Monday, September 17, 2018

Playground Politics

For many, the school run is one of the most hated parts of the school year. Not because every morning without fail you’ll be screaming at your kids to get their shoes on and you’re already late or because you’ve picked them up and forgot to bring the all important snack, but because you stress about finding your place in it all.
My daughter starting nursery at our local school isn’t all new to me, her three siblings before her have all been there so you you could say that I’m part of the furniture as I embark on my 14th year of school runs at this school, yes that’s right FOURTEEN years and without a break in between!
I remember my first week of school runs, getting to 


know the other parents, seeing how my daughters friendship groups were working and finding my feet but one thing that stuck out was how ‘cliquey’ some of the mums were.




Despite being quite a chatty and friendly person it seemed really hard to ‘break into’ these mummy circles and not feeling accepted would often leave me feeling deflated. I’d try reading up on things they were talking
about so I could join in the conversation, pretend to like the things they did and just generally fake it till you make it as they say but I soon realised that what should be an enjoyable experience seeing my daughter off to school was becoming a chore and making me feel quite low. Waiting for that invite for coffee with the other mums or the text to enjoy a glass of wine with them felt like it was never going to be extended to me. Was it because I wasn’t middle class and white like the vast majority of parents or was it because I didn’t have that size 10 toned body? It took a while but then I started to feel accepted(or so I thought) but it just didn’t sit right that I had to be somebody I wasn’t just to fit in with these people that not long ago I didn’t even know.

It was then that I decided if these people didn’t like or accept the real me then they just weren’t worth my time. 


I let my guard down, started being myself again and you know what, I started to enjoy the school run and along the way made some real friends. People who laughed at the same things as me, people who had the same worries in life as me, people who liked and accepted me for ME.
Over the years I have observed parents in the playground looking uncomfortable or feeling left out and as a school run mum veteran try and pop over and say ‘HI’ because I was once that Mum and sometimes all you need is a friendly hello.

If you have become a school run mum this year then remember, just be yourself and don’t feel intimidated by the established cliques and friendship groups, say hi, smile and know that in time you’ll find your place in the playground and if you are already a school run mum and see a parent looking rather lost or lonely in the 
playground, be that warm and friendly face. 
We all have so much going on in our lives as mums, dads, guardians etc so playground politics is the last thing we need.


Emma xoxo


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