the school gate!

  • Kat

    Doesn’t exist to my knowledge. Only time I stop to look at what someone is wearing is if I’d like to wear it myself. Have fun and play nice with the other Mamas.

  • Kirsty

    Hmmm. Having now done two weeks of nursery run, I’ve found it fine – people are generally nice and friendly. I’ve done it in make-up, dress and hair done, and I’ve done it fresh-faced with a hat covering my unstyled hair when OH was away and we all slept in. I’ve found it all quite rushed – we arrive, the kids go in and everyone leaves. I’m rarely there five minutes. There’s a real mix at our drop-off: mums, but a few dads and lots of grandparents too. I dunno – maybe the schoolgate politics are reserved for smart schools in the south, or maybe it just goes over my head.

    • I think it varies from place to place but you have reminded me that a hat is a great idea! Ours is very small with a long drop off period so people do tend to linger – guess I’ll get better at it as time progresses (had only done two drop offs before the last fortnight so have quadrupled my attendence!)

  • I am such an alien to the drop off/pick up school routine (eldest now in year 4, so there’s saying something), that on the VERY rare occasion – like, twice – that I do appear at the school gates, I get glances along the lines of “Who are you and why are you hanging around here?”

    I feel like I should wear a name tag.

    Oh, hang on. I was. My office pass with photo.

    LCM x

  • Hope the picnic goes well for you.. I went from not doing the run to all of a sudden being thrown into.. it was scary at first as they all knew each other and the clinches had already formed.. It is okay now, it just depends if you want to become part of it or just do the drop off and go..

    • It’s exactly that – they have all known each other for a year and I don’t know who they are

      I’m taking it step by step – being friendly and hoping that they at least smile and say hello – so far ok even if the picnic did feel a bit like first day at school

  • Karen

    I’ve always thought that was a bit of an urban/media myth! I’m not sure the mothers at my nursery are around for long enough to talk to anyone let alone form cliques! Not only that but my drop off usually goes along the lines of running in 10 minutes late with 2 children with bed-head hair, finishing off the toast they had to eat in the car and apologising for whatever it is I have invariably forgotten – so I’ve usually missed any other parents. Like Kirsty drop-off seems to be a real mix of fathers, grand-parents, aunties etc. However those Mums I have met have been chatty, friendly and very far from scary. Hats off to you with your morning routine – very jealous, mine seems to consist of a spray of dry shampoo and a quick go over my face with a wet wipe…..

    • Morning routine has been honed by years of rush and run – I like my sleep more than a proper routine!

      They all seem ok just very different from me – at least some are now saying hello and her keyworker did recognise me!

  • Andrea

    I definitely feel a bit intimidated at school drop off/pick up and have only done it for 3 days! But I think it’s more to do with my insecurities. A lit of the other mums know each other from NCT which I never joined. I know a few parents from nursery and a couple of people that are actual friends pre children so that helps but if I knew no one I’d definitely feel out of it. There was a moment today where I was stood on my own and everyone else seemed to be chatting to someone. My insecurities totally came out and I thought I can’t wait to go back to work so I don’t have to deal with this!

    • A good point – a lot of this is my insecurity at play

      First picnic was ok if a bit like first day at school, second Friday was better and someone said hello to me. I guess I need to limit my expectations to low levels, we aren’t all going to be great friends as of day 1

  • Melissa

    If only what people are wearing was the only thing to worry about on the school run!
    How about Mothers falling out because their children have fallen out, parents comparing reading ages and discussing who’s nice and who’s not.
    There’s the woman who chats to you whilst looking over your shoulder to see if someone more interesting is on the way. And then there’s the PTA, who are more important than anyone else. Fact.

  • Melissa

    woops! Just realised this is an old blog entry.
    Well,was I right?

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