I used to consider myself a pretty social person. I was always slightly awkward but for the most part I could start a convo with pretty much anyone. So why is it so hard to do this at school pick up! I either shut right down and mumble my words or splurt out some self deprecating verbal diarrhea that makes everyone uncomfortably silent. Why am I like this!
There is something about the dynamic of school pick up that terrifies me to the bone. I have pounded into my brain that my failed socialization with the kindergarten class parents will have a huge effect on my daughters social life and school experience. No pressure right?
The way I look at it is all the parents generally fit into a few parenting groups and my job is to find which one I fit into.
From my individual experience these are the main groups I see:
The Social Butterfly Parent
Now these parents can be the ones that have older kids at the school or are fabulously friendly. They are the ones going around asking everyone how their birthday/funeral/doctors appointments went two weeks ago. They remember everything and make sure to let you know they were actively listening. I have a serious love hate with these parents. Love that they care enough to listen, hate that I can barely remember what I’m currently eating let alone Stevens moms 25th wedding anniversary.
The PAC Parent
These parents are awesome and I aspire to be them someday. For me, when my kids are at school it’s a glorified break for a couple hours so I can try to manage the messy chaos that is my house. These souls give up their free time to be actively involved in all aspects of the school. Bless ya, everyone of ya.
I actually signed up for PAC thinking I could totally manage a new born and basically a part time job handing out school lunches and doing fundraisers. But here I am, still in my jammies, no bra, hair unbrushed at 11 AM.
The Laid Back Parent
I resonate with these parents. These are the ones who most likely have 2+ children and have realized that energy is best spent on emergencies only. These parent have kids biff it in the courtyard and yell
“Do we have to amputate? No? K, You’re fine then.”
They are usually more seasoned and understand that it doesn’t make sense for their children or their sanity to worry about every whine, request, and rebuttal.
The Helicopter Parent
On the opposite end of the spectrum, these parents make sure they are 2 feet behind their kids so if Sally trips on a rock they are there to catch her before her knees touch the ground. Caution, careful instruction, and gentle words are their forte. With my first, this was absolutely where I would put myself. Now on my fourth, I wouldn’t even blink an eye for a broken bone.
The Totally Together Parent
We all know these moms who somehow manage to look like perfection every day, their children sport a beautifully done hair-do and their shirts match their pants like they were dressed by an adult (who has time for that in the morning!) They have playdates scheduled in between the two or three after school activities their children attend. They hand permission forms in days before they’re due, with no food stains or anything.
I feel like this description is more telling of which parenting group I’m pretty sure I belong in.
Which brings us to….
The Hot Mess Parent
I feel like this category is slightly unfair because we don’t know what’s happening in everyone’s’ lives. This being said, I definitely have a seat saved in the group for me. These are the parents who run up 2 minutes after the bell, red in the face from exertion with two different shoes on. They don’t hit permission form deadlines, barely know their kids name some days let alone all of their peers. Make up and brushed hair seem to be a pre-child dream. They sweep their child under their arm and run to the next classroom frantically bobbing and weaving the stroller around other oblivious school children.
Every parent in every group amazes me in their own way, and regardless of which group you fit into, you’re rocking it.
The parental cliques can be intimidating, and sometimes send you into a flashback to high school, but I have to keep reminding myself that these parents are not some pubescent, moody teens trying to reach the top of the high school hierarchy. They are just trying to make it just like me.
Just gotta convince my anxiety of this too