Avoiding Other School Mums Because Your Kid Did Something Dumb

School mums. Is there anything scarier?

(Well yes, quite a lot of things in fact, including but not limited to antibiotic-resistant superbugs, dropping your car keys in the toilet after you’ve done a poo, house spiders, reverse parking, anal bleaching and vaginal ultrasound wands).

So, we’ve established that there’s nothing scarier than school mums **coughs**, but what’s even scarier than school mums is school mums you are trying to avoid because you have committed a social faux pas that makes you look stupid, heartless, arrogant or overly-permissive in the parenting of your children.

And that’s where I come in…

Look I’ve tied myself in knots trying to find a way to talk about this incident in a non-identifying manner, despite the fact that my blog readership hovers somewhere around 3.7 readers on average – not including my mother. BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T READ MY BLOG. But let’s not go into that now… She doesn’t love me. It’s no big deal. Whatevs.

So in order to provide some context I’ve decided to include a lightly-censored version of events, in order to relieve this person from the burden of having to spend her limited spare time sticking bamboo skewers into little blonde-haired mummy blogger voodoo dolls when it finally gets back to them that I have splashed the details of our school gate dalliance all over the interwebs.

Which it will. Everyone knows the rules of School Gate.

First Rule of School Gate: You do NOT talk about School Gate.

Second Rule of School Gate: The FUCK, dude!? This is SCHOOL GATE. We talk about EVERYTHING. Bitches here be leaking like menstrual cups at a menorrhagia conference.

Anyway, here’s what went down. Use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

OK in hindsight that’s not very helpful. Try this:

The short version of events is that my kid was a turd to another kid at school. Look, I know that the spectrum of turd-dom is as vague and sprawling as a Lars von Trier movie marathon, so – just to clarify – think turd in terms of “saying something unintentionally hurtful” rather than “sociopathic little shit who gets their kicks from emotionally scarring their school mates”.

TL DR; my kid said something stupid which hurt the feelings of one of his female classmates. She told her mum. Cue awkward school gate ambush convo.

I’m not one of those parents who will defend their precious snowflake at any cost but there wasn’t much I could offer in the way of satisfying closure to the other school mum other than my already fumbled apologies and the promise that my son would say sorry to her daughter. Which he did. But it was still awkward. Farting-on-a-first-date awkward.

After about 30 seconds of anguished deliberation I decided that the only realistic options left remaining to me were to:

a) Change schools (CAN’T BE ARSED)

b) Homeschool (LIKE FUCK)

c) Move to Canada (DON’T BE A DICKHEAD)

d) Spend $240K getting surgery to look like Kim Kardashian (TEMPTING)

or

e) Avoid her for the next 4.5 years (OBVIOUS WINNER)

I mean, it was a no brainer (note that “Have open and mature adult conversation” was not on the list of possible solutions here because I am a piss-weak little coward with conflict-avoidance issues).

God forbid these two kids end up at the same high school in a few years time (LIKELY), because that means I will have to spend the next 10.5 years of my life diving into garden beds or ducking behind parallel-parked suburban SUVs every time this person is headed in my general direction.

That’s a decade of my life. I might as well go into the witness protection program.

This strategy of avoidance is fraught, because the other day we accidentally crossed paths (AWKWARD AF). I offered a sheepish smile that said “Aw shucks I know I’m an ASSHOLE but I’m one of those LIKEABLE assholes” and she responded with a dead-eyed stare that made Hannibal Lecter look as affable as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama after a satisfying six-hour chant session.

It’s a shame, because she seems like a really nice lady, but we can’t be friends now because:

a) She thinks my kid is an asshole

b) She thinks I’m an asshole

c) I AM an asshole

School gate ettiquette, man. It’s fraught.

Moral of the story: Don’t send your kids to fucking school.

Oh no. Wait.

Don’t be a pussy like me. Be a mature grown up about shit.

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46 thoughts on “Avoiding Other School Mums Because Your Kid Did Something Dumb

  1. You said sorry. Your son said sorry. What more is there to be done? Kids are kids and they say stupid shit, then move onto the next thing without a second thought… because they’re kids.
    I wouldn’t worry about it too much, the daggers will be out for some other poor mum next week.
    I personally dread the school pick up. It gives me anxiety some days. My son is only in kinder. God fucking help me lol

    • BWAHAHAHHAHA – amen to that! I can personally vouch for the fact that my kid has said about 3.2 million stupid things since then. Permanent foot in mouth disease, that one…

  2. Do what I do. Studiously start pretending to text someone as you walk into the school gates, thus ensuring no interaction with any other parent is required. Yes, I’m that pathetic. School mums scare me.

