Having worked in a primary school (by the way, staff are over-sized children). You have the Head teacher’s pet, those that keep to themselves, and those like Randall from recess (who remembers that???) who snitches to get credit etc…
However, I was completely shocked to find that the behaviors of parents (mum’s in particular) in the playground are no different. Who would have thought that the school run will feel nostalgia for my school days?
Fundamentally, I am incredibly shy (yes, yes, those that know me will strongly deny! Lol). But I really am. I am the parent who wants to say hello, but it’s too shy to do so. Hence, in order to get through, I sort of ignore people (which is terrible I know), as I may come across rude. But people just don’t look friendly in the morning. Heck, I probably don’t look friendly in the morning. I mean who would, if you’ve had to shout 20 times ‘put your shoes on!’ while your tired toddler is hanging on your waste as you attempt to draw your eyebrows on and look half decent in the morning?
I loathe school run. From the getting ready in the morning to the playground. I hate it all. I always look a mess and flushed. So I’m not that surprised parents aren’t so friendly in the morning.
But how about the afternoon, when you’ve had a chance to get your shit together? Still all I see are cliques. Especially the clique that don’t like to speak to anybody outside their gang. They make no eye contact. They make it clear that ‘you can’t sit with them’. Then, you have the parents, who have chosen to use the school pathways as their fashion runway. Then on the other end, you have the slummy mummies who walks their children to school in their tracksuits and hood up. List goes on.
The playground can be an intimidating and lonely place for parents’ as well as children. I know I felt like that at first. If you’re wondering why it matters? I don’t blame you. I was once like you. I didn’t care much. I was not there to make friends. Until one morning, Isabelle had a terrible night. She struggled to sleep well the night before. Then lo behold, ten minutes before school run, she fell asleep. What was I to do? Shall I wake her or shall I leave her and Isaiah goes to school late?
Fortunately, I looked outside my window and spotted a mum mate…ish that I mutter good morning to during the school run. Her daughter and my son are in the same year, so I explained the situation to her and she gladly agreed to walk Isaiah down to school with her child. Phew! So just imagine, if I didn’t ever make an effort to say hello if need be. I would’ve had to wake Isabelle up, or let Isaiah be late for school.
You see people matter. You never know when you might need a helping hand. Also, you don’t want be a sufferer of FOMO (fear of missing out). There’s nothing worse than overhearing a conversation about an upcoming school events and wonder why you didn’t hear about it.
So I decided to speak to the PTA leader, who seemed lovely. She also mentioned that it was lovely to have black mums (can’t remember word for word, but it was along those line) approaching her to join the PTA, as it is usually the middle class white women that are usually interested. Not sure how I feel about that really. To be fair, she seemed very excited to have a diverse group of people to represent the school. Well, honestly the PTA board does have only one black parent.
So I bumped into her at a local supermarket later and she strolls right pass me as if we had never met before. Sighs. I find that happens quite often. Do you have a work colleague that seem lovely at work, but see you them outside and they act like they don’t know you???
Still, a few experiences have taught me on just how important it is to stay connected and be approachable. I have spoken to a few parents whom I never thought I would have much in common with. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed talking to those people.
I have been asked to meet up for a coffee after drop off sometime, so could this be the start of something brewing? Hmmm
How do you find the playground?