I have to admit, when my eldest son started school 3 years ago I avoided other parents like the plague. I stood back at drop off and pick up time, only nodded and smiled at attempts to engage me in conversation and was basically as anti-social as one can be without being down right rude.
You see, I’d been scared off the school mum set by the sceptre of playground politics. I didn’t want to relive my own school yard traumas of clicky groups and bitchy besties. Besides, I already had a great bunch of fun, loyal, supportive friends and to be honest, between family, work, home and my existing social circle, my
dance coffee card was full.
Then my kid started making friends. The thing about kids is that you get drawn into their world. Heck, their world IS your world. So when kids make friends, you are forced to interact with those friends, and in due course their parents.
It was awkward at first, but let’s face it, kids give you lots of conversation fodder. You start off empathising over forgotten hats and lost drink bottles, then graduate to discussing last week’s homework assignment or the upcoming excursion. Before you know it you are comparing sleep deprivation war stories and favourite lunchbox recipes.
The next step, in my experience, is sending a Facebook friend request which is the modern day equivalent of swapping phone numbers but mercifully less confronting.
Then something kind of magic happens. Without you even realizing, this amazing web is being woven around you. A web made up of supportive, like-minded mums who know exactly what you are going through.
Sure, there will be the clicks and bitches that cross your path but just choose to avoid the politics and focus on the good.
School mum friends have got me through a pretty crazy year. Without them life would have been a lot harder for me and my kids. They’ve looked out for my boys when helping in class, picked them up, dropped them off, guided them and treated them as their own. In many respects they have done the same with me.
So if you have been holding back from making friends with mums at school or are anxious about starting out in the school yard next year, don’t be. Take a punt and put yourself out there. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I know I was.