|FAMILY|6 tips for a first time school Mum (and reflections on my first year!) | LarabeeUK

|FAMILY|6 tips for a first time school Mum (and reflections on my first year!)

And so in a flash, T has finished his first year of school.

This year has been a rollercoaster for all of us, I don't think The Hubs and I really appreciated how different it would be from him going to nursery. The older 2 went to their school nursery so for them in was just a case of going to a new classroom with their existing friends so the transition wasn't that difficult for them. 

For T, it was a complete change, no longer seeing friends and nursery staff he'd seen every day for the past 4 years and going to a school where he knew 2 children out of the 42 in the school, one was in his class but he didn't know him very well. The other in the older class and luckily knew very well. 

This year was a bit of a change for me too, changing my hours and working school hours only, trying to fit in shopping trips and errands into a half hour lunch. Loosing all day Friday to play with my baby. You know what?  I like it much more, I love finishing at 2.45 and picking T up from school. But the biggest change for me?  Making friends with other Mum's and joining in with school activities. 

Before T started school, I heard all the bad stories about playground cliques and parent bullying and knew I wanted no part of it at all, as far as I was concerned I was there for my little boy, not to make friends and I wanted nothing to do with the bitchyness associated with what goes on in the playground.  

So I prepared myself on the first day, put my big girl pants on and headed down to the gates, yes there were people standing in groups together chatting but there were others standing alone. Should I try and be friendly to someone standing alone too, I thought to myself?  Then I thought, no they probably are happy keeping themselves to themselves just like me. 

And on it went like this for at least the first term, this for me was a huge result, I was being left alone parent would smile and pass the time of day but nothing more. This was just perfect for me. 

Then we received a letter about the parent teacher group and about the 'Friends of' group. I'd always said I wanted to be involved with T's schooling and so I attended both meetings. In my second 'Friends of' meeting I even offered to be the treasurer, I still don't know what possessed me to do that but I'm so very glad I did now. 

After a few weeks T was invited to children's houses to play or to stay after school and join in a game of football in the park. Which meant more small talk and speaking to other Mum's. Before long I realised that I looked forward to turning up at school, I enjoyed speaking to the other Mum's and having a chat and laugh, drinking tea whilst the children were playing. 

And then I was invited out by one of the Mum's who was getting married. There were only 4 of us from school but we had such a fun night, and I realised that although we were all very different, in age, in lifestyle, in nature, we too were all very similar, we all liked a drink, we all swore like troupers, we were all very honest and we just clicked. 

We went on to arrange a Father's Day football tour name to together, where the husbands all met for the first time and have had subsequent other events where we've all got together culminating with a little picnic on the green yesterday afternoon when the kids finished school. 

I wouldn't say I was worried about it back in September, but I was very guarded and thought I didn't want to make new friends. But I'm oh so glad I did. Not only do I now have a lovely group of friends that I can call on anytime, I've become closer again to a neighbour with whom we'd drifted from a bit. There are also many other Mum's who I have a chat with or cup of tea with, not necessarily whom I'd consider friends but who are lovely and friendly.   I don't really think we could be considered a clique, we welcome anyone in as long as you don't mind the swearing, drinking and probably a bit TIM about monthly cycles and tummy issues 😂

I thought I'd put together some tips from what I learned in my experience, I know I would have benefitted from this before I became a playground Mum. 

1. Don't automatically assume there will be bitchyness. I listened to too many peoples horror stories so went into the playground always on guard and ready for a fight. In reality (for our school at least) there's none of this at all. 

2. Some people don't have time to make friends, there really are some people who don't want to talk or who really are too busy to talk and that's their prerogative. I've seen some of the more outgoing parents 'bothering'  people like this and they look so uncomfortable, let people come out of their shell in their own time. 

3. As a new parent don't go in thinking you are going to take over the playground, I've seen this happen this year and it was painful. You are walking into established friendships, sit back, mind your own business and you'll be invited in try and bull your way in is a sure fire way of being pushed out. 

4. Don't judge before you get to know someone. Oh god I'm so terrible at this, the Mum who's always on the phone, I found in our playground, she's actually a surgeon, the calls she takes literally are life or death. 

5. Not all groups are cliques, the definition of clique is 'Small group of people often with shared interests who associate closely and exclude others from their group' from my experience everyone is very welcoming as long as you don't try to muscle your way in. I flit about  our few groups I have people I talk to in all, do I get invited for coffee with the 'fit Mum's group'? no, but that's fine we're all have time for each other in the play ground. Have I invited someone from the 'football Mum's group' to a picnic over arranged with someone from the 'Friends of group' no?  But you know what? If they asked we'd tell them as long as they don't mind our potty mouths they are more than welcome. 

6. Let's face it, enjoying a cuppa and a chat makes kids parties sooooo much easier! 

I guess what I'm really trying to say is, don't listen to the tales of woe, sit back, take it all in and then make your own judgement. And if the chairman of the Friends committee asks you out for coffee, go, it might just lead to meeting some wonderful new friends. 

And if you end up like 'Bad Moms' you've cracked it!!!

Much love L 💕

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