My friend just told me I’m in a pretty militant mood today, so just to prove her right, let me bitch about the mean mothers at our school gates.
Now don’t get me wrong. Most mums are lovely. You’re probably a mum yourself, and I bet you’re ever so nice.
But the school gates are a funny place. I suppose they’re a bit like … well, school. You’re thrown together with a load of people, and some aren’t your cup of tea.
For years, I’ve been happily choosing my own friends. But now, I am forced to spend time with LOTS of new people. And sometimes, there are personality clashes.
So join me as I gossip shamelessly about those personality clashes, AKA the mean mothers at the school gates.
The Mean Mother Who Hates My Child
She never actually says it out loud, but this woman is always implying that Lexi is a horrid little monster.
‘Oh listen to Lexi!’ she says. ‘Bossing my son around already and it’s not even nine o’clock!’
Alright – my daughter is a bit bossy. But she’s also the best little girl who ever lived. And everyone agrees with that. Right? I mean, look at her, she’s perfect. Right?
Needless to say, this mum never notices her son trying to ‘catch’ Lexi in a traffic cone.
Probably she thinks her little boy is perfect too. Talk about blinkered …
The Even Meaner Mother Who Hates Her Own Child
She must love him really. But you’d never guess, because this mean mother shouts at her son every three seconds – on one occasion literally for breathing too loudly (he had a cold). This was accompanied by eye-rolling and general indignation that she’d been made to suffer such a horrendous little boy. Okay, so this mum is stressed. But that’s not her son’s fault. Leave him alone, woman! We all tell our kids off from time to time, but not EVERY moment of the day.
The Competitive Mother
‘What reading level is Lexi at now? How is she with her numbers? Does Lexi still have stabilisers on her bike?’
ARG!! You’re fooling no-one – it’s blatantly obvious you’re trying to top-trump my child with your own genius, level-five reading, unaided-cyclist son.
I know this mum is just insecure, but she still drives me mad.
The worst of it is, sometimes I feel myself getting sucked into the competition.
There was one quite vicious Easter egg decorating competition, for which I bought a hot glue gun and a spangly neon craft set. We were ROBBED, I am telling you. That little boy should never have been allowed to enter an Ostrich egg …
The Cliquey Mean Mothers
These two mums cling to each other and shut everyone else out.
If I try to talk to them, they look visibly distressed.
‘We’ve made our friend, thank you. We see no reason to engage with anyone else …’
They’ve shunned me, to the point of actually turning their backs. They shun everyone else too, which makes me feel a bit better.
Still. It’s bitchy, isn’t it?
Whenever I’m near this mum, she implies that Lexi is about to get killed.
‘Um … Lexi is going stomach-first down that slide. Lexi just climbed that tree… Lexi is standing up on the swing …’
This mum is just trying to be nice, but I wish she wouldn’t worry so much about my kids. Believe it or not, I don’t want them to die either.
The Holier-than-Thou Mean Mother
I take my kids to the pub for dinner on Friday afternoons. That’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, there’s a playset in the garden and fish fingers are sort of healthy. Plus, I only ever have two (large) glasses of wine …
But this mum would never take her son to the pub. And she would never give him ‘generic freezer food’. And she definitely wouldn’t drink wine. Worse – she tells me all these things as I’m leaving for the pub to drink wine and feed my kids freezer food.
What really irritates me about this mum is she has one child. It’s easy to be holier than thou without a toddler trying to beat up her big sister. Let me tell you, I need that glass of wine.
Mums eh? Of course, I have my faults too. There’s probably an article somewhere about the care-worn, freezer-food mum with the un-ironed clothes and alcohol habit. Honestly, most mums are amazing and lovely. I bet you’re one of the good ones. Fancy the pub after school?
Love Suzy K Quinn xxx
Suzy K Quinn is the author of new motherhood fiction, the Bad Mother’s Diary.