Things that go through your head when you are ignored on the school run

School run time and I am about to run the gauntlet known as “dropping your child off at school”. As usual, the playground comprises numerous cliques who have positioned themselves territorially at various locations.  It’s a bit like West Side Story where the Sharks square up to the Jets.

women on the school run walking through a country lane

And, as usual, there are some mums who, despite you saying “good morning” and smiling will only occasionally return your greeting and more frequently pretend they haven’t seen you.

Now I appreciate I don’t turn up looking like “glamma mamma” but a bit of common courtesy wouldn’t hurt, would it?  I often find myself wondering why some mums are so, well, odd.

These are some of the thoughts that go through my mind.

Is it me?  

Have I done something to give offence?  Have I looked at them in a ‘funny way’?  Have I not heard them (yes, I know, put your hearing aids IN)?  Do they object to my constant wearing of black leggings?

Is it them?

Have they conceived an (obviously irrational) hatred of our family, including my ancestors and anyone remotely connected to the primordial soup from whence I came?  Is it simply because they are like that with everyone?  Perhaps they are just shy?

Am I too old?

Ah, a biggie this one.  Have I been relegated to an ‘ older mum ghetto’ (innit?) Do I not have the necessary hormonal surges required to discuss the merits of slightly sticky play centers and whether feeding McDonalds to under 12’s will shorten their life span?

Is it because I am a stay-at-home mum?

Do they think I spend my time painting my nails and baking cupcakes?  Or lounging on a chaise longue reading Vogue and waiting for my housekeeper to steam my edamame beans and brew some chamomile tea?

Are my children secretly the school bullies?

Another whopper this one.  Nobody would like to think for a moment that their little angels are anything less than kind, caring and sociable but often, I imagine, reports of bullying behaviour must come as a bit of a shock to the parents.

Are my children the school swots?

I remember distinctly from my own (largely painful) school experience that any level of academic achievement above turning up and writing your name on the front of your exercise book was often viewed with extreme suspicion and was definitely “not cool”. And woe betide you if you actually revised for your exams.

Do they know something I don’t ?

This one is also what is commonly known as paranoia, although it took me years to discover there was a school mums group on Facebook for those in the inner sanctum.

It’s hard, isn’t it when you see groups of mums chatting happily and organising play dates with their kids. The truth is, for some of us, making friends as adults is no easier than making friends as children.  You would have thought that we’d have acquired some social skills and confidence along the way.

There’s one last question though, and this one is the most important one of all, the one that really needs answering.

Does every mum really feel like this?

If the answer to that one is “yes” then we should really all make a bit of an effort (I’m including me in that) because, as our kids go through school together, we are likely to be meeting each other every day for a very long time.

What are your experiences of the school run?



  1. Lisa Love
    11 February, 2018 / 6:52 am

    Sounds like my sis in laws!odd ducks.

  2. Liz
    5 February, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    They’re nervous to be in the presence of ‘blog world celebrity’ …x

  3. 20 June, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    I remember that feeling well. My youngest son switched primary schools in year 4 and the Mums at his new school just blanked me in the playground.

  4. 10 June, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    It really is such a horrible feeling isn't it. I can identify with the paranoia and self doubt. As you say though, there are obviously a lot of us out there feeling the same loneliness so why not smile at each other and be friendly? We have moved around a lot and it is even more difficult if you are not one of the crowd who practically met on the maternity ward. I do try and smile and say hello to people – maybe people think I'm crazy ;-).

  5. Agata Pokutycka
    10 June, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Most of the time I wonder how some mums organized their mornings that they are able to go for a school run in full make up, freshly pressed clothes and high heels… I simply have no idea how they are finding the time for it.

  6. 10 June, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Working in schools it's crazy how much of this we actually see! I actually commented on the guest post version of this saying how it's similar to being a supply teacher and it has definitely made me develop a thick skin!

  7. mummy m's memories
    10 June, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    EEk! this is not what I wanted to read just before the school run. Glad I'm not the only one that has these thoughts though. I find it so rude of the ones that don't acknowledge even though they have seen you.

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