I’ve woken up late, my hair looks like it’s been zapped by a plug socket and as I scrabble to make breakfast, collect school bags and get out of the house in ten minutes flat, I know it’s going to be another one of those days.
When you have children, you will have a plethora of books containing unimaginable knowledge about: feeding, temper tantrums, the terrible twos, the ghastly threes, the horrendous fours but nothing, nothing will prepare you for being a ‘school gate’ mum.
Surviving the school gate is like survival of the fittest – and I hate exercise. Why is it, on the day you roll up looking like Freddy Kruger, you always stand next to one of those mums who exudes superhuman qualities? I’ve often wanted to ask what time they have had to get up in the morning to get their hair and make up done with such precision as honestly, a few tips wouldn’t go amiss. I think that there should be no secrets between us mothers. We are part of an exclusive group, a secret society if you like. It’s us against the world but alas, it seems that once you enter that school gate, you enter a whole new world, a Hunger Game where only the strongest survive.
So how do you survive? Having two children who have attended two different schools has led me to believe that in order to maintain an equilibrium in the playground, always smile. Smiling goes a long way, even in the pouring rain when you are stood next to the gymoholic mum, that cellulite free mother with a body that you didn’t possess even before giving birth, just smile back like she is your favourite mum in the world.
Another important tip I’ve discovered is to approach the gate with caution as you never know where the PTA mum is lurking. As a mother who can’t bake, make or create, the sheer terror that I might be pounced upon is enough encouragement to drop the kids at the gate quickly and dash off to work in a hurry.
It is hard to fit in at the school gate so if you really can’t beat the super mums, join them. Enrol yourself in an arts and crafts club to ensure prime position at the next PTA committee. Try Zumba and get yourself fitter so that you can finally be the subject of envy.