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Back to School: 6 Mamas You’ll Meet at the Beginning of Term

mamas-at-school-gate
Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life

School Run Mums

So the kiddos might be settling into a new term/class/year, but how about us, mamas?! We often need to start from scratch too: meeting parents, working stuff out, getting to the gates on time (and not in PJs). And while getting the littles sorted is priority, navigating the school-run-mamas is a whole other story. From super efficient business types whose family runs like clockwork to chaotic mamas who’ve barely flung back the bedcovers before jumping in the car, there are so many characters and personalities to bump into! We’ve put together a little tongue-in-cheek guide to six of the mamas you’ll meet at the start of term, and a quiz at the end to figure out where you fit in (and who to avoid, befriend or try to figure out!). And actually we’re a real mix of all of them (except maybe the model mama… sigh).

worried mom

First Time School Mama

This mama arrives early, prepared for tears (mostly her own). She is full of questions about everything from what time they water the grass on the playing field to what happens if her child needs to sneeze. She’s most likely to be with hubby, clutching the hand of her darling offspring and looking a little frightened. She’ll stay behind the classroom door until home time, worry about whether the decision to send her kiddo to this school is the right one – and need plenty of TLC from the other mamas. We’ve all been there: the first day of school as a new mama is scary, there are new corridors to navigate, procedures you’ve never heard of and your little one might be upset. But it’ll pass!

 bad moms

Seasoned School Mama of Many

Beginning of term is no biggie for this mama, her gang of kiddos have been doing this for years and the only thing she’s worried about is the traffic, because everything else is under control. Child number 2 is wearing hand-me-downs that are far too big, but so what? The eldest is walking into school unaided and her little newcomer isn’t bothered at all because he/she has been coming along to pick-up/drop off since day one. This mama is happy to help if you have any questions; she’s chilled, savvy and she knows all the school hacks (after school clubs = easy) and every teacher’s name. But it may not be easy to pin her down as she’ll have her routine sorted, dropping off and picking up like clockwork or organising a school run so that she can grab as much time for herself as possible.

serial class mom

Serial Class Mama

The WhatsApp group has been set up and a logo added weeks before school starts and this mama already has a schedule of playdates, mama coffee mornings and class activities listed. For those of you new to school, a class mama is the very brave person who mediates all communication between teacher and mamas… no mean feat! She’ll be the one looking organised and efficient, keen to establish herself as head honcho. And our advice? Let her do it! With over 20 mamas in most classrooms, there are questions galore and the Serial Class Mama will help field them. She’ll also be super involved in the school community, she’ll send reminders when needed (perfect if you have a tendency to forget dress-up day), attend school trips, conduct reading sessions and gather you all for fun and games where possible. Oh, and she’ll sort end of term teachers gifts. Perfect.

disorganized mom

Disorganised Mama

She’s running through the gates late, her kid(s) trailing behind, and stopping at the canteen en-route to class because the school lunches are still on the kitchen counter. Her dates were mixed up and she’s convinced that the first day of term has been rescheduled. And what’s this about staggered drop-off times for the early years? The littlest one will just have to sit through her waxing appointment (for which she’ll now be late). Disorganised mama will be relying on Class Mama for all her info, but that also means having to sift through billions of WhatsApp messages, which is impossible when her phone’s gone AWOL again. She’ll be the one getting endless reminders about forms she hasn’t signed and Emirates ID’s she hasn’t registered weeks into term, but she’ll never see them because they’ll be crumpled at the bottom of her kid’s book bag (along with the bits of old lunch and a lost library book) and her kids will be the ones waiting on the late carpet most days or sent into school in uniform on ‘dress as your favourite book character week’. She’s wracked with guilt for over-promising and she keeps meaning to stop the chaos – sound familiar?!

seasoned mama

Pushy Mama

You’ll hear her before you see her. This mama is reciting Latin verbs with her kiddo while making an appointment with the headmistress (to discuss last year’s school results), and bragging about her child’s achievements over the summer hols. She’ll be the one asking the teacher why there isn’t any homework yet (on day one), requesting extra reading and insisting that her child be signed up to every extra curricular activity immediately. Pushy mama will be sizing you up at the gates, checking to see if you (or rather your offspring) are competition and coming up with a strategy to stay a cut above, before making sure that she’s seated on the front row of the main hall to catch every word (and make notes) of the welcome speech. Pushy mama will often have the biggest, flashiest car in the parking lot, and will already be planning the most extravagant of parties for her little (with the most OTT party bags to boot). Leave your kid’s book bag within reach and she’ll be checking to see what spelling level they’ve got to. This mama is competitive to the max. And if you befriend her on Facebook or Instagram? Prepare yourself for endless videos and photos of her perfect kids and her perfect life.

model mom

Model Mama

Just the person you want to see when you’ve had a wardrobe malfunction and your roots are suddenly the size of China. Model mama swans in looking perfect, smelling gorgeous and flashing a killer smile even after a late night on the town. Her style is enviable (how does she make jeans and a tee look so good?!) and as for her shoe collection? We can but dream. When your nails are chipped and bitten, hers are always perfectly manicured, and her quick updo is better than anything your salon can put together in an hour. Oh, and to top it off, she’s probably the nicest person EVER. And she has a PhD.

Recognise yourself (or someone you know), mamas? Take our quiz to see which of our stereotypes you’re most like!

The Sassy Mama School-Run-Mum Quiz!