  3. Casually suggest she watches The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 year olds (from the BBC) – which shows in no uncertain terms that ALL children are savage arseholes. All of them. It’s kinda distressing to watch. One minute they’re super sweet and adorable and the next minute they’re forming alliances in order to crush the spirit of a former best friend.
    They’re all positively evil. No exceptions. Including her kid.

  4. Lars Von Trier 😂 oh, the horror! Yep, school gate can truly suck. On the other hand, the two kids may suddenly decide to be besties in a few months and before you know it you’ll be stuck next to that mum making small talk at a birthday party! Kids forget their interpersonal struggles long before their parents do. Good luck!

  5. So here is the good news, when you kids reach high school, they want nothing repeat NOTHING to do with Mum, therefor chance of seeing other school Mums is zip! Only 4.5 years to go 🙂

  6. Honestly if it didn’t require any serious intervention from a parent then I’m not sure why she told you??? All kids do and say stupid stuff every day and some of it is hurtful which totally sucks but unless I saw it happen as an ongoing thing or it was particularly mean I wouldn’t bother to accost another parent about it. They’d just be pulling me aside the following week. You know the parents I hate more? The ones that ignore bits and worms and continuously reinfect their class. Now there’s some pain in the arse parents!!!!

  7. I think she needs to take a leaf out of Elsa’s book and let it go. I mean the kids seem the grown ups in the situation, your son said sorry, they’ve moved on. C’mon school mom, get with the system! Failing that, I give you my top tip for chuggers (you know those charity peeps who always stop you in the street) which would also work well with school mums. Just pretend you’re in the middle of an important phone call, keep the phone to your ear and head down (just remember to put your phone on silent first, because it could be a tad embarrassing if it rings mid “convo”) It never fails!

    • OMG I just learnt something today!! CHUGGERS. Perfect name for those annoying peeps. I have perfected what I call “the wave”, which is kind of much ruder than pretending to be on the phone so maybe I should switch it up a bit.

  8. Bake her a cake with laxettes, 50 should do it. That will give her something real to bitch about but then I guess she could possibly die….. maybe cut it down to 20.

  9. Hahaha. My baby cries at every swimming lesson, which really embarrasses me. I tell myself “Amy, this isn’t the first time your kid is gonna embarrass you. Get over it”. Soooo turns out I’m right and I’m in it for the long haul. Hey!?

  10. Oh man, that is awkward. I’ve got myself in to this situation where I stand off to the side at drop-offs and pick-ups and I don’t know how to get myself involved with the other Mum’s that hang around and chat. Despite being an extrovert who can talk the ears off a mule, I find myself feeling really shy and intimidated in situations such as these and I feel like now that term 2 is almost over I’ve missed my chance. They are all really lovely ladies, and I’ll say hi to them if I see them one-on-one but as soon as there is more than 2 together I get scared and shy, it’s so weird! Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to try again in 18 months time when Zee starts school, lol!

    • Oh wow isn’t that interesting! I’m an introvert and I always thought that extroverts were never phased by this sort of thing, so there you go… Who’d a thunk it?

  11. Oh God!!! That is so hard. I totally back you up. I would definitely go with avoidance tactics also and just try to forget the whole thing ever happened. With any luck her kid will be an arsehole to your kid and you can call it even.

  12. I think this is exactly why the kids need to sort it out and the adults need to take a little step backward. Easier said than done because we are all protective mumma bears when it comes down to it. But I do think the kids will forgive and forget and that will be the cue for the adults to do the same.

    • YES!! Very true. Short of actual physical harm I’ve always been of this persuasion too and I’ve not had to intervene in anything. I figure it’s good for them to sort these things out between them for the most part – there are a lot of skills to be learnt.

  13. Lol! Reason number 1587 to not have kids?

    In all seriousness though, your son apologised. What more does she want? Kids do stupid things all the time. As long as parents can teach them to take responsibility for their actions, it’s okay to make mistakes.

  14. OK, I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe, just maybe, you will actually become mates with this lady. I formed a nemesis when I moved into my ‘hood. She outbid me at an auction a few years prior. Naturally our kids ended up at the same kinder. Naturally she was everything I was not. A zen mum, sugar free, completely chilled, managing 4 kids beautifully and she had my house. I repeat. She had MY house. Naturally I loathed her. Naturally she invited me over. Despite my grievances I couldn’t help but like her. I tried hard to fight it. But my nemesis and i became friends. I still hate going to her house though!!!

  15. Why does it matter if she likes you or not? And just for the record, you should never force a child to apologise. You should just ask them to, but if they don’t, it’s their own fault and something they need to deal with. Forcing children to apologise breeds an air of distrsut and fidelity with the wrong side (i.e. the mother who’s trying to make your kid into the bad guy). Who cares if somebody’s feelings got hurt, they’ll get over it.

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