A childless friend of mine accompanied me on the school run recently. She found it quite the learning curve; tens of parents herding 100+ tiny individuals hurriedly through doors, everyone looking harassed, rushed, panicked. She remarked on the absurdity of the event as I passed on overly enthusiastic 'good mornings' to anyone that met my eye.
'Its pretty bizarre,' she commented, 'having to suddenly be friends with all these people, some of whom you wouldn't normally give the time of day, just because your kids go to school together? Weird!'
School runs are notoriously famed for their bad rep. There are school run sketch shows, comedy acts, whole movies based on them, and you can see why. First thing on a Monday morning, a time where I can barely look my husband in the eye, there I am, faced with all these people, having to be cheery, or at least polite, so my child can be socially accepted.
Since I began partaking in the blogging world I have read blogs on 'school run stereotypes' (I couldn't work out if I was the sleep deprived one, the blogging one or the one trying to get people to bake for an up coming charity event). I have read school run blogs, telling me how to pull off the 'just got out of bed' look. But I have never come across a pro-school run blog. Well, hold the press, this is it.
I have a confession to make, sometime in the last month or so I have found I have become a school run sympathiser. I wouldn't go so far as to liking them, but there is something to be said for the camaraderie. We are all for slagging the hell out of our early morning frantic jaunt across town, but as I appear at the school gates windswept, out of breath, stressed and tired I glance up and no one is judging me, I am greeted instead by a sea of faces displaying a look so closely resembling mine. They all manage a friendly hello as we palm our children off onto the over worked teacher. Those running late are greeted with a sympathetic nod, grateful it is not us that are tearing through the gates five minutes after the bell, though very aware it could be us tomorrow.
When my daughter began her schooling years we were pretty new to the area and knew no one and I can absolutely say that some of my best friends have come from a good gossip at the school gates. So this week when the Daily Mail directed an article at basically slagging off some of the well known Mummy Bloggers out there- criticising the way they parent it got me thinking. I didn't read the whole article- mainly because it didn't deserve the time of day. I don't know who the author was, again, because they don't deserve the recognition. But I do wonder if they are a parent at all. Probably not, because if they were they would see that actually parenthood is hard and we all do the best we can with what we have got. The solidarity that comes from these articles, just like the solidarity that is found at the school gates shows we are all in this together, no one is any better at parenting than anyone else. Therefore the more we support each other, then the happier we are, and in turn the happier our children are too.