The mommy species is a competitive one (and rather intimidating for any new school-mom who has to face the wrath that is ‘moms at the school-gate’). It takes one mom to talk about the amazing idea they had for the end-of-year parent-teacher’s conference, for every other mom to try and top that idea as they fight to the death in a battle for absolute perfection. It’s incredible to watch. It’s also amusing.
The interaction that takes place between moms at the school gate or outside the classroom is directly proportionate to some of the social-situations that took place during my years at an all-girls school.
Read more: Back-to-school moms go wild
What is it about the school-gate that seems to have become some sort of meeting-ground for moms to showcase their lives, while some of them stand in their recently bought gym clothes (brand names only), a fresh coat of make-up and earrings that make you wonder if they really went to gym at all, before coming to collect their precious little angels?
How these mothers survive the next seven to twelve years depends on a variety of things: how much you value your privacy, how many Stikeez you collect a day, how proactive you are when it comes to being able to getting involved in class outings, how loud you are and how important fitting in is to you.
At every school-gate, there are a number of cliques that form within the first few days of the start of term:
The gossip queen
This mom isn't interested in exchanging recipes and ideas on child-friendly play-area locations. She doesn't care about the new cure for lice but you have her undivided attention when it comes to discussing the private lives of other parents or teachers. She's usually the first one to talk about things most would consider inappropriate or offensive and you try maintain distance (because you're better than that and grew out of gossiping in high-school, yes?)
The mom who really can't be bothered
Perhaps you’re one of the few moms who has never felt the need to be a part of the hype and all you care about is having as little to do with the other school moms as possible. Making sure you make the school-run on time is your only real concern. Your mornings are limited to replying to work-emails, cleaning the puke from the carpet and washing the snot out of your hair. Gym? Maybe next year when the kids start extra-murals and you have an extra 45 minutes to be an actual-human-being and look after yourself.
The mother who dresses for the red-carpet on their child's birthday (but also every other day)
Equally as entertaining to watch, is the battle for the most impressive home-made birthday cake or cupcake handout when a child celebrates at school. The sight of a mother balancing earth's biggest, most inventive and most perfect birthday cake between her fake boobs and Gelish nails, while walking from the car park in stilettos and reeking of Chanel 05... is something worth mentioning. There's always one of them.
The token dad
Funnier to watch, is the awkward dad you're guaranteed to find struggling to stay as far away as possible from the gossiping queens, the fashion runway and the general overwhelming hysteria that seems to happen when you put more than four moms together in one place.
The child-expert mom
When it comes to parenting, she has all the answers. Just when you thought you'd gotten a handle on parenting, she announces some new study which proves that your parenting-style could actually harm your child. She's the first to reveal new medical research that completely throws your opinion on vaccinations and anti-allergy strategies out the window.
Her child is never sick, sad or falling behind, because its mother practically mentored Dr Phil.
The straight-out-of-the-office mom
She's always in work clothes and is often the last person to join the school-gate-circle. She's clueless as to where the next school outing is and tends to freak out when another mother informs her that it's her child's turn to be Bakerman at school the next day.
These are just some of the many different types of school-gate moms and perhaps you fit into more than one category, or none at all. Either way, we'll always find certain types of characters and personalities at the school gate, school functions and events. For many moms, trying to fit in or get along with the parents of your child's classmates can be daunting and overwhelming.
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
What type of school gate mom are you most familiar with?