1. It’s the first day do you…
a) Arrive an hour early and panic about where to go
b) Saunter in casually while high-fiving all of the teachers – everything’s under control
c) Consult your clipboard and position yourself by the classroom door
d) Run through the gates as they’re closing… or go to the wrong school
e) Scope out the other kids and parents from behind your shades and make mental notes of who might be a challenge
f) Breeze in looking gorgeous, smelling lovely and causing a few jaws to drop

2. Your kids’ packed lunch consists of…
a) Neatly name labelled boxes with everything they might be craving that day
b) Last night’s leftovers… cold pizza, anyone?
c) Crust-off triangle sandwiches and Annabel Karmel school snacks
d) Whatever the school canteen can provide since you left lunch at home
e) All the correct food groups for stimulating brain productivity
f) Perfect homemade everything, whipped up while looking gorgeous

3. The school uniform is…
a) Too big (but you bought one of each size so you can change it tomorrow) and named in every possible way
b) Handed down and covered in paint stains
c) Ironed, starched. You’ve sent in a P.E. kit too, just in case
d) Not quite bought yet
e) Pre-ordered at birth and now tailored to fit
f) Cute, even though it’s the same as everyone else’s, it just looks better

4. You walk past the bursar’s office, do you…
a) Queue at the wrong door and ask if you owe anything
b) Keep on going, you might owe them something but it’ll get sorted
c) Bring your spreadsheet in to crosscheck and tick off
d) Hide and shy away
e) Pay for the next 10 years immediately
f) Smile and shake your hair

5. Your kids are crying, do you…
a) Panic and look for help before bursting into tears yourself
b) Ignore. Ruffle their hair and then scarper soon after drop off (they’ll be okay after a minute)
c) Ask the teacher to keep an eye out for them and then WhatsApp your class group to see if anyone else cried
d) Try to find a tissue in your Mary Poppins-style bag and drop everything in the process
e) Refer to an online guide for dealing with this and then try to get everything under control ASAP
f) Model mama’s kids don’t cry

6. You find out it’s swimming tomorrow, do you…
a) Worry that it’s too hot, dusty, soon, cold, wet
b) Try to remember where the school swim kit is, and figure you can send them in their regular bathers for a week or two
c) WhatsApp everyone to let them know
d) Forget
e) Bring out the already packed bag and practice butterfly stroke after school
f) Ask if you can come along in your bikini

7. Everyone’s talking drop-off and pick up times, are you…
a) Completely prepared with alarms set
b) Getting the school run gang geared up
c) WhatsApping everyone to remind them
d) Panicking because you thought the timings were different, then quietly looking at the communicator to figure out what you should be doing
e) A little bit annoyed that school hours are so short. How are they supposed to learn anything?
f) Sending a driver

8. The headmaster is walking towards you, do you…
a) Smile and stop to chat and introduce hubby/kiddo
b) Give him a high-five
c) Stop to ask him some very important questions about parking/timings/rules
d) Smile because you know you recognise him from somewhere (but where…?!)
e) Corner him to ask about exam results
f) Flash him a killer smile and flirt a little bit

9. Two kids are fighting in the corridor, are you tempted to…
a) Panic and cry
b) Detour, you’ve had your fair share of fights already this morning
c) Step in and tell them why it’s all wrong
d) Ask them to help you find class 2C
e) Phone your husband to demand that your kid be removed immediately
f) Give them a group hug

10. The mums are signing up for a class coffee morning, do you…
a) Sign up keenly
b) Make your excuses, even though you’re available
c) Organise the whole thing
d) Say you’ll go along but then miss/forget it
e) Curse the meeting you can’t move. You want to get an insight into everyone else’s lives.
f) Turn up looking gorgeous

11. After school activities, have you…
a) Set your alarm for 4am to get a spot
b) Figured out which activities will cause you the least pickup pain
c) Shared all the info very fairly amongst the class group
d) Not got a clue what we’re talking about
e) Sent a bribe to the registrar
f) Signed them up for something cool and out of school

12. At the school gates, you’ll mostly be wearing…
a) Something planned the night before
b) Workout gear even though you have no intention of breaking into a sweat
c) Workout gear because you’re hitting the gym straight after drop off
d) Anything that’s within grabbing reach
e) A killer outfit that makes you feel great
f) Designer gear and a fully made up face. But actually anything at all… it’ll all look fab

13. Show and tell has been announced for Thursday. You’ve…
a) Not got a clue what that means
b) Got your older kids stuff still in storage somewhere
c) WhatsApped the group to remind them, and for inspo
d) Written it in your diary so you don’t forget (again)
e) Already been breeding your albino chincillas for years in preparation
f) Sorted Dubai’s latest food truck gang – your friends – to make an appearance

14. You’ve memorised your teachers first name on…
a) The very first day you saw it
b) For years, they taught kiddos 1 and 2
c) The day you decided you’d love to be class mum
d) Drop off every day. You need reminding by your child before walking in
e) Day 1. And you’ve read up on all of her credentials.
f) Meeting, you never forget a name or a face.

15. Pick up is great because…
a) You get to see your darling little one again
b) The driver is handling it
c) You can chat to all the other mamas
d) There are loads of spaces when you’re late
e) The competitive spirit in you loves finding an awesome space
f) You’re gorgeous

Mostly a’s… you’re most like the first time school mama
Mostly b’s… you’re most like the seasoned school mama (of many)
Mostly c’s… you’re most like the serial class mama
Mostly d’s… you’re most like the disorganised mama
Mostly e’s… you’re most like the pushy mama
Mostly f’s… you’re most like the model mama

Featured imaged via Stocksnap, Image #2 via Pinterest, image #3 via Pinterest, image #5 via Pinterest, image #6 via Pinterest

This post was originally published on Sassy Mama website in August 2016.

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