School mom friendships

I have a dear friend, who I’ll call R, for the purposes of this column. She and I talk, every day – Monday to Thursday. What do we talk about? Homework, school activities and whether or not we think we could get a company to sponsor ‘wine for moms who are living through the homework years’.

She and I come from completely different backgrounds. She holds down a full-time corporate job and is mom to three children, which includes two teenagers. I get chills just thinking about how she does it all. I, on the other hand, am a work from home mom who only has one kid, and doesn’t know which end of pantsuit goes where.

But, there is one thing we have in common – we survive the demands of primary school together. When I am not sure what a specific item on the homework list for the day means, I can ask her. When her kid is sick and they need to play catchup on homework, I take pictures of the homework and notes for the week and send them to her via my cellphone.

Here’s the thing I’ve learnt, in the last year and a half of ‘big’ school so far. Whilst we have been blessed with incredible teachers, supportive school structures and marvellous resources, I would not cope without her.

Friends in the trenches

She is my comrade in the trenches of homework, and my compadre in stressing out over new projects. She is my calm voice when I worry about reports, and she is my sounding board when I am not sure if we’re doing the 2 times tables or the 3 times tables this week. We will make each other laugh when a new term begins and we feel a little frightened of what lies ahead. We will commiserate when our kids are uncertain, and we’ll bolster each other when it all feels a little too much. When one of us cannot attend a sports match, the other will be there, snapping photos and applauding twice as loudly.

I realise we’re lucky. Our children attended the same daycare when they were babies, and our friendship spans many years. But it is in primary school were we found we needed each other the most. Our children have been in the same class each year so far and we’re fervently hoping this trend will continue right the way through. We’ve reached a point where, at the end of this year, we will be writing notes to the HOD, and requesting that our children remain in the same class, if it’s at all possible. We would be adrift without each other. 

I’ve weighed up this kinship in comparison to the abnormally competitive nature of parenting that so often gets me down. If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I am so incredibly grateful to R, for her friendship and for being a parent who does not compete, and only supports. If there is one thing I wish I could recommend to schools, it’s that they pair parents off with each other, in this way, formally and properly – it has been my saving grace, on many a school day.

It is because of this friendship that I feel confident as we navigate through the pressures of primary school. I am not afraid of the towering piles of homework, or the surprise projects that arrive on Thursday afternoons. 

My dear school mom friend, I salute you. Thank you.

Do you have a school mom friend? Does it help with managing the demands of school and homework?

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