11 things I’ve learnt being a school mum

being a school mum

The warnings came….wait til they start school! You will have a whole other bunch of stuff to worry about and remember. As always, I silently laughed inside and thought….whatever! Oh but as usual, the doomsayers were right, being a school mum is a whole new kind of special as I’ve found out now we’re officially half way through the school year. Let me explain some of the joys:

You will live in fear of forgetting something

Having a child at school feels like unassumingly stepping into the role of an Executive Assistant at a big multinational company. You will be bombarded with dates, and duties, and thing to arrange and make and god help us! bake. You will live in fear of having not written these in the diary, and possibly forgetting to do these things all together. You will be bombarded by emails, letters in the book bag and messages on whatsapp, making you feel like a manic tazmanian devil of admin. Then – even worse – you will live in fear of forgetting or losing the class teddy somewhere.

Despite being on the receiving end of all of this communication, you will spend most of your days still having absolutely no clue what you are supposed to do when. You live in hope that one day you will be a seasoned pro like those who went before. And don’t even get me started on forgetting the class teddy/pet on which there is a whole other blog post!

Leaving for the school run will always be a nightmare

No matter how much buffer time you do or do not factor in; no matter how much you bribe, beg or shout; no matter hope much you swear  today will be different – the school run will always be a nightmare. You will always either:

a) forget something and have to go back

b) get so freaking annoyed at having to ask your child to put their shoes on a bajillion times that your head explodes

c) see that annoying other mum who you really hoped you could avoid this morning in the swarm of other mums but NO! she is right there in your bloody face!!!!!

Your child will always take five years to put their school uniform on in the morning

OK, maybe not five years but definitely the best part of an hour with excessive amounts of chivying along by yours truly. And then there will always be something wrong with it – the tights have gone funny, I want the cardigan not the jumper, I lost my knickers even though they are RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE!!!! Oh the pain. Every. Single. Morning.

The school gate struggle is real

You feel like you’re in an episode of Challenge Anneka (yup, showing my age here!). Your mission  – to get to your child’s entry point without a) losing them in the wayward struggle and therefore shouting for them like a banshee b) Getting caught up with that mum who will just not stop talking at you about boring drivel c) Drowning in a pool of your own sweat with makes being menopausal look like a joke. The chaos is not a million miles away from out and out guerrilla warfare.

There will always be people who don’t want to talk to you

As much as you try – and by golly can you really not be bothered to try on most mornings – there will always be someone who wants to talk to other people way more than you. They will do everything in their power to act like they are in fact not really there, but a figment of your own imagination. They must not engage at any cost. You will wonder if you have really bad BO from all that sweating you did to get to school on time. You eventually learn that it is they that have the problem, not you.

You will get roped in to doing things you don’t want to do

If you thought having to wipe butts for years on end was bad enough, now you have a whole other array of things you are going to be cornered into doing for the good of the school. Helping out on stalls, collecting buckets full of junk modelling items, and a whole other bunch of stuff you had no idea was even possible thanks to the PTA.

You will always live in fear of the headteacher

As lovely as heads can be, there is something pre-programmed into us to live in fear of them. You will try to not catch their attention in any way, and if they catch your eye and engage with you, you will literally revert back to your ten year old self and start having problems breathing.

It seems like your child does absolutely nothing all day every day

If what your child tells you about their school day is anything to go by, you would be mistaken for thinking they had been shut up in a cardboard box in a dark room somewhere rather than actually being at school. It is literally the hardest thing in the world to extract any meaningful information about what they have been doing all day and don’t even get me started on what they ate for lunch!

Seeing your child’s face at pick up will always be priceless

No matter how much they might have wound you up that morning, seeing your little sproglet’s excited face at pick up is always a beautiful moment. If Lady Luck is smiling on you might even get a hug to go with it – otherwise, expect a request for snacks instead.

The only thing that trumps that is seeing them in the Nativity

OK so they might only be a sheep but seriously, just look at them go! Maybe not so much for the donkeys though.

School photos will always look pants

No matter how nice you made their hair look, or how clean their jumper was when they left home, somehow they will either look like:

a) a Fraggle

b) Worzel Gummage

c) All teeth and nothing else

With another half a year ahead of us, I’m pretty sure that the learnings will keep coming. I’m hoping by the end of it I won’t feel like an utter newbie fool!

Is your child in their first year of school? How have you found the journey? Do share in a comment below.

11 things I've learnt since being a school mum

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  1. I have the added joys of my son not wanting to go into school in the morning, and then he doesn’t want to come home at pick up because he’s having so much fun with his friends.

