The School Run

I’ve been doing the school run for a few years now and it never ceases to amaze me how complex and fascinating a ritual it is. It’s a microcosm of (primarily) female behaviour where the drama and dynamics of modern day motherhood are on full display. A new storyline unfolds every other week as relationships change and judgements are made, all taking place at the precarious school gates.

There are many different types of mums on the school run but I’ve come to the conclusion they largely fall into the following categories:

1)The stressed out mum who has to drag her kids and baby in a buggy down the street as  they scream/sob/moan continuously in the pissing rain. She has to juggle seven different school bags with frizzy hair and feels totally and utterly defeated by 8am. That would be me.

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My pile of school bags this morning
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Heading out for the school run

2)The immaculately dressed and perfectly manicured mum who      always looks a million dollars with her blow dried hair and perfectly made up face. The morning drop off is an opportunity for her to parade her latest purchases whilst gliding effortlessly down the street as others look on in jealous disbelief.

3)The lycra mum who is forever in her gym gear putting the rest of us to shame with our preference for tea and pastry in the morning. She is completely unrecognisable when, on the odd occasion, she turns up dressed in normal clothes, without the headband, and we all wonder who the hell she is. We also wonder whether she really goes to the gym every day or just heads home and puts her feet up to watch Jeremy Kyle.

4)The schizophrenic mum who acts like your best friend one morning and then completely ignores you the next. You spend half the school year wondering if you’ve done something to offend her and then finally conclude she is just plain weird.

5)The moaner. You casually ask this mum how she is and she proceeds to complain about every single aspect of home, family and school life. At first you think she is just having a bad day but then quickly realise every day is a bad day. You spend the rest of the school term trying to avoid her as it’s not exactly the most uplifting start to your day.

In and amongst all of these contrasting personalities you have the parking issues and cliques to deal with, both of which cause further stress and irritation. Trying to dodge the traffic warden whilst competing for parking spots isn’t exactly fun. Nor is being excluded by a clique of mothers who stop talking every time you approach them.  And let’s not even get into the dynamics of the working mums versus the stay at home mums. The school run is an absolute minefield but a fascinating one at that.

Truth be told, this ritual, although stressful, offers a curious insight into female dynamics and the world of motherhood, whilst occasionally producing some good friendships. Despite the difference and drama, the shared dread and drudgery of the school run unites us. It’s not my favourite part of the day but there’s no denying that what goes on at the school gates makes the morning routine a little less dull, spicing up what would otherwise be an abysmal start to the day.

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12 thoughts on “The School Run”

  1. Absolutely love the parka! May I ask where from? 🙂 x

    Your school run observations are spot on esp: re: the immaculate/manicured or ‘over done’ one as I call them . We have 2 on my school run, one speaks to the ‘rich set’ that she’s trying to infiltrate & the other is just down right rude. Both think they are better than everyone else & both have a mission in life to compete & out do all the other mums however ill-disguised. Very sad x

    1. Thanks Jenny! I’m so glad you liked the post and that it resonated with you. The school run is a funny old thing…so many fascinating issues can arise..hence the blog post! The coat is from Ralph Lauren by the way. Good luck witht the manicured mums and thanks for your sharing your thoughts:)

  2. Nice one Shazia!!👏🏼👏🏼 I can completely relate to this. Enjoyed the way you define types of mum!! Faces kept floating in front of my eyes while reading each description!!! Wonder where you would put me!!! 🤔

    1. Not doubt we are on the stressed out mum category, Munmun.
      Pushing the buggy loaded with bags and screaming/demanding children around while pouring rain and letting our hair frizzed because you need one hand for the buggy and another to hold your second child when crossing the road, so no hands for umbrella. Hahaha love reading you Shazia!

      1. Lol Carmen. Oh the stress of it!!!! How dull our lives would be without a whinging child in the buggy, a dozen different school bags, a grumpy school kid, frizzy hair and abysmal weather…we should count ourselves lucky…:)

  3. Love it!! My school runs have been over for the last 5 years or so. This article (soooo well written!) had me reminiscing about those days when I was the frantic mum trying to get my daughter to school on time. Though I wasn’t a fan of those early morning runs at the time, now that those days are over, I’m kind of sad and miss them 😕 Every moment of being a mother is precious and can be looked back with a sense of not only an achievement but a quiet sadness too when that phase is over. Thanks Shazia for this wonderfully descriptive write up ❤️

    1. You are so right Catrima! I actually think I will miss the school runs when they finally come to an end, despite the stress they cause first thing in the morning. All part of the joy of parenthood, creating memories. xx

  4. Ha ha… very good … I occasionally drive past the school gates and am amazed at the drama and chaos goings on … on approach and at the gates! Good to get an inside view !

  5. I’m the eject the child from the car seat approaching the school entrance…. Part-time working mum whose husband knows the mums better than me!

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