The secret club


The secret club is our facebook network of mums, some have known each other for a number of years, with children ranging from 6 -17. Friendships which have developed because of our offspring, we have done the mother and toddler groups, pre-school committees, play dates and pic-nics in the park.

Playgrounds can be hostile, enemy territory, stand in the wrong place and you can be ousted instantly, you re-learn the routine when your kids start school, only it is never mentioned and no manual is issued on what protocol is expected. The rules are similar to your own school days, avoid the bully, the snobs who look down on you and for fucks sake never give eye contact to anyone with a clipboard, if they get as far as asking you…”can I just put your name down”, your doomed, be warned.

An assumption is made when your child starts school that you will instantly want to enter the ‘school community’, it sounds cosy and idyllic. The reality is a constant bombardment, helping in class, book sales, after-school clubs, PTA, fetes, discos, bake sales all come with a rota for which you are expected to sign up willingly and gladly, you are not expected to groan inwardly or outwardly at yet another fund raiser. You are meant to find it endearing at having to suffer school assemblies and nativities, there is always a tussle for front row seats so the cam-corder or rather these days the ‘smart phone’ brigade can hog best spot to capture their little darling performing like a seal club. The reality is that someone’s child is more interested in picking their nose and eating their bogies; another has a panic attack, forgets their lines and bursts into tears. Whilst all the pre-schoolers who have been dragged along get bored and restless, no amount of sshhing stops a pre-schooler from talking incessantly or whining constantly that they are bored and want to go home. We have all been there, got the snow globe, the coaster and Christmas cards all sold at inflated prices, at least it provides a token seasonal gift for the in-laws.

I swear that if you could bottle this it would make a fantastic contraceptive;  the competition between yummy mummys is fierce,  you know the ones always hovering vying for teachers attention as the kids file out, the ones who immerse themselves in the PTA, needing some identity within the pecking order that marks them out as special.  It is easy to lose yourself, which is why the mums who are your friends become your lifeline; the ones who you can share a problem with, knowing it won’t be gossip the next day, the ones who you can go out with, get pissed with, the ones who are there for you, the ones who support you and don’t judge you.  If you are lucky you find mums who you build a connection with, laugh with, cry with and tread the path of parenting with.



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