  2. I have worked in schools all my life, so I will probably have that added worry … the “she works in a school you know” mum. It’s a special kind of awkward as you know they are silently judging your school against theirs, and as a result it all gets very British and over apologetic.
    Mind you teacher mums always get me wine at the end of term… they know lol.

  3. Haha! Brilliant post! I am now in my 2nd year of being a school gate mum. I sold my soul 6 months ago and became the chairperson of our PTA. I am the reason you have to bake… mwwuuhahahaha!
    Oh, and it’s always on the BO, greasy haired and (heaven forbid) unbrushed teeth days that all the parents want to speak to you 😉 x

  4. I’m sorry, I must admit that i laughed a little at this. I’ve a few years to go yet, but I’m already wondering how being a school Mum will go for me. The fortunate thing is that the school is only 30 feet from my front door (i checked on Google maps) and so if I forget something, it shouldn’t hinder us too much.

  5. haha oh no you’re scaring me now. I have all this to come. My daughter starts school in September. I’m hoping to be one of those uber organised mums but when it comes to it I bet I’ll be the worst for remembering things.

  6. Though I’m not a parent myself, I have learnt a lot of these things second-hand through my bestie and her daughters (my god daughters). Getting them up, dressed, fed and at the school gates in time for the register can be a nightmare some mornings LOL! x

  7. Theres nothing like forgetting a water bottle and having to go home to get it. You greet the receptionist panting and sweating, you can only just about get your child’s name & class out coherently. Ah the joys! 😉 x

  8. Oh no, I’m still only doing the nursery run which seems bad enough. Why don’t kids want to wear coats or shoes?! As to putting a hood up, I might as well be asking them to remove their own hand for all the fuss that follows…. #coolmumclub

  9. This is so true and it doesn’t get easier. My daughter is in year 5 and still dithers every morning and is always the last out at the end of the day. And when I ask what she’s done that day the answer is usually “not much”. Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  10. Oh I just love this post! The hour immediately preceeding the school run is undoubtedly the most stressful hour of my day, and what is it with the sudden blindness to random items of clothing – THEY’RE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE!!! Very funny xx #coolmumclub

  11. You will survive!!! One of my parenting lows was turning up for a parent’s evening minus Rev T who usually did the school stuff and being asked by the headmistress who I was …

  12. Yes, Talya to ALL of this!! Every morning I promise myself not to shout about not getting ready and every morning I fail! It’s always a mission to get out the door and on our way on time. Yes, to the bombardment of emails, parentmail, facebook messages etc. We need to get a P.A. to deal with this stuff! It really is a funny time when your kids start school because you do end up entering into a completely new realm of routine, stuff to do and remember and Mums at the school gate! I really do wonder what our kids do all day too as I get absolutely zero information, only demands for snacks! Thanks for hosting #CoolMumClub xx

  13. So this is what I have to look forward to next year! My little boy is still at nursery, so times are very flexible, but I guess all that’s going to change! #coolmumclub

  14. Oh this takes me back Talya!
    With my eldest in his 3rd year in High School and my youngest in Year 4 I’m way past this stage but boy do I remember it.
    I found that BP (eldest) wouldn’t tell me what he did all day, it was always “I don’t know”. However LP (youngest) will tell me EVERYTHING. He talks about the sums he did in maths, the things they learned in History and the experiments they did in Science. He’s a joy to talk to after school.
    As a side note BP still won’t talk to me about school!

  15. I promise it gets easier (sort of) my son now makes me park away from the school so he can walk in on his own. If he had his way I would park a mile away. He’s only 8 #coolmumsclub

  16. Argh, the school gates. I have a few stories to tell you over a coffee one day Talya!

    Still not worked out if the best approach is to get right in there, or keep your head down and get on with the job in hand.

    Two years in and still learning!

    If only we were #SchoolMumClub Mums together ha ha! Imagine! x #coolmumclub

  17. Tayla, this made my day! All so very true, and I hate to be the next doomsayer the further into school years they go the worst it can become, as more and more homework sets in and you end up making ridiculous things such as Saxon villages etc! That said the more the school years go by, the more I have realised that less effort gets you further so I let them take in something that resembles noting like the brief and tada they win!#coolmumclub

  18. The amount of stuff you have to remember is insane! There are loads of letters coming home every single day with Luke and I’ve already forgotten a few things… Turning up at school in your uniform when everyone else is dressed up is a bit pants.

  19. Literally just been through this and now sitting here with a cup of tea recovering! It’s honestly the most stressful time of my bloody day! And thats crazy because in theory its simple but my god it never works out that way #CoolMumClub

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